Live Commentary: The Ashes - Fourth Test, day two - as it happened

Live Commentary: The Ashes - Fourth Test, day two - as it happened
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Live text coverage of the fourth Ashes Test at Chester-le-Street as Australia look to build on a promising first day.

Australia started day two of the fourth Ashes Test looking to build on a promising first day at Chester-le-Street.

England lost their final wicket in the second over of the day to be dismissed for 238, Jackson Bird ending proceedings by bowling James Anderson.

Australia found batting difficult before lunch and some superb bowling from Stuart Broad, who returned figures of 4-48, reduced the tourists to 49-3 at one stage.

However, a big partnership between Shane Watson (68) and Chris Rogers, who scored an unbeaten 101*, helped Australia to 222-5 before bad light intervened late in the day.

Read below to find out how events unfolded in Durham on Saturday.

10.30amIt's a new day, so will we see a different England side today? Australia controlled day one and they'll be hoping that a similar day could set up a victory. Follow every over with Sports Mole today.

10.32amAustralia were excellent yesterday but England's batsmen can only blame themselves for that poor performance. There were plenty of poor shots for England on their way to 238-9. It will be interesting to see how the tourists bat on this pitch.

10.34amEngland are still batting and they'll be hoping that Tim Bresnan (12*) and James Anderson (16*) can slog some extra runs early this morning.

10.37amIf Australia can take this final wicket quickly and then make it to lunch without losing a wicket, their position will be even stronger. We know there are some frailties in their batting order though and Anderson will be dangerous early on.

10.41amIt's a decent pitch for bowlers, nothing more. I said yesterday morning that anything above 300 is a good score though, so maybe this England score isn't as bad as we first thought. Don't judge a pitch until both sides have batted on it.

10.43amNathan Lyon, in particular, was very impressive yesterday. It wasn't spinning but the slower bowler showed great control to find four wickets.

10.46amHas this batting performance been coming? England have been good in this series, but they've been helped out by some poor displays from their rivals. They'll want to address the problem before heading down under this winter.

10.49amPlay is just over 10 minutes away. Is it time for some tail-end entertainment?

10.52amThe forecast looks pretty good for the rest of the day. It's bright at Chester-le-Street, and the sunny conditions should stick around.

10.55amThe umpires have appeared and it looks like the players will be out in the middle any minute now. Can England frustrate the tourists for a bit longer? Or will it all be a bit of an anti-climax?

10.59amGood crowd inside the ground again today. Bresnan (12*) and Anderson (16*) are greeted by a warm reception. It will be Peter Siddle to bowl the first over of the day.

ENG 238-9There's some movement for Siddle early in the over. The ball is only eight overs old. Bresnan pushes the ball firmly to cover but there's no single on offer. A late cut is well blocked by Usman Khawaja on the off-side. Maiden over.

ENG 238-9Close! Jackson Bird starts the over with a beauty to beat the inside edge and come agonisingly closer to hitting off-stump. Anderson plays and misses twice early in the over. There's a few laughs when Anderson is struck on the helmet by a delivery which was nowhere near as short as the batsman thought.


ENG 238Excellent bowling from Bird. Anderson changes his helmet, misses one outside off-stump and is then bowled by one that nips back. Brilliant over from Bird, he deserved that wicket. The ball does seem to be swinging though, which will encourage Anderson. Australia's reply will begin in just a few minutes.

11.14amEngland will have to bowl very well to wrestle back some control. Early wickets are a necessity for the hosts. Chris Rogers and David Warner, who is expected to open, have a big role to play in this session.

11.17amBird ended with figures of 2-58 from his 22 overs. Not a bad start to his Ashes career. Lyon claimed four and Harris took two, with Peter Siddle and Shane Watson sharing the other two.

11.19amIt is Warner and Rogers who walk out to the middle for the tourists. There's a round of applause when the announcer confirms that Anderson will open the bowling. Play.

