Australia vs England
Australia win by eight wickets
A thumping victory in the end for Australia. They've obliterated England in the last three sessions of what had been a closely-contested match. Rogers was superb today to snuff out any lingering hopes England may have had of reducing the deficit to 3-1. England, though, were almost as bad with the ball and in the field as they were with the bat yesterday.
Over 52 - Australia 233/2 (Watson 85, Clarke 6)
Watson slog-sweeps Panesar for four to guide Australia to an eight-wicket win and a 4-0 lead. Hard to see anything other than 5-0 in Sydney now. England got themselves into this game and then got themselves out of it.
Over 51 - Australia 227/2 (Watson 80, Clarke 5)
Watson trying to finish things in a hurry now. Has a huge mow at Bresnan and sends the ball high over cover and out of reach of the sprinting Anderson. That takes Australia to the Full Benaud of 222/2, before a smear down the ground brings four. Swing and a miss followed by a slog to deep midwicket for one take Australia within four of victory.
Over 50 - Australia 220/2 (Watson 73, Clarke 5)
Hard to think that yesterday afternoon England were effectively 116/0 in their second innings. They're going to lose the match a day later by eight wickets. Their worst defeat of the series.
Over 49 - Australia 219/2 (Watson 72, Clarke 5)
Clarke back-cuts Stokes for four to join KP and Cook in the 8000 Test runs club. Just 12 more needed for Australia to win now.
Over 48 - Australia 215/2 (Watson 72, Clarke 1)
Watson wants to finish this in a hurry now - he's down the wicket to Panesar to drive to mid-on for one, then plays a back cut to one a little quicker. A shot best described as a 'smear' brings him four through mid-wicket. A low full toss is smacked straight past Monty to finish the over, meaning we reach drinks with the hosts needing only another 16.
Over 47 - Australia 201/2 (Watson 59, Clarke 0)
A Watson single, then plenty of blocking from Clarke. The Australia skipper needs another three runs to reach the milestone of 8,000 in his career.
Over 46 - Australia 200/2 (Watson 58, Clarke 0)
So a wicket for Panesar, albeit with a short, wide delivery. Still, might be enough to keep him in the team for Sydney. Australia need another 31 and captain Clarke has the chance to be there when the winning runs are scored. That second-wicket stand between Rogers and Watson was worth 136 runs.
WICKET! Rogers c Bairstow b Panesar 116
So Rogers won't be there at the finish, trying to cut Panesar he only provides an edge through to Bairstow behind the stumps. The home favourite is on his way for 116 from 155 balls, and he's getting a standing ovation as he leaves the field at the MCG.
Over 45 - Australia 199/1 (Rogers 116, Watson 57)
It's January sales time for Rogers; everything must go. He bunts the first ball of the Stokes over shy of mid-off, then steers the next down to third man for four (what a productive area that has been for him in this match). He also has a dart at a Stokes bumper, getting a thin nick that falls comfortably short of Bairstow behind the stumps.
Over 44 - Australia 193/1 (Rogers 110, Watson 57)
Rogers has excelled in this innings at using the pace of the seamers and working the ball behind square on the off side. Twice he does it in the over for easy runs, meaning Australia now require another 38 for victory and a 4-0 advantage in the series with one more to play in Sydney.
Over 43 - Australia 190/1 (Rogers 107, Watson 57)
More clapping for the home supporters, Watson getting through to his 22nd Test half-century with a back cut off Broad that goes all the way to the fence. He follows that up by belting Bresnan back over his head for another four. Rogers makes it three boundaries in the over with a square drive, then pinches the strike at the end. The kill is going to be quick.
Over 42 - Australia 176/1 (Rogers 102, Watson 48)
Anderson returns to the attack - just need a five-for from him in the next three overs. Not much to ask, is it? There's cheering in his first over back, but it's for Rogers' hundred. The home favourite hits a cover drive for four to reach three figures in Test cricket for the second time in his career, and at the 'G' as well. A special moment for a player who must have at one stage thought the chance to make a Test ton on home soil had passed him by.
