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Live Commentary: The Ashes - Fifth Test, Day Three - as it happened

Follow Sports Mole's live coverage of day three of the fifth Test between England and Australia at The Oval.

Alastair Cook fell just 15 runs short of his first Ashes century at a home Test, scoring 85 in England's second innings at The Oval.

The home side reached 203-6 after being bowled out for 149 earlier in the day, which resulted in Australia captain Michael Clarke enforcing the follow on.

The tourists need just four more wickets to secure the innings victory, as they still hold a 129-run lead.

Read how all the action unfolded below.

Good morning! After a difficult second day, England will be heading back out in around half an hour, still trailing Australia's first-innings total by 374 runs, with just two wickets remaining. Moeen Ali and Mark Wood will both be back at the crease on 8 not out.

Captain Alastair Cook is the top scorer for the home side so far, making 22 before being bowled by Nathan Lyon. His opening partner, Adam Lyth, could find his place under pressure for the side's next series, having made just 19 runs, leaving him with a total of 105 this series.

It looks like it should be another uninterrupted day at The Oval, with bright spells forecast throughout the day. It looks like it could be a bit changeable for the final two days though, so Australia will surely be keen to enforce the follow on, giving them a chance to wrap up the win:

It could have been worse for England yesterday, as Mitchell Marsh had Wood caught behind late on. However, the Australia all-rounder was well over the no-ball line, giving the England bowler a second chance. Steven Finn made a similar error during Australia's batting innings earlier in the day. There's been much debate as to whether the umpires should calling no balls more often, rather than relying on the third umpire to pick them up during wicket decisions.

Marsh is making sure he doesn't make the same mistake again today though, as he's been working on his run up while warming up for this morning's session:

Today is Cricket United day at The Oval, raising funds for a number of cricket charities. As a result, everything is blue! There are blue stumps and bails, many of the fans have come in blue outfits, while England have extra blue detailing on their kit.

The batsman still to come in for England is Steven Finn. After watching yesterday's performance, the bowler said: "We're disappointed, we've had a very, very poor day. Australia batted well then showed us how to bowl. It's not a 107-8 pitch. It's a good wicket, but Australia have got more out of it than we did."

By contrast, Australia's top-scoring batsman Steve Smith, who will become the team's captain after this match, told reporters: "It was a very good day. It was nice to get 481 on the board. The bowlers today, it's the best we've bowled all series. They created a lot of pressure, made them earn their runs and picked up wickets. It speak for itself."

Australia have given a strong indication that they will enforce the follow on if they get the chance, suggesting on Twitter that it could be a long day in the field for wicketkeeper Peter Nevill. With just two wickets for the tourists to mop up this morning, it wouldn't be a surprise if the England innings was over by the end of the morning session, so it seems likely that England will be heading straight back out to bat.

The players are starting to make their way out ready for the start of play. Even the umpires have gone blue today, with a blue band around their sunhats.

It looks like it's going to be Mitchell Starc to bowl first this morning, as he's going through his stretching routine routine ready for the start of the action.

PLAY! Starc does indeed get the day's play underway, running in with the first delivery to Mark Wood.

Ironic cheers go up from the crowd as the first ball of the day goes for four byes. Starc is looking for the stumps, bowling a couple of full-length balls at the batsman, but Wood does well to block, while leaving a couple to go straight through to Nevill.

The returning Peter Siddle has the ball down the other end, and appears to be getting some swing early on, with the ball moving away from Moeen Ali. He manages to flick a couple of balls away from the wicket, but Michael Clarke has the field set up to stop the runs, leaving England stuck on the dreaded 111.

Mark Wood drives the ball through the offside for a boundary, giving him his first runs of the morning, and it's a beautifully timed stroke to secure the only runs of the over.

Moeen Ali soon adds to his overnight total, clipping a Siddle delivery away to run for two, before carefully blocking the remaining balls in the over. It's a cautious but steady start to the day by the batsmen so far this morning.

