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The Ashes 2023: England V Australia, First Test, Day One – live

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69th over: England 341-7 (Root 91, Broad 9) A bonkers field here set by Cummins. He has a slip in place and nearly every other Aussie is prowling the perimeter. Brownian Motion for the Baggy Greens.

Just a couple off it in the end. Time for a slurp of something luminous for the players.

68th over: England 339-7 (Root 90, Broad 8) Raucous cheers greet a Broad sweep for four. Fair to say it’s getting a bit bibulous in the Hollies stand.

Simon McMahon has got his bucket-hat firmly in place:

“Jim, (Even) quick(er) runs needed now before the declaration, Jim. Australia two down before the close…” Don’t bet against it – more than a few of you have emailed in about the declaration. Fully fledged nut-nuts the lot of ya.

Stuart Broad sweeps away to the boundary. Photograph: Paul Childs/Action Images/ReutersJoe Root now reverse-ramping actual Pat Cummins for six. It’s remarkable.

— Will Macpherson (@willis_macp) June 16, 2023 67th over: England 331-7 (Root 82, Broad 1) Root plays another extraordinary reverse-ramp off PAT CUMMINS for… SIX! Just remarkable and so effective. He moves to 89. Seek that one out on the highlights. Trust me. Palms starting to glisten at the thought of Root getting a first-day-of-the-series Ashes ton.

“Dear James

Basil Brush would say this is boom-boom time.


Chris Purcell”

Oh, Joe Root. Stop it. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images66th over: England 323-7 (Root 82, Broad) Stuart Broad is the new batter, he only really plays one way but England do sort of need someone to hang around with Joe Root here. I was going to say this is all very reminiscent of Edgbaston ‘05 when England racked up 407 in a day… they are in danger of not quite getting there now.

@Jimbo_Cricket Stop running down to Nathan Lyon England!!! Totally unnecessary. Agressive is fine, giving him wickets…not good!

— Brendan Large (@brendanlarge) June 16, 2023 Well, quite.

WICKET! Moeen Ali st Carey b Lyon (England 323-7)The fun is ended by the Lyon and Carey combinayshun. See ya later innovator! Moeen dances down and connects with a big bag of nothing, nifty work from Alex Carey behind the timbers. It was good while it lasted.

65th over: England 320-6 (Root 80, Ali, 17) Wonderful stuff from Moeen Ali! Pat Cummins bounds in at him and serves up some width that Sparkhill’s finest carves away square for four. Wait for it. Next ball is banged in short and Moeen pulls it away for SIX! Travis Head on the leg-side fence can only watch as the ball soars into the jubilant crowd.

64th over: England 310-6 (Root 80, Ali, 7) Welcome back Mo! An attempted reverse sweeps brings him a slightly streaky four but there was nothing dodgy about the next one – a hop and a skip down the the wicket to dispatch Lyon to the rope at mid-on!

63rd over: England 298-6 (Root 79, Ali, 2) Eeeeesh! Moeen nearly perishes by offering a plinked return catch to Cummins. The ball just sneaking past the Aussie skipper. A nifty single brings Root on strike and he continues on his merry way, angling a single behind point to bring up England’s 300.

62nd over: England 298-6 (Root 78, Ali, 1) Moeen Ali is the new batter! He gets a mighty reception as he strides out decked in whites once more. And he’s off the mark with a single straightaway.

“Profuse apologies to Dr Jim Harris:

Dear Jim,

Quality jinxing there in the 60th over.

Please be more down in the mouth regarding England’s prospects.


Dr Jim Harris”

Normal service will resume shortly

WICKET! Bairstow st Carey b Lyon 78 (England 297-6)Godddim! Lyon gets his man in the end – Bairstow cracked a half-tracker away for four but the next ball sees him dance out of his crease and waft at fresh air – Carey snapping off the bails with Bairstow well out of it. The crowd give him a raucous send off but that is a big wicket, he’ll feel he’s left plenty out there.

Jonny Bairstow looks at his wicket in despair after being stumped by Alex Carey. Photograph: David Davies/PAA poignant moment from earlier on

Amazing Grace in the 56th over for Grace and Barnaby, two cricket lovers lost way too soon in Nottingham this week ❤️

56 was Barnaby’s playing number and ‘Amazing Grace’ for Grace.

Our thoughts again with all involved including Ian Coates.

— England’s Barmy Army 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁥󠁮󠁧󠁿🎺 (@TheBarmyArmy) June 16, 202361st over: England 292-5 (Root 77, Bairstow 74) You could sense it… TEN off the over to Jonny B! He smites Hazlewood through cover, the ball tracing across the baize to clatter into the hoardings. More! Hazlewood bangs one in and Bairstow pounces on it, swivel-pulling the ball away behind square.

