Australia’s Tim Paine plays down on-field comments to England’s Ben Stokes
Australia captain Tim Paine denied his side had let sledging go too far as England laid the foundations for an victory.
SCORECARD | AS IT HAPPENED
England batted during day as they will look to stretch that 400 when they restart on 313-8, and also piled a towering lead of 382 at The Oval.
The tourists attempted to unsettle the hosts with a stream of chatter in a morning session, together with Matthew Wade apparently to the fore, and the stump microphone picked attempts to end up Ben Stokes throughout his combative knock of 67.
The England all-rounder overlooked the final Ashes series Down Under following his arrest for a night scuffle in Bristol – an episode that ultimately led to his acquittal on charges of affray – and references to the city proved seemingly audible from the fielders.
Paine was brought in to captain his country in an attempt to clean up Australia’s standing and run after the sandpaper scandal and didn’t take kindly to suggestions.
«You let me. It’s aggressive Test cricket and people will talk to each other,» he explained.
«I don’t know why it is such a problem. It is fine. They’re grown men having a conversation, no one is swearing, nobody really is currently abusing anybody: it is Test match cricket and that I don’t know why a lot is made of something little, particularly given the standard of cricket being played.
«I believe there is much more to discuss. I think both sides have played this show in good spirit.»
Joe Denly was out in the midst for more than any other batsman since he underpinned the England innings and he dropped to fan the fires some further.
«I did not hear anything about Bristol but if Ben comes into the crease, the sort of player he is, they are going to try and unsettle him,» he said.
«Stokesy copes with this fairly well. There is always going to be a bit of niggle but nothing on the lineup, just a bit of friendly banter.»
Denly has been a couple of days that are memorable, using a dad for the second time in between the first and second days of this game. To follow that news up at his final look of the summer with a performance of authentic grit and substance rested and surprisingly well left him articles.
«I had a very good last night because I stayed at the hotel and got about 10 hours! The preceding night I just had about three hours so I caught up,» he explained.
«I missed the birth of my child – he arrived three months early and that I had been playing Derby, the midwife stated’do not hurry’ so I did not! I missed it and hit traffic. So it was good to have there and see my little woman. It has been a special few days.
«It’d have been nice for the milestone having worked so hard but I’d probably take it, yeah. England are in a really strong position going to day four and we get a couple more runs and set them under pressure.»
See live coverage from day four of the fifth Test on Sky Sports The Ashes, by 10.30am on Sunday.
Follow over-by-over commentary and in-play clips on skysports.com along with the Sky Sports App.
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