The Ashes Day 2 As it happened, England vs Australia: Australia on top after Steve Smith's maiden ton
Steve Smith remained 138 not-out as Australia scored a huge 492/9 declared in their first innings while England crawled along to 32/0 at stumps. This after the opening session on Day 2 was wiped out by rain.
Australia may have found their long-lost batting abilities. The tourists are hoping to build on a commanding knock from Shane Watson and further punish England in an inconsequential fifth and final Ashes Test.
Scorecard | Commentary
00:10(IST): That's it for the day! Bad light stops play in the middle of 17th over. Australians do not look amused as Cook and Root saunter off. England played slowly but that was required in the moment. 32/0 after Day 2, with Australia leading by 460 runs. (Read Day 2 report)
23:41(IST): A four here and a four there but largely quiet at The Oval. Root and Cook on 13 each as England crawl to 28/0 after 14 overs. Another 8 remain in the day.
23:22(IST): While James Faulkner is impressing on his debut with a few hits and misses and near edges. Alastair Cook especially in trouble. All going at snail's pace for England now as they look to survive. 14/0 after 9 overs, trail by 478.
22:50(IST): England off to a bright start with Alastair Cook and Joe Root. Cook hit 6 off Mitchell Starc's over that begun the innings. Ryan Harris meanwhile bowls a maiden from the pavilion end.
Australia declare! With Ryan Harris' caught and bowled by James Anderson on 33, Michael Clarke calls his men in on 492/9. Steve Smith remained not-out on 138.
22:35 (IST): Ryan Harris is caught and bowled by James Anderson. Australia declare at 492/9.
22:18(IST): Australia in cruise control as declaration looms. A couple of sixes - one each by Steve Smith and Ryan Harris - off Graeme Swann have them racing along. Australia 477/8 with 26 overs remaining in the day. Smith on 136 and Harris on 21.
WICKET! James Faulkner holes out at deep square leg boundary. Chris Woakes gets his first Test wicket as Jonathan Trott completes a safe catch. Faulkner got a quick 23, Australia 422/7.
21:33(IST): 400 up for Australia! Came up with Faulkner taking a couple off Chris Woakes. Now 401/6 in 118 overs.
21:13(IST): Tea on Day 2! Australia on 397/6 with Steve Smith batting on 112 off 227 and James Faulkner on 1 off 9. Australia scored 90 runs in 27 overs for Brad Haddin and Peter Siddle's loss to Jonathan Trott and James Anderson respectively.
At 24yrs, 81 days old, Steve Smith is the youngest #Ashes centurion for Australia since Ricky Ponting - 22 yrs, 219 days (Leeds 1997)- BBC TMS (@bbctms) August 22, 2013
WICKET! Brad Haddin dismissed! Right after Smith's brilliant century, Haddin drags on one from the innocuous Trott. Australia 385/6. In comes James Faulkner.
20:54(IST): Steve Smith reaches his first Test ton! with a straight six off Jonathan Trott. What an achievement. He also has 5 half-centuries to his name. It was a bit of a grind but Smith does it. Australia 384/5.
2018 hrs (IST) - Review! England ask for TV umpire's decision as Brad Haddin lets one go past his pads. Wicket-keeper Matt Prior is certain; replays are too. Not out it is then!
1922 hrs (IST) - Wicket! Peter Siddle is England's first victim of the day as James Anderson claims his third. Pitching on middle and off-stump, the ball swung just a bit but enough to break through the Aussies defence. Australia 320/5 in 90 overs.
1920 hrs (IST) -Smith looked good all through Wednesday and even today, so far, has shown maturity in his approach. Siddle at the other end is happy being, well, at the other end as predictions for what is a good total in the 1st innings do the rounds:
450+ will set up another winning opportunity like Old Trafford, hoping rain doesn't take a potential victory away! #Ashes- Tom Moody (@TomMoodyCricket) August 22, 2013
1915 hrs (IST) -Injury alert! Jackson Bird of Australia is taking an early flight back home. Back pain has forced him to return once again after his India tour earlier this year too was cut short for the same reason. "Jackson has had low back pain over the past week of The Ashes tour and will return to Australia today to begin the process of investigating the source of the pain and rehabilitation," Aussie physiotherapist Alex Kountouris says.
1900 hrs (IST) - Day 2 starts! Steve Smith and Peter Siddle face Anderson - the second highest English wicket-taker in Tests!
1834 hrs (IST) - Reports suggest play is likely to start at 1900 hrs (IST). This assuming rain does not resume once again.
1820 hrs (IST) - The covers have started coming off. The latest from the middle is that an inspection will take place around 1830 (IST).
1753 hrs (IST) - Weather update: Lunch may be over here at The Oval but the light rain continues to pitter and patter. If the weathermen are to be believed though, half a day's play is what will be possible.
1750 hrs (IST) - The sky still has a grey colour painted all over here. Here is the full report from what transpired since the morning today.
1700 hrs (IST) -And that will be Lunch! No action in the opening session of play. Rain continues.
1640 hrs (IST) - Light rain continues to lash The Oval. Lunch will be taken at 1700hrs IST. Supersopper and the ground staff have been hard at work but the 1st session of play is pretty much lost to clouds above.
1555 hrs (IST) - Meanwhile, experts and commentators are having fun as we wait for the start of Day 2. Take a look:
1535 hrs (IST) - Delayed start! The covers have been off for some time now but the outfield is slightly wet which has led to the start of Day 2 being pushed back by a bit.
1525 hrs (IST) -What were the experts saying after Day 1 at The Oval? Here is what Mike Atherton wrote in his column in The Times today: Australia are playing 5 seamers; England 2 spinners. It is a bit like walking into a party dressed as Elvis Presley and the first person you see is in black tie. You know one of you has got things wrong.
With the pitch expected to turn as Day 3 moves into the 4th, the hosts may have played their cards right but cricket remains as unpredictable as ever.
1518 hrs (IST) - Pitch report: While the covers are off the pitch under an overcast sky, the playing track remains dry and flat. England bowlers will have to work really hard once again but going forward, expect it to turn. Today though, Australia can look forward to another good day to pile on the runs.
1510 hrs (IST) - Weather update: It is currently 19C in London and has been raining slightly since morning. Forecast is of intermittent drizzles but the drainage system at The Oval is likely to ensure that there is no delay.
1502 hrs (IST) -Steve Smith has looked good through the course of his 66. He will once again have Peter Siddle (18*) for company today. For England, the experience of James Anderson will be the trump card as the newbie bowlers were pretty ordinary and were made to struggle on Wednesday. Read: Watson grateful for England's selection blunder.
1500 hrs (IST) - Day 2 of the fifth Ashes brings with it, further hopes of Australia finally getting some of their plans and tactics right. After what was a superb effort on Day 1 at The Oval - led by Shane Watson's 176, the visitors are looking to build on their overnight total of 307/7.