AUS 1-0There's immediately some swing for Anderson, who brings a couple of deliveries back into Rogers early in the over. Anderson then moves one across the left-handed batsman, with a thick edge going straight to ground. Jonny Bairstow does superbly at point to block a sliced drive. Rogers gets off the mark with a single to wide of mid-on from the final ball of the over.

AUS 2-0Broad finds some good bounce but there's no risky shots from Rogers. A leg-bye brings Warner on strike for the first time in the innings. Broad cramps his opponent for room with some aggressive bowling late in the over. The seamer should be slightly fuller early on.

AUS 2-0Anderson begins with a wider line to Rogers at the beginning of a new over. The batsman is wary about driving due to the swing on offer for the seamer. A tighter line does invite a shot from Rogers, who is fortunate to see an inside edge crash into his pad, rather than his stumps. Good over from Anderson.

AUS 12-0Prior fails to stop the ball when Broad hits Warner's thigh pads. Australia take advantage to collect two leg-byes. A fuller delivery is driven through the covers for three. Excellent running from Warner. Broad is slightly too short, allowing Rogers to nudge a couple of runs into the leg-side. England's opener strays onto the pads and Rogers helps himself to three more to deep mid-wicket, with Trott fielding well to prevent the boundary.


AUS 12-1Beauty from Broad! He finally finds the right length to Warner, who is caught in two minds as to whether to play or not. Some late swing punishes the hesitant batsman and the off-stump takes the impact. Great start for England.

AUS 12-1Rogers is doing a good job of playing the ball as late as possible. Anderson continues to ask the question outside off-stump, but there's no false shot from the opener. Good defence on display. Maiden over. Khawaja will be on strike to Broad.

AUS 12-1Broad hits Khawaja on the thigh pad on two occasions, prompting a request for a short-leg. Cook disagrees and sends the bowler back to his mark. Khawaja drives, and misses, a fuller ball wide of off-stump.


AUS 12-2Khawaja goes for a duck! The batsman is once again punished for an indecisive shot close to off-stump as a deflection off the toe of the bat goes through to Prior behind the stumps. Broad has his second wicket. Australia are in trouble.

AUS 23-2Michael Clarke is the new batsman but he's off strike for now. Roger flicks a couple of runs to fine-leg, before beating the slips with a thick edge to earn four through third-man. Anderson is punished for drifting onto the pads again, with Rogers picking up four more to the fine-leg rope. There's a moment of frustration for England when an inside edge misses the stumps by an inch or two. Rogers picks up a single to make things even worse for Anderson.

AUS 34-2Rogers pushes a single through cover to give the strike to Clarke. Broad cannot believe he doesn't have his third wicket when he delivers a beauty to Clarke, who gets off the mark with four thanks to an inside edge. A no-ball from Broad is pushed past cover for one. REVIEW! Broad thinks he's trapped Rogers lbw, despite a shake of the head from Tony Hill. The bowler is convinced, as always, so Cook reviews the decision. However, Hawkeye shows that the ball pitched just outside leg-stump. Good umpiring. Rogers survives and cuts the next ball away for four.

AUS 34-2REVIEW! The drama keeps on coming at Chester-le-Street. Rogers is given out caught behind at the end of Broad's over but he immediately reviews the decision. Hotspot shows that the noise was the ball hitting the back pad. The umpires decide to take a look at the lbw decision instead. Hawkeye shows that the ball would have clipped the stumps enough to side with the umpire but it remains not out because the umpire had given Rogers out caught behind. Well, that was all very confusing. England aren't sure what's happened there. Strange few moments, but Rogers survives. Rogers 20* Clarke 5*

AUS 34-2Why have a look at Hawkeye? The ball would have had to have hit the stumps on the full on Hawkeye. It's a strange rule, so you have to feel for England.

AUS 34-2Clarke gets bat on ball on a number of occasions in the over but he picks out the fielders on the off-side. Clever over from Anderson, who is swinging it both ways at the moment. It's nice to see an over without confusion. Maiden.