After just a couple of overs, Michael Clarke is making a change, bringing Mitchell Marsh on in place of Mitchell Starc. That could be with one of eye on the second innings, as Starc tends to take the new ball. Wood is showing some excellent timing though, firing another cover drive away for four more.

Siddle continues down the other end, but is immediately frustrated as David Warner at gully is slow to react, leaving an Ali stroke to go for four. The batsman finds the same gap off the next ball to add another boundary. He makes it 12 from the over off the final delivery, hitting it straight back down the ground, much to the frustration of Siddle.

Wood and Ali have really come out fighting this morning. Wood remains on strike, and cuts the ball square for another four, making him the top scorer so far in this innings on 24, with Ali just two behind down the other end.

After watching Siddle go for 12 in his last over, Clarke brings Nathan Lyon into the attack, but Ali soon picks one out, hooking it over Siddle at mid-on to bring up the 50 partnership. He plays the same shot off the next delivery for four more, with the ball bouncing just short of the boundary rope.


Mitchell Johnson comes into the attack for his first over of the day, and he makes an almost immediate impact, claiming the wicket of Mark Wood with the third ball. Wood spots the delivery late, slicing it into the offside, where Mitchell Starc is waiting to make a simple catch.


Well that didn't take long. After claiming the wicket of Wood, Johnson gets the final wicket with the very next ball. Wood and Ali crossed before Starc took the catch, so he's on strike. He gets a top edge to the bat, and slices it straight back to the wicketkeeper.

AUSTRALIA ENFORCE THE FOLLOW ON! Michael Clarke calls his teammates over, and after a couple of moments discussion it's confirmed that the tourists will enforce the follow on. It's the first time in Clarke's captaincy that he has put the opposition straight back in to bat.

So the players head off the pitch. It shouldn't be too long before they're heading back out, as Australia are already ready to field. Alastair Cook and Adam Lyth will be getting their pads on ready to open the batting for England again. They'll be hoping to add more than the 30 they managed for the first wicket yesterday.

In the end, it was Moeen Ali who finished as the top scorer for England, managing 30 before edging Mitchell Johnson behind. Johnson and Mitchell Marsh both took three wickets a piece for the tourists, while Nathan Lyon and Peter Siddle each claimed two.

Michael Clarke leads his side straight back out for what will be his final Test innings in the field. Will he get a chance to bat again? Well, England will need to score more than 322 to force the tourists to bat again. Australia are closely followed by Cook and Lyth.

It looks like Mitchell Johnson wants to open the bowling for Australia. He doesn't normally take the new ball, but he is on a hat-trick after picking up the final two wickets of the first innings.

Johnson does indeed take the new ball, and gets some movement on his first delivery, but Adam Lyth keeps his bat off it. He slices the ball towards the slips of the next delivery, but it's short of Smith. A bouncer from Johnson whacks the opener right on the hand, but he recovers well to confidently block the final delivery of the over.

Mitchell Starc charges in from the other end, with Alastair Cook on strike. The England captain isn't keen to take the attack to Australia too soon though, playing a string of blocks to give the bowler another maiden.

Lyth gets the first run on the board for England as he clips the ball behind for a quick single. Johnson tries to tempt Cook into action with a couple of wider balls, but the skipper is playing it patiently.

Lyth picks up another single, before Starc is called for a no ball. The bowler is certainly finding plenty in the pitch, as he gets one delivery to seem wildly away from Cook, forcing the captain to withdraw his bat at the last moment, before Cook slices the ball just short of David Warner in the slips. Cook has now faced 17 balls and is still to get off the mark.

Lyth lifts the ball over the slips with a confident shot, finding the boundary for the first time in this innings. He's struck on the elbow with the next ball, but it sneak past the wicketkeeper for four leg byes. The opener knows that he needs a big score to keep himself in contention for the series against Pakistan, and plays another superb stroke for four more, before wisely leaving a wider delivery from Johnson. It's been a promising start from the Yorkshire batsman.

