The Australian batsmen survived two fierry overs from Anderson and Broad to finish the day strongly. Watson was certainly the reason Australia posted a score over the 300-run mark in a day. With a strong lower-order and tail to come, Australia can definitely look to post a big total on Day Two.
Well that is it from us today, join us tomorrow for all the action from Day Two.
Aus 296/4 | Overs 88 | Smith 66*, Siddle 7* OUT! Watson 176
Watson and Smith get a few fours as edges off the bat find the gaps between the slips. The second new ball did move a bit, but the batsmen were well set and were able to adjust easily. Then Broad bowled a bouncer and Watson hooked it flat, but it was close to Kevin Pietersen at deep backward square-leg. Pietersen took a diving catch to his left and Watson had to depart. That partnership was worth 145 runs. Peter Siddle comes in front of Brad Haddin as nightwatchman.
Aus 271/3 | Overs 84 | Watson 170*, Smith 54*
This is definitely Watson’s day. There was a big appeal for LBW as Woakes struck Watson’s pads with a ball that kept low. Watson tried to pull but missed. The umpire raised the finger and after a long chat with Smith, Watson referred it to the third umpire. The replays showed that the ball would have missed the top of the sumps by a few inches. After all his unsuccessful referrals, Watson finally got one right.
Must be Watto’s day – overturns an lbw on review…unfortunate for Woakes 263/3
Smith gets to his sixth Test half-century with a single of Swann’s bowling. Both the batsmen are tackling Swann with some good batting. The ball is spinning, but there is not much bounce, so, the ball is coming at an expected height.
Aus 259/3 | Overs 78 | Watson 164*, Smith 48*
The 100-run partnership has come betwen Watson and Smith. The duo after 78 overs have added 115 runs for the fourth wicket. Cook has used Anderson, Woakes, Kerrigan and Swann in the last few overs but none of the bowlers have looked like getting a wicket. The pitch really is flat and it will take a special performance to get the batsmen out.
Aus 240/3 | Overs 74 | Watson 155*, Smith 38*
The scoring-rate has reduced here a bit, but the England bowlers do not seem to be troubling the two batsmen at the middle. Smith is closing in on a half-century and Watson looks very composed. Drinks have been taken.
Aus 230/3 | Overs 70 | Watson 150*, Smith 33*
Watson gets to his 150 with a couple of fours off Broad. He is looking better and better as the innings progresses. This is Watson’s highest score in Test cricket. There is an appeal against Smith for LBW off Swann’s bowling, but the ball struck his pads just outside the line of off-stump.
Aus 215/3 | Overs 66 | Watson 141*, Smith 27*
Smith pulls a slow bouncer off Woakes to the mid-wicket fence to bring about the 50-run partnership with Watson. Australia then reach the 200-run mark with Watson pulling Swann for a four towards the wide long-on region. Watson then struck a straight drive of Broad’s bowling for his 20th four to keep the momentum going.
Aus 193/3 | Overs 62 | Watson 125*, Smith 21*
Welcome back. Woakes and Swann began proceedings after tea. Woakes was getting speeds close to 90 mph. He has looked better from his second spell. There were also a couple of appeals against Watson of Woakes’ bowling for LBW, but both would have missed the stumps and the umpire gave not out on both occasions. The ball is spinning a bit more than the first two sessions.
Aus 183/3 | Overs 58 | Watson 121*, Smith 15*
Kerrigan was brought back into the attack as the scoring was getting slower. But the young spinner still seems to be devoid of confidence after Watson’s blitz earlier in the innings. He also bowled a head high no-ball to Smith, who duly pulled to mid-wicket to get a four.
Tea has been taken so join us after the break.
Cook putting fielders to protect bad ball positions for Kerrigan, zen way to build confidence
The England bowlers have certainly got back into the match with some controlled bowling. The scoring rate has come down considerably and both the batsmen look to be happy with the ones and twos. Cook has been apprehensive about using both the debutants and has mainly persisted with his experienced trio of Anderson, Broad and Swann.
Aus 162/3 | Overs 50 | Watson 108*, Smith 8*
Although Watson has scored the century, he has looked very shaky in this session. Captain Cook then dropped a good chance wide at first slip. Anderson’s ball took the outside edge of Watson’s bat from a good length and Cook could not hold on to the catch low to his right. Watson was on 104. To rub salt into the wounds, Steven Smith comes down the track and slices a lofted drive off Swann, but still the ball sails over the boundary at wide long-off. Watson then pulled Swann for a four towards deep mid-wicket.
Aus 148/3 | Overs 45 | Watson 102*, Smith 0*
Watson has reached his third Test century with a drive through the covers. This is also his first century against England and that means this is his first century in the Ashes. He has definitely deserved this moment. But the job is only half-done.
Jimmy Anderson has now taken 326 wickets for England, taking him past Bob Willis’ 325 into 2nd place amongst England’s wicket-takers #Ashes
Aus 144/3 | Overs 43 | Watson 98*, Smith 0* OUT! Clarke 7
The very next over Anderson was brought back. In the 43rd over Anderson gets rid off Clarke. The ball was pitched at a good length and then it came back sharply. It struck the pads and went on to hit the stumps. Clarke did not look comfortable at all in this innings.
Aus 139/2 | Overs 40 | Watson 93*, Clarke 7*
Clarke looks increasingly uncomfortable against Broad. Another bouncer from the England pacer surprises the Australian captain. Clarke fends off the delivery but the ball falls just out of reach of the the bat-pad fielder.