AUS 35-2Excellent delivery from Broad as he gets some extra bounce and finds some seam movement to beat the outside edge. Broad looks fired up today. Rogers is turned square by one that swings away late. Five dot balls are followed by a leg-bye. Time for a drinks break. Rogers 20* Clarke 5*

AUS 34-2England have started this innings brilliantly. Broad looks to be in great rhythm at the moment and you feel like it's only a matter of time before Anderson gets in on the act. Australia need a solid partnership. They'll be hoping that the current pair can stay there until lunch.

AUS 40-2Well, Anderson will have to get in on the act a bit later. Bresnan comes into the attack. The Yorkshire seamer immediately settles on a nice line just outside off-stump. Clarke leaves well early in the over, before opening the face of the bat to pick up two runs. Roger flicks a fuller delivery off his pads for three more.

AUS 41-2Rogers gets off strike with a single early in Broad's over. The bowler pleads with Tony Hill to give Clarke out lbw when he nips one back. Good decision though, with Hawkeye suggesting the ball would have missed leg-stump. Clarke can do nothing but nod his head in approval late in the over when Broad beats the outside edge with a cracking delivery.

AUS 49-2Embarrassing moment for Kevin Pietersen when he reaches the ball on the boundary but lets it through his legs to gift Rogers four runs. Rogers defends well in the middle of the over before reaching the rope again with a textbook straight drive. Excellent batting from Rogers, who has 33 from 49 balls. Clarke 6*


AUS 49-3A full delivery outside off-stump invites a wild drive from Clarke. An edge travels quickly to Cook, who reacts brilliantly to take a catch at head-height. This is very impressive from Broad. Australia in big trouble at Chester-le-Street.

AUS 52-3Steve Smith leaves his first two balls outside off-stump, something Clarke should have considered doing a few moments earlier. A nudge through mid-wicket brings the new batsman his first three runs. Broad can't help but smile at Rogers when he beats the outside edge for what seems like the 100th time. The seamer now has figures of 3-23 from his seven overs.

AUS 53-3Good line and length from Bresnan early on. Smith is displaying a good defence around off-stump. Bresnan loses his accuracy later on in the over and is punished, with Australia sneaking a bye when Prior misses the ball down the leg-side. Just the extra from the over.

AUS 59-3Broad is given a rest. Whether he wanted one, I'm not so sure. Anderson comes back into the attack for a new spell. Smith wisely leaves alone the wider deliveries, before taking advantage of a straight ball to clip four through the leg-side. Anderson drops his length slightly and Smith punches a couple more through the covers.

AUS 63-3Good move from Cook to introduce Graeme Swann for a short spell before the lunch break. There's not much turn for the spinner but the drift will be a concern for Rogers. A short ball is cut away but there's no run on offer. Swann delivers a full-toss late in the over and Rogers accepts the gift by hammering the ball through the leg-side for a boundary. Four from the over.

AUS 67-3Anderson targets the stumps early in the over to force Smith into playing. Smith defends well and takes advantage of a wide half-volley to steer four through third-man from the final ball. Good batting from Smith. Rogers 37* Smith 13*

AUS 71-3Roger plays a loose shot outside off-stump to get Prior excited, but the ball drops well short of any fielder. No spin away from the batsman for Swann, who is forced to vary his pace in the over. Rogers once again takes advantage of a full delivery to earn four through mid-wicket. Swann hasn't settled yet.

AUS 75-3A thick edge from Smith threatens to race away but Bell blocks the ball impressively at gully. These two are looking solid at the moment. Not much happening for Anderson, who is driven beautifully for four by Smith at the end of the over.

AUS 75-3Swann is struggling to hit a consistent length at the moment. Rogers is looking as comfortable as I've seen him against the spinner this summer. Six defensive shots means the session ends with a maiden.

AUS 75-3LUNCH: What a session of cricket. Australia were expecting to continue to control the match after taking the final wicket of England's innings in the second over of the day. However, Stuart Broad is having one of those special days and his three wickets means the game is delicately poised.

1.04pmIt looks like we're in for a thrilling day of cricket at Chester-le-Street. We'll take a 30 minute break during lunch but make sure you return as this gripping contest continues.

