Roy reaches his ton in the grand manner, lifting Lyon into the crowd. He’s an all-or-nothing cricketer, which is what you need at the top of a one-day order.
23rd over: England 166-0 (Roy 94, Bairstow 71) Paine is standing up to Stoinis now, which means there can’t be a bouncer, so Bairstow is ready to seize on a slightly full one and whip it through midwicket.
22nd over: England 159-0 (Roy 92, Bairstow 66) Another decent over from Lyon, which goes for three. Spin is the way to go today.
Jonny Wilkins has a thought. “Why can’t Stokes just replace Wood, Plunkett or Willey? 3 seamers and 3 spinners (inc Root)?” He could, although Root has usually been the seventh bowler, not the sixth.
21st over: England 156-0 (Roy 90, Bairstow 64) Stoinis is tonked to cow corner by Roy, who needed to take a pill at the end of the last over. Just think what he would have if he was feeling well.
“I liked the question about what you call 2/3 maiden,” says Robin Hazlehurst, “but I’m not sure it is safe to answer on The Guardian. A slightly fallen angel? It was only a kiss, honest? Yes I was a bit tipsy but we didn’t do that!? Probably better stop now before it’s too late.”
20th over: England 146-0 (Roy 84, Bairstow 61) Lyon bowls the second-best over of the innings and has a fine shout for lbw, pinning Roy on the back pad with an off-break. Not out, says the ump, and although Hawkeye has it hitting, it would have been umpire’s call, so the Aussies are right not to review.
“Can I be an old curmudgeon?” asks Chris Drew. If you’re that polite, I’m not sure you qualify. “I know this is filling grounds, and it’s great that there is a match in Chester-le-Street, but this is getting a bit tedious. I want something more entertaining, say like another Test against Pakistan. Yours in old curmudgeonness.”
19th over: England 143-0 (Roy 82, Bairstow 60) More ones and twos off Stoinis, who also bowls the first wide of the innings. And that’s drinks. I won’t insult you by saying who’s on top.A question instead: if you were Tim Paine, what would you do? Resign, or seek political asylum?
While you’re thinking about that, we have an answer to my musings about what to call part-maidens. “OK,” says Agnes Soo, “if three dots balls is a half-maiden and four a two-thirds maiden, then six is an extra virgin over…”
For a run-out, which may be the Aussies’ best hope… But it’s not out.
18th over: England 134-0 (Roy 76, Bairstow 58) If in doubt, change the bowling. Paine removes Agar and reverts to Lyon, who almost beats Bairstow’s sweep, only to see an edge squirt away for four more.
17th over: England 127-0 (Roy 74, Bairstow 53) Paine takes Stanlake off after one over and tries Stoinis, who at least steers clear of carnage, conceding a two and three singles.
“Great commentary, Tim.” There’s no need for that, William Hargreaves, but thanks anyway. “I’d agree with your pre-innings comments that Aus v Eng always has ‘ticker’, and that even without the old foe identities there is always something to play for – even if just the ever-present averages rankings, tactics and positions in the team.” Is it enough, though?
16th over: England 122-0 (Roy 72, Bairstow 50) Bairstow goes to yet another fifty, off 40 balls, which is almost sedate by his recent standards. Roy then reverse-sweeps Agar and gets four for it. The boundary count has reached 20, and even Agar has gone for ten off an over.
15th over: England 112-0 (Roy 66, Bairstow 41) Paine doesn’t seem to have a clue what he’s doing, poor man. He recalls Stanlake, whose extra pace just makes it easy for Bairstow (a pull for four) and Roy (a miscued whip, also for four). Fewer than 200 to go. Do feel free to follow Argentina-Croatia with Scott Murray if you reckon it might be more exciting than this.
14th over: England 103-0 (Roy 62, Bairstow 41) After working out how to milk Agar, Roy and Bairstow rack up yet another hundred partnership, off 80 balls. But even then Agar almost has Roy caught at deep mid-off, as he plays a loose chip onto the green.