Over 41 - Australia 172/1 (Rogers 98, Watson 48)
Bresnan on - England set a 7-2 field in an attempt to frustrate Rogers out. His response is to work anything really full to leg, including a lovely straight drive through mid-on for three that saw him take a pace down the track at the bowler. He moves to 98, Watson is on 48 and we have a milestone race on our hands. About the only thing of interest right now, to be honest.
Over 40 - Australia 167/1 (Rogers 93, Watson 48)
No third man sees Watson get a four off a thick outside edge. Rogers had put him on strike with a much better stroke, driving Broad through a packed cover field for three. The century stand comes up for this Australian second wicket. Nine from the over and now it's down to 68 required.
Over 39 - Australia 158/1 (Rogers 90, Watson 42)
Rogers now into the 90s with a pull for a single out to deep backward square leg. Fat lady warbling loudly now...
Over 38 - Australia 157/1 (Rogers 89, Watson 42)
Broad's mood can't be good having seen two chances go down off his bowling today. It can hardly be improved by the sight of Rogers running him down off the face of his Kookaburra blade for four to third man. Australia now need just another 74 for a 4-0 series lead.
Over 37 - Australia 152/1 (Rogers 83, Watson 42)
Australia's 150 comes up - Stokes ahead of Anderson after the break as well. Three singles as Cook continues to hold his left wrist after taking that blow in the previous over. That would just about be the cherry on top of this bitter cake if England lost their skipper for Sydney.
Over 36 - Australia 149/1 (Rogers 82, Watson 41)
Entertaining start to the afternoon, to say the least. Watson gets a booming drive out for three runs from the first ball bowled by Broad, then watches from the non-striker's end as Rogers nicks the next. This time Bairstow rightly dives for it, but while it carried it was extremely low down. Only just carried to the wicketkeeper, and poor Cook cops the half-volley right on his forearm. That was a tougher opportunity than the one Bairstow didn't move for earlier in the day.
Australia's session, then. Any hope England had disappeared within the first half-hour as this clearly broken, dispirited side spurned two chances to get themselves into the game. Rogers had an early let-off and has played fluently and easily to reach 81 not out and carry his side to within striking distance of a 4-0 lead. Will be wrapped up by tea.
Over 35 - Australia 143/1 (Rogers 81, Watson 36)
Stokes back on. Gets an inswinger to lodge in the flap of Rogers' pad off the inside edge. Batsman doesn't know where it's gone and ends up inadvertently releasing the ball towards the stumps. Almost hits them. Wouldn't have been out; the ball was dead once it lodged in the pad. Bit of light relief, though. And that's lunch.
Over 34 - Australia 142/1 (Rogers 81, Watson 35)
This is really ugly. Panesar bowling half-volleys and long-hops outside off stump with very little protection on the offside. Rogers finds gaps off a half-volley for two and then a long-hop for three before Watson chips over midwicket for three more. Another overpitched delivery is placed past cover for two more by Rogers. Panesar showing why Cook didn't give him the ball sooner, I'm afraid.
Over 33 - Australia 132/1 (Rogers 74, Watson 32)
Rank long-hop from Broad, Watson cracks it past point for four. A hundred runs in the session now for Australia. Pietersen the lets one through his legs at mid-on to hand Watson two runs. Anderson does well to stop it being four runs given away. Target down to two figures.
Over 32 - Australia 126/1 (Rogers 74, Watson 26)
Far too easy this. Couple of singles for Watson either side of a long-hop from Panesar that Rogers cracks past point for a hard-run three.
Over 31 - Australia 121/1 (Rogers 71, Watson 24)
Broad back into the attack. Aussie fans resolutely continuing their policy of booing him at every turn even as they close on a 4-0 series lead, because of that thing in the summer when he did absolutely nothing wrong. Sure Haddin will be booed to the middle should England get a few wickets here, after his shameful performance yesterday in claiming Pietersen was hit wicket when the wind blew the bails off.
Over 30 - Australia 120/1 (Rogers 71, Watson 23)
Here's Monty! Rogers sweeps him to long-leg for an easy single. Watson dabs a drive to cover for another.
Over 29 - Australia 118/1 (Rogers 70, Watson 22)
Root on again. Still no Monty today, although there is a sighting of the great man as he chases a Rogers leg-glance down to fine-leg and saves a run. The lack of Panesar seems bizarre, but may be a window on England's long-term thinking.