1.34pmWelcome back everyone. England fought back before lunch, can they continue their progress? Stuart Broad should start a new spell after the interval. He was fantastic this morning and already has figures of 3-23.

1.36pmRogers (41*) has looked in good form, despite the scare he had with the caught behind appeal earlier in the morning. If he and Smith (17*) can get in after lunch, the duo will score quickly.

1.40pmBoth sides are back out in the middle now. Crucial session of cricket coming up in this match. No surprise to see Broad with the ball in his hand. He'll bowl the first over of the session. Australia trail by 163 runs.

AUS 75-3Smith blocks a couple of straight deliveries from Broad. A wider delivery from Broad keeps very low, suggesting that uneven bounce could become a factor as the match progresses. No drama in the over. It's a maiden.

AUS 76-3It's Bresnan who starts with the ball alongside Broad. Rogers helps himself to a single when the ball drifts into his pads.


AUS 76-4Big wicket for England as they carry their momentum into the second session. Bresnan forces Smith into playing close to the off-stump, catches an edge and Prior takes a good low catch. Smith is furious with himself. Watson in next for the tourists.

AUS 76-4Superb from Bresnan. The Yorkshire seamer follows a straight delivery with one that moves away off the seam to leave Watson playing an air shot outside off-stump.

AUS 77-4Big appeal from England for caught behind but Tony Hill isn't interested and Rogers stays where he is. It's a good decision as replays suggest the noise was the bat hitting the ground. The crowd applauds Broad when he produces a beauty to beat the outside edge with some drastic movement away from the left-handed batsman. Rogers doesn't look convincing outside off-stump at the moment. Broad is looking dangerous again. Just a no-ball from the over.

AUS 84-4Watson gets off the mark with a nudge to deep square-leg. Rogers drives firmly through the covers for three, with Bairstow doing the chasing to prevent a boundary. Bresnan strays onto the thigh pad again to allow Watson to earn two to fine-leg. The batsman is then surprised by some late movement but a thick inside edge brings Watson one more. Rogers 45* Watson 4*

AUS 85-4Broad is slightly too wide early in the over but he wants lbw when he finally gets his radar right. Tony Hill decides it was bat and Cook agrees, so there's no review. Watson then clips the ball to deep square-leg, where Trott makes sure only a single is taken.

AUS 85-4Mindless batting from Watson as he drives wildly at a wide delivery from Bresnan. No edge, fortunately for the Australian. DROP! Watson breathes another sigh of relief when he pushes the ball straight back to Bresnan, who can't cling onto the ball. It's a difficult chance, but Bresnan might have fancied taking that one. Watson is looking like a batsman out of form in the middle.

AUS 90-4Rogers leaves outside off-stump but is then forced to play, and miss, when Broad delivers a slightly fuller delivery. Broad repeats the trick to beat a driving Rogers. That delivery sparks a response from the crowd, who voice their approval of this bowling. Broad is too straight later in the over, allowing Rogers to collect four through fine-leg. Close! Broad asks the question again and Rogers edges the ball towards the slips. Swann makes a great effort at second slip but he can't quite get across to take what would have been a wonderful catch. Rogers passes 50 in the process. He's battled hard out there and deserves the round of applause he receives.

AUS 96-4Bresnan is guilty of being too full and Rogers takes advantage to push two through the covers. The seamer settles on a better length, forcing Rogers to defend. There's another edge late in the over but the ball drops short of the slips and runs away for four. Rogers 56* Watson 5*

AUS 99-4Watson is trying to play as late as possible and his tactic helps him earn three runs through third man via a thick outside edge. Broad seems to be getting every delivery to do something off the seam. Excellent bowling, but his pursuit of a fourth wicket continues.

AUS 99-4Anderson returns to the attack, probably to target Watson with the in-swinging delivery. There's no wild shots from Watson in this over though. Although he may think about attacking soon to manipulate where the fielders will be placed. Maiden for Anderson.