“Apropos nothing,” says Nigam Nuggehalli, promisingly, “481 is fantastic but we must remember it came against a team missing two of its best batsmen and three of its best bowlers. The real marker would be India in July when the English batsmen will face off against Yuzvendra Chawla and Kuldeep Yadav, the spinners who outfoxed South Africa on their turf. Looking forward to a great contest.” Fair point, though England were missing two first-teamers themselves – Stokes and Woakes.
13th over: England 97-0 (Roy 60, Bairstow 37) Facing Richardson, Bairstow plays a dreamy straight drive for four.
And here’s Tom van der Gucht. “It was interesting watching Root bowl his full 10 overs today. With all the talk of Hales making way for Stokes, when he’s fit, due to his allrounder role, perhaps a conversation has occurred within the dressing room that the decision isn’t quite as straightforward. Maybe Root’s more pedestrian batting strike rate and Moeen’s inability to finish the innings has led to them being told that they too are in the firing line and have to fight it out with Stokes for two allrounder spots…. Pretty unlikely considering Root has our highest ODI average, but the top 3 combo of Bairstow, Roy and Hales is a terrifying prospect for opponents.”
12th over: England 90-0 (Roy 58, Bairstow 32) Agar is playing a different game from everyone else – a game that is not hopelessly one-sided. He keeps these two blasters to three singles, so he has gone for only two an over, while everyone else averages 8.6. He can bat too, and has a calm temperament. As Paine seems quite unsuited to one-day cricket, I’d make Agar captain.
11th over: England 87-0 (Roy 56, Bairstow 31) Roy is seeing it so well that he can play a glide off Richardson through the vacant first slip for four. That was delicious, even if Ricky Ponting called it an edge. Roy has received 40 balls and sent ten of them to the boundary. Bairstow, not to be totally outdone, punches for four himself.
10th over: England 76-0 (Roy 50, Bairstow 26) At last, a good over. Ashton Agar comes on as Paine suddenly remembers that Roy has a weakness against slow left-arm. Agar beats him, has that appeal for a stumping, finds some turn and only concedes a single, as Roy punches to longish-off. That brings up another riotous fifty, off 36 balls.
“Which team will be more disappointed that Australia didn’t score 495?” wonders Robin Hazlehurst. “Australia because it is quite a lot of runs, or England because it would have given them a crack at the 500? Were Australia being deliberate spoilsports by losing those late wickets and not getting there? Will such comments come back to bite me on the bum later on? Have I just doomed us? Oh Hubris! So many questions…”
For stumped against Roy, off Agar. Neat work from Paine but never out.
9th over: England 75-0 (Roy 49, Bairstow 26) That 15-run over has done for Neser. Jhye Richardson takes over and he too goes for four first ball as Bairstow spots something slightly short and flays it past cover. Only Stanlake has started with anything better than a four-ball. Richardson then manages four dots, or a 2/3 maiden (neologisms please), before offering a half-tracker which Bairstow flashes over short third man for four more. He has 26 off 20, which is a new twist on second fiddle.
8th over: England 67-0 (Roy 49, Bairstow 18) A whip for two off Lyon, followed by a rasping cut for four. Can someone please take a wicket?
7th over: England 61-0 (Roy 43, Bairstow 13) Neser continues, and continues making the same mistake – straying onto the pads, once to each batsman, twice resulting in four. When Neser finally locates the off side, Roy cracks another four. He has 43 off 28 balls, and is showing that when you’re in top form, sport becomes dead simple.
6th over: England 46-0 (Roy 33, Bairstow 18) Desperate Tims, desperate measures. Paine brings on Nathan Lyon, about five overs ahead of schedule. He fires in a dart, and Bairstow says thanks very much and cuts it for four.
An email from John Tumbridge, at the ground. “It’s 6pm on the longest day of the year, the sun’s out, Roy is seeing the ball like it’s a beach ball. Why are the floodlights on?” Good question.
5th over: England 38-0 (Roy 32, Bairstow 6) Neser keeps Roy quiet for a full three balls, before handing him a tuck for two. We need a word for that – the half-maiden, quite the triumph these days.