Over 28 - Australia 113/1 (Rogers 66, Watson 21)
Watson spends the whole over trying to get a drive past the infield off Anderson. Eventually manages it, and gets two runs. Just 118 more runs to win.
Over 27 - Australia 111/1 (Rogers 66, Watson 19)
At least it's quick. Not quick and painless. But quick. Back-to-back boundaries for Watson on the drive, bashing Bresnan down the ground and then getting just enough bat on a relatively risky square-drive to get four.
Over 26 - Australia 102/1 (Rogers 66, Watson 10)
Rogers racing Australia to victory here. The hundred comes up with a powerful pull that splits the two men on the boundary rope.
Over 25 - Australia 98/1 (Rogers 62, Watson 10)
Swing and a miss from Watson against Bresnan, before a good batsman has the batsman swishing and gloving the ball just out of Bairstow's reach for four. Adds a single before Rogers walks towards the bowler and drives through the covers for three more. Loves a three does Rogers. And an all-run four. Just part of his appeal.
Over 24 - Australia 90/1 (Rogers 59, Watson 5)
Anderson looking for swing against Watson. There isn't much. A shovel to leg brings a single, before another late-cut between slips and gully brings Rogers four more. Playing beautifully after that early let-off this morning.
Over 23 - Australia 85/1 (Rogers 55, Watson 4)
Watson whips a straight delivery from Bresnan out to Panesar at deep square leg for one. Miss that and he was dead in the water, so England won't be too disappointed to see him play such a shot. Rogers continues to race along, taking Australia to the drinks break with a late cut past gully for four more. The hosts now need another 146 to go 4-0 ahead in the series.
Over 22 - Australia 80/1 (Rogers 51, Watson 3)
Rogers is looking to win this game with threes, whipping Stokes away through mid-wicket for another trio of runs. He does reach the boundary rope in the over, albeit with a fortunate inside edge that misses both his stumps and the outstretched hand of the diving Bairstow, though the ball went all along the ground so wasn't a chance. A single from the next delivery takes him through to his sixth Test half-century and his second of the match - he's rattling along here at a right old pace. England had popped in a short leg for Watson with Stokes bowling, though he's a little deeper than normal and stationed behind square. The field change results in the right-hander pushing the ball into the space at mid-wicket where the man had been taken from, allowing him to take an easy single.
Over 21 - Australia 70/1 (Rogers 42, Watson 2)
No surprise to see Bresnan replace fellow Yorkie Root; the seamer has dismissed Watson six times in six Tests. No prizes for working out what the plan is here - England are going to test that Watto front pad out, with BresiLad looking to get some late movement back in from a full length. Good maiden to start with.
Over 20 - Australia 70/1 (Rogers 42, Watson 2)
Watson gets off the mark with an inside edge that deflects onto his pad and goes towards square leg. Queries as to whether England could do with a man under the helmet, but that 'chance' would probably have pinned him right in the chest before he had any time to react. Stokes is no-balled in the over for knocking off the bail - 'The Finn Rule' is in play, even when the Watford Wall isn't even on the field.
Over 19 - Australia 66/1 (Rogers 41, Watson 0)
Rogers ends the latest Root over with a drive that pierces a packed off-side field and brings him two runs, Stokes doing the fielding before launching a throw back to Bairstow that forces the wicketkeeper to run backwards to collect. Booming arm from the boy Ben. Will that be it for Root, now Watson's out in the middle? For now Stokes will continue.
Over 18 - Australia 64/1 (Rogers 39, Watson 0)
Two lovely boundaries from Rogers before Warner's dismissal. He waits on something a little short from Stokes and simply guides it down to the third man fence. The next delivery is understandably fuller as the bowler adjusts, only the left-hander is quick to get on the drive. He pushes the ball sweetly to the right of the diving mid-off. Australia now need another 167 with nine wickets in hand.
WICKET! Warner c Bairstow b Stokes 25
Finally England manage to cling on this morning! Warner tries to upper cut the final ball of the Stokes over, only to feather a nick through to Bairstow. The wicketkeeper duly takes the chance above his head and the tourists have that initial breakthrough, albeit third time lucky.
