Ashes: Australia v England, fifth Test, day two, Sydney

Australia bowl England out for 155 before stretching their lead to 311 in the final Ashes Test in Sydney.

3 January 2014 Last updated at 22:58

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As it happened

  1. 0735: 

    And this is what it has come to, straw-clutching of the highest order. The only success left for England to achieve in this series appears to be the carrot of dragging the final act of this whitewash into a fourth day.

    Will they succeed, or will tomorrow be the day that the urn is finally placed into baggy green hands? Join us from 2300 GMT to find out.

  2. 0731: 

    More from Graham Gooch: "It's going to be really tough from here on in. This is not the flattest of pitches and having seen it behave over the first couple of days 326 was way above par in my opinion.

    "We can't just give up. To me it looks like 250 would be a good score. I don't think it's a fear of failure. They have just outplayed us. We have not been good enough."

  3. 0730: 

    So it seems a matter of when, rather than if, the whitewash will be completed.

    Australia probably already have too many runs, but they will press on in the morning, perhaps until Rogers has a hundred.

    After that, it will be a question of how long England's batsmen can hang on for.

  4. 0728: 

    England batting coach Graham Gooch: "We have not been able to get to grips with the Australian bowling attack. We've got one hundred in the series and that is not going to win you anything.

    "I can't fault the players for the way they prepare and practice, but we have not been able to implement the pans and put some pressure on the Aussie bowling attack.

    "If you just let them dominate it's very difficult. You have to take it to them a bit."

    Text 81111

    Julian in Surrey: Its all very well to say England are rubbish and Australia play an exciting 'brand' of cricket and England don't, but it seems to me that Johnson and Harris are bowling as well as any strike combo in the world for many years, ably supported by Siddle. I would like to see how Amla or Jayawardene would play them. Respect to great bowling.

    BBC Radio Test Match SpecialCATCH UP WITH BBC RADIO

    Want to relive all the overnight action you've missed? BBC Radio 5 live sports extra will replay the entire day's play from 1100 GMT, and will play highlights from the close of play until then. Also this morning, BBC Radio 5 live brings all the best analysis and reaction on Ashes Breakfast. You can hear both 5 live and 5 live sports extra on digital radio, online and via the BBC Sport app.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "We have to find out if Andy Flower really wants to continue in the job. You need the energy and drive and you have to be like Sir Alex Ferguson, where you dismantle a team and then identify the players to face Australia in 2015. Then you have to get those players ready."

  8. 0725: 

    There's reports doing the rounds that ECB chief executive David Collier has confirmed Andy Flower will continue as England team director. Stick with BBC Sport for the latest on that story, as well as the thoughts of cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew and chief sports writer Tom Fordyce, who has filed his report from Sydney.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "I think Australia will try and get another 120 in the morning and then stick us in after lunch."

  10. 0723: 

    With a full session remaining in the day, England faced an evening of leather-chasing and a deficit of 300 by the end of the day. That is exactly what happened, though the touring pacers at least took four scalps with them.

    Chris Rogers, though, stood tall in an impressive unbeaten 73, taking the Aussies to 140-4 at the close, scored at nearly five an over.

    They return tomorrow with a lead of 311, probably already too many.

  11. 0719: 

    Stokes shouldered arms to be bowled and debutant Scott Borthwick made only one. In the end, it took the hitting of Stuart Broad, in the company of last-man Boyd Rankin, to drag England past the follow-on. At 155 all out, England conceded a lead of 171.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "We were never in the contest from the first half hour, when they just blew us away. The best cricket from England came from the kids - Ben Stokes played very well, played straight and Gary Ballance did alright. I've always felt that he is mentally tough and heart for the challenge. He gets runs for Yorkshire when they are in trouble and I think that has helped get him on the tour. I'm glad he came through the baptism."