AUS 103-4Close! Rogers defends and leaves well early in the over, before being surprised by a beauty which comes back sharply. The batsman had intended to leave the ball, but he's forced to bring the bat down and get an inside edge to save himself. Big appeal for lbw from Broad, with Watson appearing to leave the ball. Tony Hill shakes his head, good decision. A single and three leg-byes from the over.

AUS 103-4Watson is battling his attacking intent as Anderson hangs a few tempting deliveries outside off-stump. The batsman does drive firmly midway through the over but he picks out the fielder at cover. Maiden over for Anderson.

AUS 110-4Rogers is playing with soft hands, meaning that the majority of edges are going to ground and handing him priceless runs. The opener picks up two at the start of the over. Bell fails to stop the ball with a dive at cover later in the over, which allows Rogers to sneak another run. Broad delivers a rare bad delivery onto the pads and Watson takes advantage to whip four through mid-wicket.

AUS 119-4Anderson causes problems for Rogers from over the wicket when he nips a couple back in towards the pads. The batsman does well to keep the ball out and he gets off strike with a single to deep square-leg. Watson clips a full length delivery off his toes and Pietersen, running around from fine-leg, fails to prevent the ball from reaching the rope. Shot, Mr Watson! The over comes to an end in style when Watson rocks back to drill a pull shot away for four more. Time for drinks.

AUS 119-4I hope I'm not going to curse him, but it's worth taking a moment to appreciate just how good Rogers has played today. It's difficult for the batsmen out there but he's taken his chances to frustrate England's seamers. England could do with removing the Middlesex veteran. Rogers 60* Watson 20*

AUS 121-4Cook decides it's time to give Broad a rest and Bresnan returns to the attack. Rogers finds a single to give the strike to Watson. Bresnan settles on a nagging off-stump line. No mistakes from Watson though. Australia making good progress.

AUS 123-4Watson is playing Anderson as late as possible. The batsman makes sure he takes the opportunity to score when the ball drifts into the pads. A single brings Rogers on strike and he adds another with a nudge into the leg-side. Good batting. Just two from the over.

AUS 126-4Rogers shuffles across his crease to guide Bresnan into the leg-side for a single. Watson plays a similar shot to earn to more through square-leg. I just wonder whether it could be time for a bit of Swann. Watson may be tempted into attacking the spinner.

AUS 129-4It's Anderson who continues for now. Rogers collects a run to fine-leg. There's some movement for the bowler outside off-stump but Watson is wise enough to leave the ball alone out there. A single is taken through square-leg, before Rogers adds another with a clip to deep mid-wicket. Anderson isn't enjoying the best of days out there.

AUS 130-4I must say I'm a little surprised to see Trott come into the attack at this stage. Swann is yet to bowl in this session. The medium pacer can be a tricky customer sometimes though and he does threaten with a delivery that seams away past the outside edge. Some good fielding from Broad at mid-wicket restricts Rogers to a single. Watson fights the urge to attack the part-time seamer and blocks out the remainder of the over. This partnership is now worth 54.

AUS 130-4Rogers goes after a wide one from Anderson and is agonisingly close to edging the ball to Prior. Anderson comes round the wicket to give the left-handed batsman something else to think about. Rogers sits back too keep the bowler out when he begins to target the stumps. It's a maiden.

AUS 136-4Prior comes up to the stumps for Trott's new over. The medium pacer is too wide and Watson takes advantage to loft four over the fielders on the off-side. Broad is placed at deep point and Watson picks out the fielder to earn a single a ball later. Prior pleads with the umpire to give lbw but Tony Hill shakes his head. Pitched outside leg and struck Rogers on the thigh. That's definitely not out. Six runs from the over.

AUS 136-4Anderson is managing to find some swing with the ageing ball, but it's not enough to trouble Rogers. The opener is more than happy to leave for the majority of the maiden over. Australia trail by 102. Rogers 68* Watson 30*

AUS 139-4Watson opens the face slightly to get off strike early in Trott's over. Rogers plays a late cut to earn two past point when the bowler drifts slightly wider. Cook is beginning to look slightly frustrated with the situation. Will the skipper turn to Swann soon?