Starc starts running in for his next over, but is told to go back by Clarke, with Nathan Lyon coming into the attack for Australia. There's a bit of turn in the pitch, but Cook isn't able to get a shot away, remaining on zero, despite having faced 23 deliveries now.

There's a change of bowler down the other end too, with Peter Siddle returning after a brief spell earlier this morning. Lyth doesn't look as confident against Siddle as he was clobbering Mitchell Johnson around the ground, leaving a couple of balls while blocking the rest for another maiden.

After 27 balls, Cook finally gets off the mark, picking out a slightly wayward effort from Lyon to flick the ball through the offside for a boundary. Clarke immediately brings the field in to put pressure on the England captain, but he defends the final two balls well.

Lyth attempts to squeeze the ball behind for another boundary, but Voges makes a diving stop to prevent the ball racing through the outfield. Siddle has to put his over on hold though, as he appears to have broken his shoe, resulting in the 12th man running out into the middle with a selection of trainers for the bowler to pick from. After fixing his footwear, Siddle watches Lyth defend the fial three deliveries of the over, giving him a second maiden.

After 12 in one over, the run-rate has really slowed down, with Lyon chalking up another maiden. Australia clearly think that the slow scoring will force a mistake from Lyth first, as the field is closing in around the Yorkshire batsman every time he is on strike, while giving Cook a bit more room.

After three overs, Siddle is still yet to give away a run in this innings, but he gets close to the edge of Lyth's bat a couple of times, getting plenty of movement on the ball, but not quite enough to catch the opener out.

Cook continues to play patiently, with Lyon delivering another maiden. The spinner has been getting some turn, but the pitch is still in good condition, and there aren't too many scuffed patches for him to aim at.


The pressure has been building with the score standing still for a few overs, and it's resulting in an error from Adam Lyth. The batsman had done well, leaving a number of tempting wider balls to make sure he didn't edge one, but he loses his patience, clipping one straight back to Michael Clarke at slip.

Siddle immediately puts Ian Bell under pressure as the Warwickshire man replaces Lyth in the middle, almost taking out leg stump twice, but Bell survives. It's a wicket maiden for Siddle though, he has been excellent at the start of this second innings.

After five overs with no runs, England get the scoreboard moving again as Cook flicks one through the offside for two, before Warner sprints back to stop it reaching the boundary. The skipper does get it across the rope off the next ball though, striking one through point, which Clarke quickly covers to stop Cook adding more.

Siddle thumps Cook on the pads, resulting in a half-appeal for an lbw, but it's pitched outside, so the umpire isn't interested. Cook makes sure he gets his bat the remaining deliveries, but can't add to the scoreboard.

Bell leaves a delivery, but Nevill misses it too, leaving the ball to go straight through to the boundary. Bell is still on zero after facing, opting to block the rest of Lyon's over. Lyon hasn't really threatened to take a wicket during his spell, but he's kept the batsmen on the back foot, choosing to block rather than attack the spinner.

LUNCH! Siddle finally gives away a run, with Cook flicking the ball away for a single off the final over before the lunch break. It's been tough to score runs for England this morning, but losing just once wicket before the break gives the home side a chance to build a bid second-inning score.

So, we're going to take a lunch break too at Sports Mole, but make sure you join us again in 30 minutes ready for the afternoon session, when Cook will be resuming on 12, while Bell will still be looking to get off the mark.

Welcome back! The players will be heading back out shortly ready for the afternoon session on day three at The Oval. England are still 301 runs behind Australia's first-innings score.

England need to get the scoreboard moving a bit more if they're to stand a chance of avoiding defeat in this match. They allowed Peter Siddle to build the pressure before the break, with the bowler recording five maidens in a row, resulting in him claiming the wicket of Adam Lyth.
Australia's Peter Siddle in action during day three of the 5th Ashes Test at the Oval on August 23, 2013© Getty Images

The players run back out ready for the start of the afternoon session. It looks like Nathan Lyon is continuing where he left off before lunch. There's been a bit of turn for the spinner, who has given away just 11 runs off his six overs so far in this innings.