This is the 11th century stand between Root and Bairstow in Test cricket, only three pairs had more century stands for England. Proper Criggit.

60th over: England 282-5 (Root 77, Bairstow 64) Bairstow skips down the track and dispatches Lyon over mid-wicket for four. Thats the century stand between Root and Bairstow. YJB is really starting to tick, you can sense something building.

59th over: England 274-5 (Root 75, Bairstow 58) Despite looking an bit ginger at times, Hazlewood has been Australia’s best bowler. He’s got 2-46 from his 13 overs of graft and keeps England to a single off his latest.

Hello to Quentin Seik who pops up with an old Wallace family favourite!

“Hi James,

The first thing that popped into my head regarding children’s tv and Ashes players was Bertha aka Johnny Bairstow. I had misremembered her being red – hence the connection. She was actually green but somehow there is still a resemblance.”

58th over: England 273-5 (Root 74, Bairstow 58) Fifty for Jonny Bairstow – he came in with England in strife at 170-odd for five and has biffed along merrily thorughout the afternoon. A hard sweep brings up the half-ton and he follows that up with a lofted drive for four more. He’s ticking and ther England fans are in full voice.

“Is the mantra no longer “get ‘em in singles” ponders Thomas Atkins, “But ‘get them in knife-edge fifty partnerships’. Given how deep England bat I can see us getting 400+ without a single partnership of longer than an hour or so.”

57th over: England 262-5 (Root 74, Bairstow 48) Anything you can do… Hazlewood keeps it to a single off the over. I demand a refund…

56th over: England 262-5 (Root 74, Bairstow 47) Lyon gets through a positively parsimonous over, just a single to Bairstow off it.

“Stig of the Dump for Jack Russell or vice versa” offers Tim Quinn.

Brian Withington is spot on with this one too:

“Hi James,

Responding to Tim Sowula’s splendid challenge, can I offer the opening credits of this old classic children’s series, Stingray

The immortal words ‘Stand by for action!’, and ‘Anything could happen in the next half hour …’ could almost have been designed for the Stokes era of Test cricket. And what about that theme tune!”

55th over: England 261-5 (Root 74, Bairstow 46) The crowd let out a low groan of delight (calm down) as Bairstow plays one of the shots of the day, a drive threaded through the field on the off side off , wonderful hands to manipulate the ball into the gap. Scotty B has gone for 86 from his 14 overs so far today. He snaffled Crawley earliet but it has been quite chastening stuff for the Melburnian.

54th over: England 252-5 (Root 74, Bairstow 39) Lyon is worked away (more sedately) for a couple of singles.

Ian Sargent has gone down memory lane:

“Obo-ers of a certain age will recall Bod – an animated-ish kids series of the late 70’s early 80’s.

Every time Stuart Broad complains about the shape of a ball I often think that it might look a bit like the lead characters head.

Other than that, Top Cat was a favourite of mine. Stokes as Top Cat – Root as Choo-Choo the smart pink one with the white polo neck (clearly nursing a bad back) – Rob Key as Benny (the ball) – Spook, the street savvy one surely Jimmy Anderson – Fancy the ladies man, Stuart Broad.”

Matt Kirkham in County Down isn’t afraid of chiming in either:

“Hi Jim.

If putting together a team of children’s TV characters, I would suggest Postman Pat for his nifty deliveries.

And if needed Igglepiggle could go in as night watchman.”


53rd over: England 252-5 (Root 73, Bairstow 38) First over back after tea and it is business as usual. By which I mean Bairstow inside edges the ball past his stumps for four and then Joe Root get his reverse ramp/lift shot out and the ball sails away for six! Just when you thought Root was the normal one. Twelve runs off the over. And why not eh?

Joe Root of England reverse lifts Lyon for a delicious six. Photograph: Matt Impey/ShutterstockOut come the players for the final session, buckle up *knucklehead

Pretty much sums it up:

England get to tea on 240 for 5 – Root 66, Bairstow 33. That’s worse than expected from 175 for 3, but better than expected from 176 for 5. Another session of 100+ runs.

— Lawrence Booth (@BoothCricket) June 16, 2023I’m off to raid the buffet but will be back shortly.

