Australia 602/9, England 53/3. We've been there before. Many times.
What if Freddie had won the toss yesterday? And said "this pitch has a bit of life in it, we'll bowl first"? Yeah well, what if he decided to have a bat? Maybe they would have gotten 400 and felt happy with themselves.
Instead, they batted second... starting about an hour before stumps on the second day. They might make 400. In fact, they need 403 to avoid the follow-on. That's not looking too good right now.
Ricky Ponting gave us Test cricket's second nervous one-ninety of the week (after Mohammad Yousuf Youhana's 192 against the West Indies at Multan). Australia's best batsman since Bradman? Steady on lads. The Don would never have choked on 196. Run out his partner, maybe...
Alistair Cook's Letter From Australia: "Straussie holed out off McGrath. Belly came to the wicket but we'd swapped ends. Next ball I nicked straight to Warnie. Test lost already. Can I go home now?"
So much press footage on the web you'd think there was a soccer world cup going on. Special mentions to The Guardian, as classy and entertaining as ever, and to CricInfo, as thorough and worthy as ever.
Nick Whittock's doing another Ashes blog and his poem for day two is already up.
My Midwinter-Midwinter points for Friday... not easy to differentiate a 3-2-1 but I'm going to give McGrath's gamebreaking consecutive wickets max points. The Bass Strait Bradman earns more points, and Senor Cricket gets further acknowledgment for his double-hundred partnership with aforementioned BSB. I was tempted to nudge Sarfraz Clark in for a point for his batting, or even Pup Clarke for his batting. No room for Frederick Flintoff either.
3 pts: Glenn McGrath. 2 pts: Ricky Ponting. 1 pt: Mike Hussey.
Progress: Ponting 5; McGrath 3; Langer, Hussey 2. The series winner gets the honour of having his name associated with that of WG Grace's most famous stalking victim.
Finally, the playlist for the day two podcasts is attached. Match highlights and analysis from the ABC, followed by the podshows from the Guardian, Beeb and Tele, and Chappelli's pearls of wisdom. Almost an hour and a quarter of listening pleasure.