Cook guides the ball through the legside to run for a quick single, bringing Ian Bell on strike. The Warwickshire man couldn't get off the mark in the morning, but he adds one from his first ball in this session.

Mitchell Johnson wrapped up the final two wickets in the first innings, and is coming back into the attack in place of Peter Siddle. Bell watches the first couple of balls from the fast bowler go straight past him, before just avoiding an edge. Johnson thinks he's got him with the final ball of the over, as Bell appears to clip the ball back to David Warner. The Aussies are convinced that he got the bat to it and that the catch was good, but a review confirms that it came off the batsman's arm, so Bell survives.

Cook quickly gets off strike, so Bell if left facing the spin on Lyon. Australia certainly seem to think that Bell is their best chance of a wicket at the moment, as they close up to the crease. Another delivery gets close to his bat, brushing his trousers on its way through to Nevill, but he clips one away for another run at the end of the over.

Bell has to duck out of the way of a bouncing delivery from Johnson, which strikes him on the arm, and runs away for four byes. Johnson looks a little confused as a patch of cloud drifts over the crowd, suddenly covering the wicket in shade. It's soon bright again though, with Bell securing another single, before Cook makes a couple of blocks. The captain has 14 runs off 69 deliveries faced so far.

Mitchell Marsh bowled well in the first innings, claiming three wickets, and he comes into the attack for his first over of this innings, taking over from Lyon. Bell dangles hit bat out wide, edging a swinging delivery straight at Clarke, but the Australia captain puts it down! Bell punishes the drop a couple of balls later with a well-timed drive, allowing him to run for two.

Cook spots a shorter ball from Johnson, and hooks it to the boundary for four. Johnson follows it up with a full-length ball, but Cook is ready for that too, just getting it back the slips before watching it race away for another boundary. Cook has had to be patient, but he's picking his shots well in this innings.

Bell hits the ball straight back down the ground for four, before Marsh tries a slightly wider ball in a bid to force an edge, but the batsman lets it go straight through. It's good variation from the all-rounder, but Bell is alert to the danger this time. England still trail by 278.

Cook and Bell have certainly got the run rate up since lunch, with the captain finding another boundary at the start of the over, but Johnson keeps the pace up to leave the skipper on the back foot, restricting him to four off the over.


Clarke put Bell down just a few minutes earlier, but he makes amends this time as Mitchell Marsh gets some impressive bounce off the track, catching the top edge of Bell's bat to leave the slip fielder with a simple take. Marsh certainly looked delighted to have broken up the partnership.

Joe Root is the new man in the middle, and he has to be ready from the start as Marsh gets the ball to nip in, just missing the bat. He makes it to the end of the over unscathed. In other news, Chris Rogers has an apparent finger injury, so is off the pitch, with Shaun Marsh on as the substitute fielder.

Mitchell Starc has the ball in his hand, taking over from Johnson in the attack. Cook manages to add another single, before Root survives some swinging deliveries. There's certainly still plenty of movement in the pitch, and it leaves Root on zero for the time being.

Marsh has had a brilliant spell with the ball, and he puts in another superb over, claiming his first maiden of the afternoon. Cook is on strike, and the captain continues to be selective when it comes to playing the ball, which has served him well so far.

Root has looked a little shaky at the start of his innings, playing and missing at a couple of balls. He goes for another, which swings away from him, resulting in an appeal from Nevill, but it looks like the ball came off his leg rather than the bat. Starc seems to be getting orthodox and reverse swing out of the ball, which is making it difficult for Root to predict what movement he's got to contend with.

Cook powers a cover drive away for four, before finding the boundary again off the next ball. Marsh sends down a short one for the final ball of the over, and the England captain whacks it away for four more. Cook is slowly creeping towards a half-century, and looks to be getting more confident when coming down the wicket.