Still surprising that Cook has not used Anderson after his first spell at the start of the innings.
Great aggression and Hostility from @StuartBroad8 .. How England could do with Tremlett or Finn to carry on the attack??? #Ashes
Michael Clarke is the new batsman in. His struggles against Broad continue. One delivery bounced extra from a short of a length and Clarke got his gloves to it. The ball went in the air and just missed the stumps on its way down. Watson then drove a full delivery to the cover fence to get into the nineties. Broad immediately bowls a sharp bouncer and it surprises Watson and strikes him just behind the left ear.
It takes a little while for Watson to get back up after receiving some treatment.
Hello and welcome back. England began the post-lunch session with two maidens. Swann and Broad were the bowlers, who bowled those two overs. Watson and Rogers have looked to just play out the initial overs and get back into rhythm. Watson has not showed any of his attacking intent from the previous session. Swann then strikes in the 34th over as his off-spinning delivery gets the outside edge of Rogers’ bat. Jonathan Trott takes a good low catch at first slip.
That is the sixth time Rogers has fallen to Swann in the series.
Aus 112/1 | Overs 29 | Rogers 21*, Watson 80*
The scoring stopped a little in the last few overs, but was down to Rogers being on strike more than Watson. Watson will have to aim for his third century in the second session as lunch has been taken. Australia have certainly come back into the match after losing the early wicket of Warner. Plenty to ponder for England captain Alastair Cook.
Join us after the break.
Aus 106/1 | Overs 26 | Rogers 18*, Watson 78*
Kerrigan has looked very nervous and Watson has capitalised by hitting boundaries at will. Watson hit four fours in the 25th over off Kerrigan, getting a total of 18 runs off it. He has raced to a score of 78. Rogers looks to be happy enough to play second fiddle. Australia have crossed the 100-run mark as well.
Only Ramiz Raja – 2 out of 24 Test 50′s converted into centuries at 8.33% – has a lower conversion rate than Shane Watson #Ashes
Watson is now batting like a man possessed. He has taken a liking to Woakes and has hit another couple of fours. He has been severe on the short ball, pulling magnificently and then driving straight down the ground with conviction. Watson also hit a six straight down the ground off Swann. The 50 of the partnership also came with a Watson four. He has done the bulk of the scoring in the partnership.
Watson also reached his 21st half-century in the 23rd over. Debutant Simon Kerrigan has been brought into the attack. Watson has hit two fours off Kerrigan as well, not allowing the young spinner to settle in.
Aus 51/1 | Overs 18 | Rogers 10*, Watson 31*
A mixture of good cricketing shots and good luck have enabled Watson to race to a score of 31. Woakes is getting the ball to swing both ways. He is also bowling at a fair click — reaching 86 mph regularly. Watson has got some good shots going with a strong pull and a convincing on-drive off Woakes’ bowling. Rogers has got into a shell. He has hardly looked to score any runs off Swann. It also looks like he is protecting Watson from early spin. Not sure that is required. Australia have crossed the 50-run mark.
Good luck Woakesy and Kegs! Will be a brilliant test match! Obviously gutted not to play but off to Nottingham we go to see the tykes!
Watson has struck two more fours but has also looked like getting out leg-before. Graeme Swann has been brought into the attack and already there is evidence of spin on the very first day, especially at England’s most conducive ground for spin. Debutant Chris Woakes had a loud shout for LBW against Watson, but there was a thick inside edge.
Drinks have been taken.
Aus 27/1 | Overs 10 | Rogers 9*, Watson 8*
Shane Watson and Rogers have consolidated after the early wicket of Warner. England still bowling with Anderson and Broad. Watson got off the mark with a brilliant cover drive. Both batsmen have hit a couple of fours to get the score moving.
Aus 11/1 | Overs 5 | Rogers 1*, Watson 0* OUT! Warner 6
As expected Australia have opened with Chris Rogers and David Warner. Both the left-handed batsmen have started cautiously. They are just trying to find their feet and adjust to the pitch at The Oval. England opened the bowling with James Anderson and Stuart Broad. Broad has continued his great form from Chester-le-Street and could have got Warner leg-before. But it is Anderson who strikes for England.
He pitches the ball up and Warner’s legs are rooted to the ground as he pokes at it. The ball takes the edge and Matt Prior takes a simple catch behind the wickets. Anderson has got level with Bob Willis as England’s second-highest wicket-taker in Tests with 325 scalps to his name.
Pitch looks a belter… Surprised England have gone with 2 Spinners… Pitch looks no dryer than any other in this series… #Ashes.
Both teams have made a couple of changes. While Australia have handed a baggy green to James Faulkner and brought back Mitchell Starc, England have given debuts to Simon Kerrigon as well as Chris Woakes. The England duo received their caps from Ian Botham. This game will mark the first occasion since 1993 when more than two players are making their Test debuts in the Ashes series.
Australia: Chris Rogers, David Warner, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke (c), Steven Smith, Brad Haddin (wk), James Faulkner, Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon.
England: Alastair Cook (c), Joe Root, Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Chris Woakes, Matt Prior (wk), Simon Kerrigan, Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, James Anderson.
Hello and welcome to CricketCountry’s coverage of the most-awaited blockbuster series of the season, the Ashes 2013. I, Shrikant Shankar, will bring you momentary updates of the action from Day One of the fifth Test at The Oval. England are chasing history while Australia will look to end the poor tour with a win before heading back home.