Over 17 - Australia 55/0 (Rogers 30, Warner 25)
Root tries everything to try and tempt Warner; there's a half-tracker that is cut straight to the man just behind point, then a low full toss that is cracked at extra cover. In the end it's a maiden.
Over 16 - Australia 55/0 (Rogers 30, Warner 25)
Rogers tries the upper cut again, this time only making contact with fresh air as he comes close to offering an edge behind. Of course, had it taken the edge, there's a pretty high chance any fielder would have dropped it.
Over 15 - Australia 54/0 (Rogers 30, Warner 24)
Funky change from Cook - Root coming into the attack in just the 15th over. Reckon he's got the nod ahead of Monty due to two left-handers being out in the middle. Seamers being saved for later on, with reverse swing likely. Root gives up just a single, Warner getting it with a push into a large vacant gap at mid-wicket.
Over 14 - Australia 53/0 (Rogers 30, Warner 23)
DROP! And another one goes down! Cook again, and this time there's no doubting it was his catch. Warner goes for the drive, nicks it straight to the England captain...who inexplicably floors it. That's both Rogers and Warner dropped now, and the target is down to 178. Poor Cook didn't know where to look after picking the ball up from the turf. The whole crowd gasped, too.
Over 13 - Australia 48/0 (Rogers 27, Warner 21)
Just a single from the Anderson over, Warner getting it when a drive towards extra cover is only half stopped. Still talk about that miss for England, you can't let such opportunities go to ground when you've not got a million runs to play with. Time for the first change in the attack - Broad off, Stokes on.
Over 12 - Australia 47/0 (Rogers 27, Warner 20)
DROP! Rogers gets a life when he nicks Broad defending off the back foot, Cook diving to his right but only able to palm it away for four runs. At first viewing it looked like Bairstow could have gone for it, and the replays quickly show it was a catch the wicketkeeper should have at very least put in a dive for. As if to rub salt in the wounds, the fortunate Rogers upper cuts the next ball way over the top of the slips for four more.
Over 11 - Australia 36/0 (Rogers 19, Warner 16)
Singles for both batsmen in the Anderson, both coming backward of square leg. Ominous signs for England as, back home at the Alexandra Palace, an Australian squeezes home in a dramatic finish. Simon Whitlock has reached the last four at the PDC World Championships, Australia here need another 195 to make it 4-0 in the Ashes.
Over 10 - Australia 34/0 (Rogers 18, Warner 16)
'CAAAAAAAATCH' is the cry from bowler Broad when Warner slices a drive through backward point. Sadly there's no man anywhere near to catch it, with the ball flying away to the fence for the first boundary of the day. Australia's target now down to 197.
Over 9 - Australia 30/0 (Rogers 18, Warner 12)
Anderson opens up, and from around the wicket. Rogers shuffles across to each and every delivery, defending solidly to mean we start this fourth, and surely final, day of this Test with a maiden.
There are a few cracks on the Melbourne pitch, but it's nothing like the Perth Canyons and the surface will be blameless if Australia do muck this up. Stuart Broad says England's plan will be to try and keep a lid on the scoring rate as they did in the first innings and get the ball reversing. It's a sound plan.
It's the fourth and, let's be honest, final day of this fourth Ashes Test at the MCG. After a bizarre day yesterday, the equation is simple: 201 runs for Australia, 10 wickets for England; 4-0 or 3-1. England were staggeringly poor yesterday, giving away lots and lots of hard-won ground in this game. But they're not out of it by any means against a side who have been
- 25th - 29th Dec 2013
- Australia won the toss and elected to bowl.
- Melbourne Cricket Ground
- A S Dar, H D P K Dharmasena
- TV Umpire
- B F Bowden
- Match Referee
- R S Madugalle
- Reserve Umpire
- J D Ward
australia BATTING CARD
|C.J.L. Rogers||c Bairstow b Panesar||116|
|D.A. Warner||c Bairstow b Stokes||25|
|S.R. Watson||Not out||83|
|M.J. Clarke||Not out||6|
|Total||51.5 Overs||231 - 2|