Marsh goes off the field for a break, so Pat Cummins is on as a substitute fielder. That's now two subs on for Australia. Starc continues to bowl, but his first delivery of the over goes for three, with Root clipping it square to get off the mark after 15 balls at the crease, while Cook adds a single at the end of the over.

Lyon is back with Marsh still off the field. He gets one to really turn towards Cook's stumps, but Nevill gloves it away, allowing the batsmen to pick up a couple of byes. Cook adds a single right at the end of the over to move on to 40. After a slow start, the captain has really upped the run rate, having faced 103 balls so far.

Cook does like to attack the shorter ball, and Starc offers up a couple for the opening batsman to take on, allowing him to add two more before finding the boundary again off the next ball, aided by a midfield from Mitchell Johnson.

Root and Cook both add singles to keep the score ticking over, leaving the captain just three runs short of 50. Root still hasn't really got going yet, but he's looking less uncertain than he did when he was facing Marsh.

Siddle, who gave away just one run off six overs this morning, is handed the ball for the first time this afternoon. Cook picks up a single, but Root is unable to add anything from the four ball he faces, with Siddle continuing with his consistent line and pace.

Lyon continues to find limited turn in the pitch, allowing both batsmen to pick up another single, before Cook is forced to make another run of blocks. The pairing of Siddle and Lyon just seems to have slowed the run rate a bit.


Cook completes his 44th Test 50, flicking the ball through the legside to reach the mark. Root gets his total moving off the next ball, pulling Johnson's shorter ball away for four. Root gets greedy though, trying to found the boundary again, but he gets his timing just off, lopping the ball high to Mitchell Starc. Root has never really looked settled, and it's taken just one error to send him back to the pavilion.

Jonny Bairstow trudges out to the middle, with England still 233 runs behind. He had just one delivery still to face from Johnson's over, and makes an easy block.

Siddle sticks with his 80mph consistent line seaming from the other end, and picks up yet another maiden. He does catch Cook on the pads with a swinging delivery, but it was well outside the line. Siddle has certainly done enough to remind the Australia selectors that he can do a job, having sat out the first four matches of this series.

Bairstow gets off the mark with a boundary, which Johnson dives at to try to block himself, but it manages to make it past the bowler before speeding away for four, before the batsman picks up two more later in the over.

Siddle continues to give the batsmen little to work with, with Bairstow and Cook each adding a single off his ninth over of the innings.

Johnson stays in the attack down the other end, and is immediately hit for back-to-back boundaries by Bairstow, with the bowler appearing to lose his footing on the run up. Clarke makes a couple of changes to the field, but Bairstow lifts another just over the gully to make it 12 off the over.

Bairstow has really hit the ground running following Root's dismissal, as he adds another single, giving him 20 runs off just 17 deliveries, while Cook picks up two more. He's only scored three since reaching his half-century, allowing the confident Bairstow to dominate the scoring, and it seems to have the tourists struggling to get their field setting right. It's not long until tea though, which will give Michael Clarke time to regroup.

TEA! Clarke is giving Mitchell Marsh another quick spell before tea, with Mitchell Johnson becoming a little expensive in the last couple of overs. Cook quickly gets off strike with a well-struck single, but Bairstow is unable to keep his fine boundary-scoring run going.

So, England score 92 runs in the afternoon session, but lose the wickets of Ian Bell and Joe Root. The home side are still 209 runs behind, but the second innings performance has vastly improved from yesterday's display.

It's been a real captain's innings from Alastair Cook so far, adding 54 runs off 132 balls, spending more than three hours in the middle. Somewhat surprisingly, the skipper has never scored an Ashes ton on home soil, something which he'll surely be hoping he can rectify in this innings.
A triumphant Alastair Cook smiles to the crowd after reaching 150 on the fourth day of the First Test between England and New Zealand on May 24, 2015© Getty Images

Chris Rogers was missing for most of that session for Australia. The batsman, who is retiring after this Test, injured his hand while batting, so Shaun Marsh has been on in his place. It doesn't look like Rogers will be back on either as he's been sat around the boundary rope with Shane Watson watching the action unfold.