AUS 140-4Swann has a bit of tape on his finger. I wonder if he's got a problem with his spinning hand. Surely it can't be too serious, otherwise he wouldn't be on the pitch. Anderson breezes through his over, conceding just a single to Watson. It's turning into a very good session for the tourists.

AUS 141-4Cook finally turns to Swann following that period of uncertainty. Watson defends, before playing against the spin to earn a single to long-on. Swann might fancy his chances against Rogers but there's no luck for the spinner just yet. Rogers looks solid in defence. Just one from the over.

AUS 148-4Bresnan returns to the attack for a new spell. He starts with a slightly loose ball, which Watson cuts away powerfully for four runs. Broad parries the ball at mid-off, prompting Watson to hurry through to complete a tight single. Rogers adds a run to rotate the strike again. Bresnan delivers a bouncer but Prior can't collect the delivery and Australia are awarded a bye.

AUS 148-4Swann comes round the wicket to the right-handed Watson. Lyon had some success from this angle yesterday. Watson is doing a good job of getting his bat in front of the pad though. It's a maiden and that's the end of the session. Rogers 71* Watson 38*

AUS 148-4TEA: Australia have batted very sensibly in that session. Losing just one wicket when Broad was looking dangerous after lunch represents a good spell of cricket. Watson looked nervous early on but he's settled down and combined well with the impressive Rogers.

3.45pmWhat do England do from here? I'd expect Broad to return to the attack after tea, so Cook will be hoping the bowler can enjoy some more success. Australia trail by just 90. England must break this partnership.

3.48pmIt's pretty even at the moment. However, if Australia continue to bat sensibly after the current interval, they could be in charge at the end of the day. It looks like a pitch which will force a result over the next few days.

3.51pmOne thing that could be important is that Australia's tail isn't as strong in this match as it has been in previous matches during this series. England must get those players in first, though. Both Watson and Brad Haddin could take the game away from the hosts with some attacking play.

3.51pmOne thing that could be important is that Australia's tail isn't as strong in this match as it has been in previous matches during this series. England must get those players in first, though. Both Watson and Brad Haddin could take the game away from the hosts with some attacking play.

3.55pmJust five minutes away from the resumption of play at Chester-le-Street. We'll see cricket until 6.30pm tonight. Plenty of time for this match to swing back and forth.

3.58pmThe players have reappeared. Australia begin the session 90 runs behind their opponents. Bresnan will bowl the first over.

AUS 151-4A leg-bye allows Rogers to jog to the non-striker's end. Watson knocks the ball away from his pads to pick up two runs to deep square-leg. A firm drive is struck straight to a fielder later in the over, meaning Bresnan concedes just three.

AUS 152-4Broad returns to the attack as England look for a crucial breakthrough. Rogers pushes a full delivery firmly but Broad stops a run with an outstretched boot. A flick off the pad brings a single. Watson sits back to keep out Broad.

AUS 152-4Bresnan comes round the wicket to Rogers, who seems unfazed by the change of angle. The crowd are treated to six defensive shots from the Middlesex veteran. It's frustrating for England at the moment. Maiden over. Rogers 72* Watson 40*

AUS 155-4Watson pulls Broad away for a single early in the over. Rogers can't help but flirt with a seaming delivery outside off-stump. A fuller ball is worked into the leg-side for a couple. Broad is annoyed with himself but he's not doing too much wrong. Rogers continues to battle on.

AUS 162-4Watson takes a risk by playing across the line of the ball to earn three through mid-wicket. No movement whatsoever for Bresnan, who once again comes round the wicket to Rogers. Cracking shot to end the over from the opener as he pulls powerfully through mid-wicket for four.

AUS 163-4Broad is left shaking his head when Pietersen gifts a run to Australia with a needless throw at the stumps. England aren't happy with the ball but Tony Hill tells them to continue after a quick look. Rogers has a full-toss to feast on but he drills his shot straight to Bresnan at cover. One from the over. The tourists trail by 75.