52nd over: England 239-5 (Root 65, Bairstow 32) That’s Tea. Phew. A pulsating session, both sides trading blows. The players leave the field for some sustenance to the trills of…

The Hollies Stand sings “You’re just a shit Moeen Ali” to Nathan Lyon

— Matt Roller (@mroller98) June 16, 2023 51st over: England 238-5 (Root 65, Bairstow 32) Bairstow dices with death and Cam Green’s ridiculous wingspan as he cuts uppishly just out of reach and picks up four. This has been a good counter-punch from England, eight more runs pilfered from the over and Scott Boland’s Test average is ticking north.

Thanks for all your emails about Kids TV cricketers, I’ll be onto them at tea. See that, managing expectations. Isn’t that what parenting is all about? We’ve got one more over left in the session.

Jonny Bairstow edges the ball past a diving Cameron Green for four runs. Photograph: Graham Hunt/ProSports/Shutterstock50th over: England 230-5 (Root 65, Bairstow 24) You have to laugh. Root plays three reverse-sweeps in a row off Lyon. He hits the first for four. Is given out LBW off the second but reviews immediately, a flick of the glove saves him and the decision reversed. The third? Yep – four more.

49th over: England 222-5 (Root 57, Bairstow 24) Boland has looked a bit out of sorts today, he looked more threatening and was more miserly at the WTC final last week. I guess it doesn’t help when the opposition are constanty trying to bash you away. Nevertheless he strays onto the pads and Root gleefully whips him away for four.

48th over: England 217-5 (Root 51, Bairstow 19) Lyon twirls away but doesn’t get out of his over cleanly, Bairstow bunting a full ball down the ground for a bondary. Cummins is rotating his bowlers, Scott Boland has been summoned.

Colum Fordham is a bit miffed:

“Given that Stokes has more than one string to his “strong” bow, and that he is perfectly capable of defending well, that unnecessary waft after Harry Brook’s fluke dismissal was a tad annoying.

Bairstow and Root desperately need to put together a big partnership, but the Aussies will already be smelling blood.”

47th over: England 211-5 (Root 51, Bairstow 19) A single each to Root and Bairstow. It’s absorbing cricket. John Lowery is feeling a smidge melodramatic:

“Stop all the clocks, cut off the telephone, Prevent the dog from barking with a juicy bone, Silence the pianos and with muffled drum Bring out the coffin, let the Bazball be done.”

46th over: England 209-5 (Root 50, Bairstow 18) Root and Bairstow are rebuilding after the loss of Stokes and Brook. Green drops short and wide and is clattered square of the wicket by Bairstow. YJB has got the bit between his gnashers.

This made me chuckle:

In the words of a titan….difficult, difficult, lemon difficult.

— Rory Dollard (@thervd) June 16, 2023 45th over: England 202-5 (Root 50, Bairstow 12) Cummins does a big starfish mid pitch to try and convince Marais Erasmus of an LBW shout but the umpire is unmoved. Rightly so, it was sliding down leg.

44th over: England 201-5 (Root 50, Bairstow 11) Fifty for Joe Roooooooot. Edgbaston bursts into a rendition of Hey Jude Joe Root. Cool Hand Joe has got his series off to a fine start, and England need him to go on here. Crunch! Bairstow drives Green on the up through cover for four! 200 up for England.

Bazball is conceding your first maiden at 2:30 and being all out by 3. #ENGvAUS

— Isabelle Westbury (@izzywestbury) June 16, 2023 43rd over: England 190-5 (Root 45, Bairstow 6) Pat Cummins replaces Hazlewood and England collect a couple of runs.

The new Bluey episode, cricket, is a perfect homage to the backyard game, and an example to never give up in pursuit of your dreams, writes Simon Smale.

— ABC News (@abcnews) June 12, 2023 I haven’t seen this yet but plan to watch it and use it as indoctrination on my two year old daughter. She’ll learn…

42nd over: England 188-5 (Root 44, Bairstow 5) Green sends down a bouncer with his first ball. A collective oooh from the crowd and the press box. Bairstow pushes for a single and it’s a tidy first over.

Sweet Baby Tim Sowula sends in a humdinger:

“Afternoon Jimbo,

This morning, to introduce my children (8 and 4) to the wider meaning of the greatest sporting contest for teams in the world, I showed them the new episode of (wonderful Aussie children’s cartoon) Bluey that is about the Australian relationship with cricket and is apparently making even the hardest of walrus-moustachioed Australian mums and dads feel nostalgic about sepia-tinged days in the backyard with leather and willow.

It made me think what might be an English equivalent? Can Hey Duggey quickly produce an Ashes badge where Tag, Roly and chums have to go on a quest to recover an urn and listen to King Tiger reminiscing about the glorious summers of the 1980s (lets forget 89-03) and then McGrath rolling his ankle and the wonder of 05?

