The Ashes series may have been won by hosts England but a wounded Australian side have promised to go out with a bang. On a flat batting pitch at The Oval, they punished the English bowlers for 90 overs. (Commentary/Scorecard)
23:00 (IST): The day has well and truly belonged to Shane Watson as he powered his way to a fluent 176. He was ultimately dismissed 3 overs from the end of the day but after four poor Tests, Watson has finally come good. James Anderson was the pick of the bowlers for England, ending with 2/52. He could have had Watson as well, who was dropped by Alastair Cook on 104...
22:50 (IST): It's stumps! Australia end at a daunting 307/4 in their 90 overs on Day 1.
22:30 (IST): WICKET - Shane Watson (176) hauls out at deep square-leg! A sensational innings by Watson comes to an end as he pulls Anderson on the leg-side. Pietersen takes a good catch and Watto departs to a thunderous applause for the crowd at The Oval. Australia 296/4 in 88 overs.
This really is Shane Watson's day - he's even reviewed an lbw decision correctly. Cricket has its England 0-1 USA 1950 moment— tomfordyce (@tomfordyce) August 21, 2013
22:08 (IST): Shane Watson is given out lbw, he asks for a review and the ball is going above the stumps. Chris Woakes is denied his first Test wicket and Watto survives on 160.
22:00 (IST): Steven Smith steps down the track and drives Swann towards long-on for a single. Fifty for Smith, his 6th in Tests.
21:40 (IST): Watson cuts Anderson with ease for his 23rd boundary. The pitch at The Oval is flat but England have looked equally flat in the field.
21:28 (IST): Watson powers Broad for two boundaries to reach his 150. Excellent stuff by the under-pressure former Aussie vice-captain.
Believe it or not, Watson now top of Aust run aggregates and averages for series. #ashes— Daniel Brettig (@danbrettig) August 21, 2013
21:10 (IST): Steven Smith launches into Swann and lofts him towards deep midwicket for a boundary. Australia going strong at 220/3.
20:50 (IST): Watson on the charge, pulls Graeme Swann away for a boundary to reach his career-best Test score of 130*.
20:35 (IST): 32 overs left in the day as the players make their way out on the field. England will want to get into the long Australian tail before stumps while the visitors are banking on Shane Watson to continue his fine form.
Shane Watson has scored a brilliant hundred 121 off 157 balls... The rest of the Aussies have scored 45 off 32.4 overs... #Ashes.— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) August 21, 2013
20:15 (IST): Both sides will be pretty pleased with the second session. Australia are scoring at a brisk pace with Watson reaching his 3rd Test hundred. England picked up the two key wickets of Rogers and Clarke but how crucial will that drop of Watson prove?
20:05 (IST): Steven Smith is playing a steady hand here. He has reached 14 of 45 deliveries. Australia 183/3 at Tea on Day 1.
19:42 (IST): Brave call here by Cook as Chris Woakes in brought back into the attack. His five overs until now have gone for 30 runs.
19:32 (IST): Cook drops Watson. How crucial will that prove to be? The centurion edges to first slip where the England captain drops a sitter. Anderson is not impressed.
19:30 (IST): Jimmy Anderson has had a good day as well, picking up the wickets of Warner and Clarke. Here's one for the record books....
19:22 (IST): Century for Shane Watson! He punches Anderson through the covers for three and raises his fists to celebrate his ton as The Oval rises to applaud. Australia 151/3 in 46 overs.
19:13 (IST): WICKET - Michael Clarke is bowled by James Anderson! A pitched-up delivery ricochets off Clarke's pads and knocks his off-stump over. Australia 144/3 in 43 overs.
19:07 (IST): Watson's conversion rate of fifties into hundreds is a less than impressive 9.09. He's on 97, three nervous runs away from improving on it.
19:00 (IST): The nervous 90s for Shane Watson, the first time he has reached this stage since December 2010. It is also the highest score by an Aussie number 3 since Shaun Marsh's 141 in September 2011.