  13. 0715: 

    Then came a little fight from the potential future of the England team. Ben Stokes was unflappable for his 47, Gary Ballance looked decent on debut in support. When Ballance went after lunch, even Jonny Bairstow dug in. But, when Bairstow prodded Siddle to silly mid-on, it was the beginning of the end.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "I thought it was frightening for Jimmy Anderson. Most tail-enders don't have the skill to handle genuine pace, even top batsmen can struggle. It leaps at you off a length and you feel they are going to get hurt. It was nasty - but it's not the bowlers fault, that's what he's paid to do."

  15. 0713: 

    The second ball was when Alastair Cook unfathomably shouldered arms to Ryan Harris to be plumb lbw. What followed was an hour of the most brutal, dangerous, hostile and skilful fast bowling you could wish to see. Runs virtually extinct, wickets possible from every ball. Nightwatchman James Anderson, Ian Bell and Kevin Pietersen all went, England reduced to rubble at 23-5. Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson dominant.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "It was a very depressing day, and it started with the captain. He had no distractions of captaincy - he could just think about batting and he padded up playing no shot. It was a total misjudgement."

  17. 0709: 

    "Quite so bad" might be a bit of an understatement from Geoffrey. It went wrong for England from the second ball of the day, and they never recovered.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "I didn't think when play started it would be quite so bad. We had Cook, Bell and Pietersen who are excellent and have good records around the world. I didn't think they would beat Australia but I didn't think they would be bowled out for 150. The youngsters looked better than our best players."

  19. 0700: 
    CLOSE OF PLAY- Aus 140-4

    And that's yer lot, George Bailey watchfully leaving a maiden to go to the close of another horrible day for England. After the tourists were bowled out for 155, Australia sleep on 140-4, a lead of 311. Surely they will wrap up a 5-0 whitewash either tomorrow or on day four.


    BBC Sport brings you all the news and analysis from the first Test throughout the day. Cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew and chief sports writer Tom Fordyce are in Sydney, while you can see everything you've missed at-a-glance with our Ashes catch-up.

    In addition, you can hear the Pint-Sized Ashes two-minute review, as well as the thoughts of Aggers and Boycott in the TMS podcast.

  21. 0658: 
    Aus 140-4 (lead by 311)

    Boyd Rankin isn't having much fun out there, even a simple long-barrier stop causes injury to hands and a knee. It's mixed from the whippy Borthwick, four singles coming from the over. One left in the day.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "There's just enough in the pitch to interest the seamers and spinners, but if you are watchful in defence and show judgement you will get chances to score runs."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  23. 0654: 
    Aus 136-4 (Rogers 71, Bailey 18)

    Now, Alastair Cook has come in for a little flak, but you can't help but feel for him. At the start of this series, he team was full of bankers - Jonathan Trott, Graeme Swann, Matt Prior - now he looks around and sees the inexperience of Jonny Bairstow, Scott Borthwick and Gary Ballance. That's not to knock the new lads, but it must affect a skipper when he is robbed of so many generals. James Anderson returns, just a leg bye from it as we meander towards the close.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Stuart Flavell: I'm hoping to see 'The Empire Strikes back' in 2015.

    Simon Clay: Rankin doesn't look good enough for Test cricket. Pressure too much for him? Helping Bailey prolong his Test career.

  25. 0649: 
    Aus 135-4 (lead by 306)

    Indeed it will be Borthwick, asked to roll his leggies 15 minutes from the close. My shout that Borthwick looks like a young Billy Mitchell gets mixed reviews on the live text desk. An in-out field, Australia will surely look to come after him, but Borthwick is decent enough to concede just four singles.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "If this is Boyd Rankin's bowling, he is not going to get wickets in Test cricket. He needs accuracy like Glenn McGrath if he's going to have any chance because he isn't quick enough."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  27. 0645: 
    Aus 131-4 (lead by 302)

    Still Rankin, England fielders retreating as far back to the beaches of Bondi, Coogee and Manly. George Bailey, barely a run in the series, 15 to his name here, is faced with only two slips as the sun briefly returns. The lead passes 300 as Scott Borthwick gets loose. Good luck to him if he has to bowl tonight.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "This is a game which has moved quickly, but that's what happens with teams like Australia who play an entertaining brand of cricket which gets you more wins than not."