4th over: England 35-0 (Roy 30, Bairstow 5) Roy hooks Stanlake and top-edges for the first six of the innings, before driving another four. Perhaps getting bored, he then invents a new stroke, the flap off the hip, and that goes for four too. Stanlake has gone for 2-0-26-0, and Paine ponders the most poisoned chalice since the Tories put Theresa May in Number 10.
3rd over: England 21-0 (Roy 16, Bairstow 5) “Rich form?” mutters Bairstow. “Him?” So he blasts Neser through the covers for a boundary of his own. Not to be outclassed, Neser has a shout for lbw (inside edge, and maybe going down) and then finds the top of Bairstow’s bat as he tries an expansive cut.
2nd over: England 17-0 (Roy 16, Bairstow 1) Paine plays it straight at the other end, summoning Billy Stanlake. If the idea is to make Neser look good, it works, as Stanlake dishes up two half-volleys in the channel, and Roy punches them away for four either side of mid-off. He is in rich form.
“Evening Tim.” Evening Damian Clarke. “I’m with you, in the summerhouse, drinking in the evening sun, and the Tempranillo. The new wine rack might have been a poor call. There is a good chance my wife will find me here in the morning, snoring gently with a battery dead laptop staring blankly at me.” That’s the spirit.
1st over: England 5-0 (Roy 5, Bairstow 0) Tim Paine throws the new ball to Michael Neser, who starts with a gift – a gentle half-volley on the pads, with no fine leg. Jason Roy duly puts it out of its misery. Still, Neser, like several of this Aussie team, has a good beard, halfway from hipster to WG.
Thanks Simon and evening everyone. Or should that be anyone?
There is, it has to be said, not a lot riding on this. For the Aussies, there’s the chance of a bit of self-respect – which they’ve achieved by reaching 300. For England, it’s just one more step in what could be a first 5-0 rout of their old enemy. Most interesting development of the day so far: Joe Root, spotting that Alex Hales may have edged him out of the first-choice XI, sets about turning himself into an allrounder and rattles through ten tidy overs.
I’m going to hand over to Tim de Lisle, who will take you through England’s reply. Bye!
Ricky Ponting on Sky thinks “if you’d have offered that to the Australians after the toss, they would have taken it”, and that they have posted a very competitive total. I think he’s being a bit optimistic, but the Lyon effect could still make things interesting.
According to The Cricket Prof on Twitter, Paine has played just 18 attacking shots in this series, which have brought 19 runs and seen him dismissed four times, giving him a dismissal rate of one wicket every 4.5 balls he attacks.
50th over: Australia 310-8 (Richardson 5, Lyon 3) Lyon comes out and has a wild swing, the ball hitting the toe of the bat and looping into the air. It’s going nowhere near a fielder so Willey hares after it himself, arriving just a moment too late to claim a five-for. Still, his last two overs brought four wickets at the cost of nine runs, which isn’t too shabby.
WICKET! Paine lbw b Willey 3 (Australia 305-8)
Paine heaves, misses and the umpire’s finger goes up instantly! That’s four wickets in eight balls for Willey!
49th over: Australia 304-7 (Paine 3, Richardson 2) Wood bowls full and straight, and it works so well he keeps doing it. There’s one wide – his fifth delivery, another yorker, slides down the leg side – but two fresh batsmen can do nothing better than occasionally send the ball squirming away for a single, and Australia boost their total by a meagre four.
48th over: Australia 299-7 (Paine 1, Richardson 0) Willey’s sixth over brings three runs, three dismissals and perhaps fatally undermines Australia’s efforts. Both of their centurions have been dismissed the very next ball after reaching 100.
WICKET! Neser c Buttler b Willey 2 (Australia 299-7)
And another one! This one is short, wide, and Neser moves backwards to give himself room to nick through to the keeper!
WICKET! Marsh c Overton b Willey 101 (Australia 296-6)
That’s great fielding! Marsh smashes the ball towards the boundary at long on, Roy catches it but his momentum is taking him over the rope so he throws it to Overton, running round from midwicket in support, whose job is simple! And Willey is on a hat-trick!
WICKET! Carey c Overton b Willey 6 (Australia 296-5)
It’s a low full toss that Carey lifts to deep midwicket, where Overton runs forward to take the catch!