Warm applause for Watto as he gets to his feet. Seriously nasty blow to the head, underneath helmet.— AlisonMitchell (@AlisonMitchell) August 21, 2013
18:43 (IST): Close call for Michael Clarke. He fends off a bouncer from Stuart Borad and the ball almost trickles on to his stumps. Slight delay here as Watson is hit on the neck by anothe Broad bouncer. Australia 127/2.
18:38 (IST): Bunny alert! Rogers has scored 79 runs from 230 balls he has faced from Swann and has been dismissed six times.
18:27 (IST): WICKET - Chris Rogers (23) is caught at first slip. A little turn on the ball which pitches on middle, Rogers attempts a gentle dab and Trott takes a good low catch at slip. Australia 120/2 in 34 overs.
18:20 (IST): A quick little factoid about Shane Watson. The Aussie has been dismissed in the 80s or 90s in seven of the nine occasions he has been there.
18:15 (IST): The players are back out on the field. Watson continues to be aggressive towards Stuart Broad, but is unable to find the fence.
17:50 (IST): Despite the early loss of David Warner, Australia have put themselves in a strong position mainly due to some blistering strokeplay by Shane Watson. Debutant Simon Kerrigan has had a first session in Test cricket to forget, going for 28 runs in his two overs.
Big comment here..and I have said this before about Watto..Haven't seen a better player who plays left arm orthodox..Especially in ODI & T20— Dean Jones (@ProfDeano) August 21, 2013
17:30 (IST): It's lunch and the session has been dominated by Australia and Shane Watson in particular. The visitors are at 112/1 after 29 overs.
1713 hrs (IST): Kerrigan's first two Test overs cost 28 runs. He was mostly bowling it to Watson who smashes him for four boundaries in his second over. Is in ODI mode - 76 off 71!
1700 hrs (IST): Half century! Watson completes his 21st Test fifty. He has been extremely positive so far and apart from his nine boundaries, even smacked Swann over his head for a confident six.
1655 hrs (IST): In stats: Watson has been trapped LBW nine times in the last nine Tests here - the most for any foreign player. Today and so far though, he has looked focussed and determined to not let England bowlers get the better of him.Currently has 32 with seven boundaries.
1645 hrs (IST): For those looking to dig up some bright spots from Australia's dismal performance so far, here's one: Michael Clarke and Chris Rogers are in the top-3 run getters in the series so far.
Clarke's 346 at an average of 49.42 is slightly above Rogers' 344 at an average of 43. England's Ian Bell though is comfortably perched on top with 500 runs from his 8 innings at a commanding average of over 71.
On that note: Did you know that the most number of not-outs in Ashes Tests is a feather in Steve Waugh's cap? He was unbeaten in 18 of his 72 innings followed by another Aussie in Allan Border (15 from 73 innings).
1630 hrs (IST): While England skipper juggles with his bowlers, Australia juggle with Shane Watson. The batsman has replaced Warner in the middle today but did you know that in the last one year, he has batted at one, two, three, four, five and six for Australia?
1610 hrs (IST): England skipper has employed as many as four bowlers inside 12 overs - Anderson, Broad, Swann and Woakes all getting to roll their arms over!
1545 hrs (IST): WICKET! Warner falls. It his third single-digit score in as many innings. Tries to drive an outside off delivery but hardly got in control of the Anderson delivery. The bowler, with this, becomes the joint-highest wicket-taker for England with 325 scalps.
1532 hrs (IST): Chris Rogers and David Warner open for Australia. For England, it is the usual pair of James Anderson and Stuart Broad to begin the attack.
1525 hrs (IST): Squads:
England: Cook, Root, Trott, Pietersen, Bell, Woakes, Prior, Broad, Swann, Anderson and Kerrigan.
Australia: Rogers, Warner, Watson, Clarke, Smith, Haddin, Faulkner, Starc, Siddle, Harris and Lyon
1520 hrs (IST):TOSS! Australia win and skipper Michael Clarke opts to bat first. Faulkner makes his debut for the tourists while the hosts opt to play as many as five bowlers. Bairstow makes way for Woakes who makes his debut alongwith Kerrigan.