AUS 167-4Watson picks up a couple early in Bresnan's over to edge closer to his half-century. The bowler is doing his best to target the stumps. A late cut from Watson beats Bell at gully to bring the batsman a couple more. Rogers 79* Watson 48*

AUS 169-4Swann comes back into the attack for a new spell. A couple of normal off-spinners are followed by a quicker delivery which Rogers just manages to keep out. The duo in the middle exchange quick singles towards the end of the over. Decent return for Swann, who looks like he could threaten Rogers.

AUS 171-4HALF-CENTURY! The Australians on the balcony stand to applaud Watson, who reaches 50 with a single through square-leg. That's an important innings for both Watson and his team. Tough innings from a player who has struggled in this series. Just two from Bresnan's over.

AUS 175-4Swann varies his pace nicely in the over. Rogers blocks the majority of the deliveries, before freeing his arms to steer a wider ball past backward point for four. There's a grimace for Swann. He knows that was poor.

AUS 177-4Bresnan is searching for lbw with a series of straight deliveries directed at Watson's front pad. The batsman defends well and waits for the short ball, which he pulls away for a single. This partnership is now worth 100. Rogers shuffles across his crease to nudge a run to deep square-leg.

AUS 181-4Rogers tucks the ball off his hip for three down to fine-leg. Watson drops to one knee to sweep a single. CLOSE! Swann almost takes a wicket out of nowhere when Prior appeals for the stumping. A replay shows that Rogers did slide his foot out of the crease, but that he also managed to get back before the bails could be dislodged. Good wicketkeeping.

AUS 184-4Anderson is back into the attack for a new spell. Watson opens the face to guide a single through third-man. The seamer comes round the wicket to Rogers, who frustrates his opponent by getting off strike thanks to a leg-bye. There's a rare lapse in concentration from Watson when he plays a loose shot outside off-stump. Groans from the England fielders. It's that kind of afternoon for the hosts. Australia trail by 54.

AUS 188-4Watson picks up a couple of runs to fine-leg at the beginning of Swann's over. The right-handed batsman adds another run with a quick single on the off-side. Rogers follows his partner's lead by hurrying one to cover. Swann, Prior and just about every other Englishman are looking deflated at the moment.

AUS 193-4Rogers moves to 91 with a single as Anderson starts a new over. The bowler is eager to encourage a loose shot from Watson, who responds by playing a superb cover drive to earn four. Root dives to his right to stop a similar shot later in the over. Five scored. Rogers 91* Watson 61*

AUS 193-4Swann finds some extra bounce in his over to force Rogers back into his crease. The opener isn't sure whether to play or not outside off-stump but he makes sure he doesn't make a mistake. Nervous nineties? Maiden over.

AUS 199-4Brilliant from Bell at gully to stop Watson's powerful late cut. Anderson does well to get out of the way of an equally fierce straight drive, with Watson happily watching the ball race to the boundary. A clip off the pads brings a single to deep mid-wicket. Rogers pushes the ball through the covers for a run of his own. Australia trail by 39.

AUS 203-4A century beckons for Rogers, who adds four more to his total when he hammers a full-toss through the covers. Close! It all nearly comes to an end for the opener when he gets a leading edge on the ball. Broad runs in from mid-on but he can't make up the ground to take the catch. It's agonising to watch for Clarke on the balcony. Rogers 96* Watson 66*

AUS 205-4Anderson still believes Watson is an lbw candidate, even at this stage. The batsman shows he is confident against the straighter bowling when he hammers the ball to Swann at short mid-wicket. Watson finds two in the deep on the leg-side and that's the only scoring shot in the over. Time for a drinks break.

AUS 205-4England look like they have run out of ideas. Australia are taking advantage of the older ball and better batting conditions this afternoon. Can Rogers find the four runs needed to score his first Ashes ton?

AUS 205-4There's a few words around the bat directed at Rogers, who is just one firm stroke away from three figures. Swann probes away outside of-stump before finding another leading edge. Clarke winces on the balcony again but the ball drops short of Bresnan on the leg-side. Maiden over.