Despite scoring just 11 in his innings, Joe Root remains England's top scorer so far in the series, finishing with an average of almost 58. Only Aussie opener Rogers has a higher average.

The players are started to make their way back out ready for the start of the evening session. The Australians are out first, gathering for their huddle on the boundary rope.

Alastair Cook and Jonny Bairstow follow a couple of moments later, running back out into the middle. The hosts still need over 200 runs to make Australia bat again.

Nathan Lyon delivers the first over of the evening session, allowing Bairstow to pick up a quick single, before Cook also adds one before the end of the over.

Peter Siddle takes up the bowling duties down the other end. Bairstow looks worried as a ball goes straight through to the keeper, suggesting he may have edged it, but he didn't get the bat on it. Bairstow manages to get through the rest of the over untroubled, but it's another maiden for Siddle, who has given England very few cheap runs throughout today.

The batsmen continue to pick up singles as they face Nathan Lyon, who has been relatively economical, but rarely threatened to take wickets throughout the second innings. Cook picks up two more, while Bairstow also gets one, but Clarke has his field set up to stop the home side finding the boundary.

Cook tries to get across his stumps to flick the ball away, but he's too slow, leaving the ball to go straight through to Nevill. It's another tidy over from Siddle though, continuing with his consistent deliveries to keep Cook on the back foot.

Mitchell Marsh returns for the first time in the evening session. Cook moves around in front of the stumps to try to give himself a chance to get a shot away, but Marsh's bowling is clinical, giving the captain nothing to go at.

Cook slips one back towards third man, just giving himself enough time to add one. Bairstow returns to the strike, and manages to fit one through the same gap at the end of the over, but this time it goes all the way to the boundary rope. It's the first time Siddle has gone for four today.

Cook is still picking his shots carefully, having added just five runs since the resumption after tea. He does gain four byes after leaving the ball go straight through, but otherwise he's not interested in taking on Starc's deliveries.

Michael Clarke decides that it's time for a change, resulting in Mitchell Starc coming back into the Australia attack. He's getting some movement on the ball, which costs him a bye as Nevill can't get to the ball in time, before Cook smashes one past third man, but it's stopped short of the boundary rope. Incidentally, Mitchell Johnson wandered off a few minutes ago. It doesn't look like he's injured, so may just need a quick comfort break, although he has also been struggling with his feet, slipping a couple of times, so may be going for a change of footwear.


Cook and Bairstow's 41-run partnership comes to an end as Lyon returns to the Australia attack, resulting in the Yorkshire batsman edging the ball straight to Adam Voges at short leg. It hasn't been the best series with the bat for Voges, but his fielding has been excellent, and that another superb catch from him. At one point, it looked like Bairstow was settling nicely into his innings, but he hasn't found his rhythm since tea, and it cost him there.


No sooner has Ben Stokes arrived in the middle than he's heading back to the dressing room. After blocking three Lyon deliveries, Stokes is late to spot the turn, edging it back to Michael Clarke, who takes his third catch of the innings, sending the all-rounder packing for a duck, and giving Lyon his second wicket of the over.

Jos Buttler strolls out to the middle following Stokes's departure. However, it's the start of a new over so it's Cook back on strike. The captain quickly picks up the single, leaving Buttler to duck to avoid a vicious bouncer from Starc, and he makes it to the end of the over, but is unable to get off the mark.

Lyon continues down the other end, but is unable to replicate his performance in the last over, where he picked up two wickets. He does keep Buttler was getting off zero though, securing another maiden.

Buttler is up an running with a three, flicking one through the offside before quickly running between the wickets, while Cook continues to find singles with relative ease, adding another to move on to 62.

Cook adds a rare boundary, hitting a Lyon delivery square to secure his ninth four of the day. He's now faced 171 balls and moved on to 66, but England still need 183 to avoid an innings defeat.