Which children’s icons can be utilised to explain the psychodrama of English cricket?”

Over to you OBO hivemind!

41st over: England 187-5 (Root 44, Bairstow 4) Sublime from Joe Root! He stands tall and whips Hazlewood through mid-wicket for four runs with swiss-clock timing. Cameron Green is coming on for his first ball of the day. He’s really big, it’s messing with my depth perception.

Joe Root cracks a shot for four off Hazlewood. Photograph: Graham Hunt/ProSports/Shutterstock40th over: England 177-5 (Root 38, Bairstow 3) The Stokes dismissal was eerily remiscent to his waft in the first innings at Headingley in 2019… am I trying to muster something? Joe Root clips Lyon away for a couple, he’s still there for England after being down t’other end whilst the two big wickets fell. It really was a double-whammy – remember the old Strongbow advert with the arrows? Like that. Dufff-Duffff.

39th over: England 177-5 (Root 36, Bairstow 1) Breathe. Bairstow gets off the mark with a push off Hazlewood. Hello to OBO stalwart John Starbuck!

“Jim, surely, if Australia swarm, England are in the sticky stuff?”

Yep. And it ain’t honey.

Bairstow is struck on the pad first ball and Australia go up for it! Hazlewood isn’t sure but the review is called for… Close! The ball was just sliding over leg stump. Just. This is all getting a bit much if I’m honest.

Jonny Bairstow walks out to a huge cheer…

WICKET! Ben Stokes c Carey b Hazlewood 1 (England 176-5)Now that is a BIG MOMENT! Stokes slashes at a wide one and gets a meaty edge to Carey behind the stumps. Australia swarm and England are now in a pickle.

Uh oh. Photograph: Mike Egerton/PAWICKET! Brook b Lyon 32 (England 175-4)GONE! Terribly unlucky way to get out for Brook, the ball looped up and then hit him on the back of the leg to trickle into the stumps. He can’t believe it but he has to go, dragging himself from the turf and the Aussies are cock-a-hoop. That feel like the first big moment of the series, Brook was looking dangerously good. Ben Stokes is the new man and is very nearly out first ball to a rank reverse sweep. Calm down everyone!!

38th over: England 176-4 (Root 36, Stokes 1)

Harry Brook looks on as the spins back onto his stumps to lose his wicket for 32. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images37th over: England 174-3 (Root 36, Brook 32) Knock me down with a bucket hat – a maiden. Josh Hazlewood bowls the first of the day, keeping Harry Brook honest.

36th over: England 174-3 (Root 36, Brook 32) Lyon is over the wicket to Root but he’s worked away for a couple and then a single. Brook clips one to that man Travis Head and the crowd get stuck in again.

Lovely from Carlos Glover:

Hi James

“The day when cricket “got me”: the last day of the last test at the Oval, 1968. Australia were one up in the series but when that day started England had a very good chance of squaring the series. Then in the early afternoon, five Aussies wickets down, there was an incredible downpour that flooded the ground. There was no chance of resumption and the ashes were gone. I switched the telly off.

Then with about an hour left, my friend rang up to say they were playing again. I switched on to see the whole England team within a yard or two of the pitch, Derek Underwood bowling. He bowled left arm spin at about medium pace. Australia were batting out time, but every time I was about to give up and turn off, he’d get another. With five minutes to stumps he had Inverarity LBW and England had won.

It was unforgettably exciting and I’ve been an Ashes devotee ever since.”

Great to have you with us, Carlos.

35th over: England 170-3 (Root 35, Brook 29) Hazlewood replaces Boland but Mr Economical is being roughed up by England. Root crunches a half-volley to the fence through extra-cover and then Travis Head is given the biggest cheer of the day as he misfields at backward point to gift Brook another four. Brutal/Funny/Cricket. Nine runs off the over. England clattering along post lunch.

34th over: England 161-3 (Root 30, Brook 25) Just a couple off Lyon’s over as we all take a breath.

Bonjour to Jeremy Boyce tuning in from France.