AUS 205-4Broad returns to the attack for a new spell. Cook will be hoping he can reproduce some of his form from earlier in the day. Watson gets on the front foot to keep out a series of full deliveries from Broad.


AUS 205-5Broad has delivered a number of very special deliveries today but he makes the breakthrough with one that drifts down the leg-side. Watson can't help but have a nibble and he's left cursing his luck when Prior takes a good catch. Big wicket for England. Haddin comes to the crease with his side trailing by 33.

AUS 205-5Plenty of pressure on Rogers. Prior, Bell and Cook are all chirping at the batsman. Rogers misses the opportunity to whip away a fuller ball. Swann ends the over by delivering a beauty that bounces and turns to beat the outside edge. Nervous times for Rogers.

AUS 207-5Haddin gets off the mark with a couple of runs to fine-leg. Broad delivers a good yorker, which forces Haddin to dig the ball out before it can creep onto the stumps. Good accuracy shown from Broad. There's some pressure on these two now.

AUS 207-5Rogers has been on 96 for almost 30 minutes now. Prior continues to chat away behind the stumps. Close! Swann crouches down and rubs his eyes in disbelief when a quicker ball misses the stumps by an inch or two.

AUS 211-5CENTURY FOR ROGERS! He's done it. Rogers reaches the century he's deserved for this tough innings with a sweep for four. Excellent performance from the experienced opener. It's his maiden Test ton. The Australians inside the ground are delighted. Congratulations to Rogers.

AUS 211-5CENTURY FOR ROGERS! He's done it. Rogers reaches the century he's deserved for this tough innings with a sweep for four. Excellent performance from the experienced opener. It's his maiden Test ton. The Australians inside the ground are delighted. Congratulations to Rogers.

AUS 211-5Good over from Broad. The ball is doing very little at this stage but the bowler forces Haddin to play every ball. Solid defence from a player who could be tempted to attack in the near future. Rogers 100* Haddin 2*

AUS 217-5Rogers gets off strike with a single. I spoke about Haddin's attacking instincts and he gives us a clue about how he might approach this innings when he slog-sweeps the ball over mid-wicket for four. Haddin sneaks a single to Broad at mid-off. Bairstow does very well to prevent any overthrows when Broad targets the stumps. The new ball is six overs away.

AUS 222-5Bresnan is back into the attack for a fresh spell. The umpires have been in conversation for a few moment. Could the light be a problem? Classy shot from Haddin to earn four with a late cut past backward point. A nudge off the hip brings a single to deep square-leg.

AUS 222-5BAD LIGHT STOPS PLAY: The umpires meet each other again and decide that the light has got worse. They order the players off the field. We could see some more cricket this evening but only if the light improves.

5.55pmThe light will have to improve in the next five minutes for us to see anymore cricket tonight. I'm afraid it's probably it for the day at Chester-le-Street.

5.57pmIf that is indeed the end of the day, the headlines will be dominated by a 35-year-old veteran of the sport. Chris Rogers has waited a long time to raise his bat in celebration of his maiden Test century, but what a way to do it. The tourists were in big trouble at one stage but Rogers fought back to guide Australia into a much stronger position.

5.59pmI think most of the supporters have decided enough is enough too. Plenty of fans heading out of the ground now. They've seen it all today. Brilliant bowling and classy batting.

6.00pmEngland might be disappointed that Australia have 217-5 but the game itself is still very even. The partnership between Rogers (101*) and Haddin (7*) will be very important.

6.01pmCLOSE OF PLAY: The light hasn't improved and the umpires confirm there will be no more play tonight. Australia end the day just 16 runs behind England. Rogers can relax, but he'll be back tomorrow.

6.02pmThanks for joining me for what has been a fascinating day of Test cricket. Australia have probably taken charge of the game but it's impossible to predict what will happen next. Come back tomorrow morning at 10.30am for day three of the fourth Ashes Test. Goodnight.

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Michael Clarke, Shane Watson and Nathan Lyon of Australia walk off as rain falls during day five of the 3rd Investec Ashes Test match between England and Australia on August 5, 2013
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