Buttler has been struggling for runs throughout the series, and his footwork is all over the place as he lines up a Starc delivery, but somehow he manages to squeeze it through to the boundary. Starc takes a but of a break midway through the over for some field changes, and he makes sure England don't add to the score again before the end of his over. At least England can now say that they have bettered their first-innings total.

Lyon has really put in some work this afternoon, but he's started to get picked off with relative ease now, as Buttler adds a couple of Cook finds another single. It wouldn't be a surprise to see Lyon given a rest after this over.

Peter Siddle replaces Starc, and allows Cook to run for two, which is an expensive over by Siddle's standards today. As has been the case for much of today, Cook remains choosey when it comes to offering up his bat, while Siddle is sticking to his lines.

Clarke is sticking with Lyon down the other end. Buttler starts on strike, and still has his feet rooted to the crease as he struggles with his footwork. He does clip the ball clear for two though, before adding a third off the over a couple of balls later. He does look comfortable moving in the middle, but he's hitting the ball cleanly.

In the final over before the drinks break, it's Siddle with the ball still, and he delivers his ninth maiden of the innings, from 15 overs. Many were surprised when Siddle was included ahead of Pat Cummings for this Test, but the 30-year-old has certainly had some impressive spells with the ball over the last couple of days.
Peter Siddle of Australia celebrates after taking the wicket of Adam Lyth of England during day three of the 5th Investec Ashes Test match between England and Australia at The Kia Oval on August 22, 2015© Getty Images

Lyon carries on his lengthy bowling spell, this is the 19th over of the innings for the spinner, although he has split that up into a few spells. Cook and Buttler both pick up singles, with Cook's leaving him just 30 runs short of the century. He's certainly been taking his time today though, so the ton is by no means imminent for the England captain, having stoke almost five hours at the crease to get this far.

Siddle has been swinging the ball quite a bit today, but he goes for a full, straight one to try to get Buttler on the pads, but the wicketkeeper sweep it away, although he doesn't get enough time to add to the score. Siddle's impressive run continues though, as it's yet another maiden.

Cook clips the ball away for one more, before leaving Buttler to face the remainder of the over, as Lyon continues. Buttler is on 13 off 36, but can't add to his score further this time.

After a lengthy break, Mitchell Johnson is ready to bowl again for Australia. Cook drives the ball away to get off striker, leaving Buttler to face a couple of bouncers from the paceman, but he makes it to the end of the over otherwise unscathed.

There's certainly been a pattern over the last few overs, as Cook once again gets a single early in the over, to leave Buttler with a blocking job as Lyon extends his spell again. That's now 21 overs in this innings for the spinner. Mitchell Starc has been quiet this evening, so it could be time for him to come back on shortly.

The pattern continues as Cook gets another run early in the second over of Johnson's current stint, before leaving Buttler to finish the over on strike. It's been a while since Buttler actually scored a run, but he's certainly faced plenty of deliveries over the last 20 minutes or so.

Lyon gets plenty of turn on the ball, allowing Nevill to attempt a stumping, but Cook has hit foot behind the line. The captain responds on the next delivery, firing one through cover for four, moving him on to 78.

Buttler has to crouch to avoid getting hit by another bouncing Johnson delivery. Another seams inside, brushing Buttler's shirt on its way past. The England wicketkeeper manages to find a gap on the offside to pick up a couple of runs, giving him his first score in around eight overs, and he adds another single off the final ball of the over.

Well it's not Mitchell Starc but Mitchell Marsh who takes over from Nathan Lyon, who really has been made to work hard this evening. He targets the stumps, but Buttler covers them well to protect his wicket, but also give Marsh a maiden on his return to the attack.

Starc does get another go, taking over from Johnson. The bowler looks a little stiff, attempting to stretch his back in between deliveries. Clarke brings in a leg slip to try to reduce Cook's chances of adding more easy singles. The captain does manage to get off strike though, before Buttler knocks one down the ground for a run of his own.