“Hi Jim, I’m just in from work and catching up fast. We won the toss and elected to put Bazball to the ultimate Test. 100 up before lunch on the first day sounds ok to me, not exactly thundering along but any team that can take these Baggy Greens for 5 an over is doing ok, even on a road of a pitch. I

I’ve got plenty of memories of Boycott/Edrich/Amiss/Denness/Steele/Tavare Ashes experiences where 123 would be considered respectable by TEA ! Those 3 wickets may hurt though, that afternoon session is going to be pivotal methinks…”

33rd over: England 159-3 (Root 29, Brook 25) Blimey. An eventful over… Brook launches Boland over mid-off for four imperiously and shows his deft touch too with a late cut for four more. DROP! Shades of Simon Jones here in 2005, a long hop is cloth’d by Brook and finds a diving Travis Head at short-third, the ball dying on the fielder but does get to him on the full and he spills it! The Hollies mock as one. Woudl have been a bad way to go for Brook, it wasn’t a good ball. It is not dull.

Butterfingers. Photograph: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images32nd over: England 148-3 (Root 29, Brook 14) Lyon loops it up at about 57mph and is twiddled away for four off the over.

Edward Thompson is feeling wistful…

“In 2005 I was staying in a hostel in Edinburgh with a mixture of English and Aussies. We’d stolen a green piece of carpet and made a Wicket in the middle of the room for occasional grudge matches during lunch and tea etc.

When we finally got that glorious light reading one of the Aussies smashed up the whole room with the cricket bat and it honestly made the whole experience even better.”

31st over: England 144-3 (Root 26, Brook 13) Thanks for your emails, I can see them spooling into my inbox out of the corner of my eye. Will delve in soon. Boland has clicked into the mid 80s on the speedo but is picked off either side of the wicket to bring five more to the total.

Right then. *Greases knuckles*.

Hello to Simon Barton.

“Hi James,

I’m an expat living in NZ, currently on an overnight flight between Tokyo and Auckland. Following the OBO when I should be sleeping. Can you confirm that England are likely to be rolled by the time I land? In about 4 hours.”

Might well be Simon. But then they might have racked up 500 odd by then too.

30th over: England 138-3 (Root 22, Brook 10) Here we go! Harry Brook saunters down the track and plops Nathan Lyon for four over mid-off. Oozing confidence. Yeeesh! A thick edge from Brook flies past slip off the next and it’s a spawny two. The scoreboard ticking.

Harry Brook hits Nathan Lyon for four. Photograph: Paul Childs/Action Images/Reuters29th over: England 127-3 (Root 22, Brook 3) As has been the way today so far, two more singles milked off Scott Boland and it all looks very easy until he beats Root with one that jags off the last ball. Complacency be damned.

28th over: England 127-3 (Root 21, Brook 2) Lyon gets down on one knee and implores Umpire Raza to raise his finger but there’s nowt doing – it was headed down leg Nath.

“That wicket just before lunch has tipped the balance in favour of the Aussies” writes Michael Galvin.

He’s not wrong.

“Big responsibility on Root and Brook.” Do this side feel responsibility anymore, isn’t that old hat Michael? Who knows. But yes, the Yorkshire pair need need a decent partnership here or England might start to teeter. (Do they believe in teetering… and so on and so on)

27th over: England 125-3 (Root 20, Brook 1) Harry Brook gets off the mark with a glide into the gap at lunch. The young tyke was delightfully punchy in his pre-game presser:

“Have you thought about how you might play against Nathan Lyon?”

“What do you think? I’m going to try and take him on!” 👀

Harry Brook speaking ahead of his Ashes debut 👇

— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) June 14, 2023Nathan Lyon is coming onto bowl…

Thanks Rob, masterly stuff as per. Hello everyone, exciting this isn’t it? Welcome to Edgbaston where there’s a slight build up of fuzzy cloud, the sort that might get Huw Swanborough musing on ball movement…

“Calling it now, this ball will start to reverse earlier than we expect (next 15 overs) and to quite a decent degree as the evening goes on.

I’d like to see a better look of the ball, but I suspect this pitch is scuffing it more than usual, and the Duke is prone to reverse…. I think we’re going to see batting get substantially harder.”

The Aussies would be happy with a bit of cloud or reverse swing this afternoon, saying that, they’ll be quietly pleased with their morning’s work. This pitch looks FLAT and they’ve prised out three of England’s top order.

The players are on their way out, Scott Boland has the ball in his mitts. What a flippin’ thrill this is.

Time to hand over to the brilliant James Wallace, who is making his Ashes OBO debut. Give him a good hand – and, if you want to get in touch, you can email him or tweet @jimbo_cricket.

Thanks for your company and emails, sorry I couldn’t round to them all. I’ll leave you with this from Marcus Abdullahi.

“Laura Cooney writes that she used to watch cricket in the sixth form during lunch breaks and free periods,” writes Marcus. “They weren’t free periods; they were study periods. No wonder the country is going to hell in a handcart.”

And that was 18 years ago.

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