A wild wide from Marsh ends up beating the keeper, the slips and Warner, who gives chase to the boundary rope, giving the home side five free runs. It really is a delivery to forget for the all-rounder. England are now just 150 runs behind.

Buttler is certainly working hard for his runs today. After almost 90 minutes in the middle, he reaches the 20-run mark, before swatting another one away from near his feet to add two more. Although he's still clearly not at his best, this innings will be doing wonders for his confidence, following a run of difficult innings for the wicketkeeper.

Lyon comes back on, bowling from the opposite end to his previous spell. Cook continues expertly picking singles off the spinner, nudging the third ball away to take him on to 80.

Cook picks up another quick single off Starc, before Buttler almost edges the ball back to Nevill, just moving out of the way in time. He recovers though to pounce on a shorter delivery, which Marsh just stops going for four.

Lyon continues down the other end, allowing Cook to add two more to his total, leaving him just 17 runs short of the ton. With just nine minutes left today, it looks like the England captain will have to wait until tomorrow if he wants to secure his elusive Ashes ton on home soil. It's taken him 231 deliveries to reach 83.


There will be no home Ashes century for Alastair Cook, as an inside edge of the captain's bat goes straight to Adam Voges at short leg. It seemed an interesting choice from Michael Clarke to throw Steve Smith on for an over, but the one-time leg spinner manages to get the better of the skipper just before the end of the day.

Mark Wood is coming in as a nightwatchman for the home side. Lyon continues with spin from the other end, and almost adds another late wicket as Buttler chips one towards short leg, but it falls just short. He finds the boundary off the next delivery though, taking England past the 200-mark.

CLOSE OF PLAY! It's just a one-over stint from Steve Smith as Starc is straight back into the attack. It he gets a wicket in this over, Clarke might be tempted to ask for the extra half hour, particularly as the new ball is due after the next over. Wood has to face the entire final over, but he blocks excellently, ensuring that there will be a fourth day.

So, England will still need 129 runs if they want to make Australia bat again. However, the pressure will also be on the tourists tomorrow, as there is rain forecast tomorrow afternoon. To be sure of a chance to wrap up the win, Australia will need to claim the wickets early.

That's all for today's coverage, but join us again from 10.30am tomorrow to see if England can keep themselves in the match until the rain arrives. Until then, thanks for joining me today. Goodbye.

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Mitchell Starc celebrates dismissing Joe Root on the second day of the Fourth Test of The Ashes on August 7, 2015
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England in deep trouble after day two

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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
United StatesUnited States13141037
Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia810725
Great BritainGreat Britain57618
Today's Olympic highlights header

Thursday's key events

· Comeback queen and super-mum Helen Glover goes for her third Olympic gold alongside Polly Swann in the women's pair final (1.30am)
· There is also a medal on offer for GB pair Emily Craig and Imogen Grant in the lightweight women's double scull final (2.10am)

· As second-fastest qualifier for the final, Team GB's James Wilby is among the medal contenders in the men's 200m breaststroke (2.44am)
· Alys Thomas takes part in the women's 200m butterfly final, although he faces a difficult task to challenge for the medals (3.28am)
· Caeleb Dressel of the USA has been touted by some as the successor to Michael Phelps, and he has the chance to notch up a fourth Olympic gold in the men's 100m freestyle final (3.37am)

· After Team GB's men narrowly missed out on a medal, the women get their campaign underway against the Russian Olympic Committee (3am) and New Zealand (10.30am)

· It is a Great Britain vs. Netherlands double-header, with the men up first in Pool B (4.15am)
· Most eyes will be on the women's showdown between the two nations, though, as Netherlands - the world's best team - look to gain revenge on GB for defeat in the 2016 Olympic final (11am)

· Mallory Franklin takes part in the women's canoe semi-final, and will hope to do enough to qualify for the final later in the day (6am-8.45am)

· With Simone Biles now out of the women's all-around final, the competition has been blown wide open. Team GB twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova are among those taking part (11.50am-2.05pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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