  29. 0640: 
    Aus 127-4 (lead by 298)

    Chris Rogers is flying here. Granted, he's being helped by Ben Stokes bowling on both sides of the wicket, but the leftie is finding the middle of the bat with regularity. A clip off the toes, a cut behind point, a drive down the ground - shots all around the wicket off front and back foot - three boundaries. England could barely get the ball off the square this morning, but, despite the wickets, Australia are going at more than five an over.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Matthew Ball: What a stupid plan this is! Bailey has no idea where off stump is and Cook has set a field to bowl short. Unbelievable.

  31. 0636: 
    Aus 112-4 (Rogers 52, Bailey 14)

    Now then, Boyd Rankin, unimpressive so far today, is back into the attack. Rankin has struggled with both line and length (a lethal combination) and now seems to have a field set for short-pitched bowling. Short leg, two men on the hook, despite the fact that 12 of the 24 wickets to fall in this match have been catches to the wicketkeeper or slips. Maybe full is the way to go? No? Short, nine from the over, including a Bailey hook for four. You know best...


    Jason Glover: The Misfits.

    Clive Bentley: Lost.

    Mike Hawkins: I think 'Fright Night' just about sums up all these dismal hours of viewing over the past few months.

  33. 0631: 
    Aus 103-4 (lead by 274)

    The SCG is emptying, Sydneysiders perhaps heading for a Saturday night in The Rocks or at Darling Harbour. Stokes gets one to bounce on Bailey, taking the glove but falling short of slip. When the flame-haired all-rounder goes full, Paul Collingwood-lookalike Bailey drives down the ground for four. Half an hour remains in the day.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Accumulating runs on the off side, leg side - a really good innings from Rogers. It's good that there is still room in Test cricket for this type of player, somebody who lays foundations at the top of the order."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  35. 0624: 
    50 FOR CHRIS ROGERS- Aus 98-4

    England's other obstacle is zinc-lipped and wearing an armguard older than the Ashes urn. A cover-driven four and a clipped single takes nuggety left-hander Chris Rogers to a sixth Test half-century, following up his hundred in Melbourne. He's looked much more fluent in these last two Tests than in the rest of the series. That fifty came from only 66 balls.

    Chris Rogers
    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Test cricket is all about first-innings runs for a batsman, so George Bailey knows his Test career is hanging by a thread. All he can do is try and score a few in the second innings, but people will always point to the first innings."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  37. 0622: 
    Aus 93-4 (lead by 264)

    Do England have hope? Not yet, you'd still fancy Australia to add another 100 and a chase of 360 seems well beyond the fragile visiting batting. Still, they will fancy their chances of shifting the out-of-form George Bailey and, if they can get Brad Haddin, they will be in to the tail. It's a big if, though.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Wickets are tumbling and England will have half a hope that they can bowl Australia out for 155 and chase 326. They are getting to the danger-zone where Brad Haddin is close to coming in. But first it's George Bailey who is short on runs."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  39. 0617: 
    WICKET- Smith c Cook b Stokes 7 (Aus 91-4)

    And another goes! England chip away at this Australia batting line-up, the seam bowlers continue to outperform the batsmen. It's Ben Stokes this time, persuading Steve Smith to edge to the safe hands of Alastair Cook at first slip. That's the 13th wicket to fall today, you feel we're heading for a three-day finish.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "It comes to something when you have 40,000 people in the ground and millions more watching, and the game stops for this."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  41. 0613: 
    Aus 86-3 (lead by 257)

    There was sand where Broad was taking off, but the groundstaff are now running out a square of turf. Have you ever seen part of the outfield re-layed during the match? Also, where on earth did they get that from? Do they just have bits of turf lying around for this eventuality?


    Some more of your suggestions for films to describe England's tour...

    Peter Seddon: Dazed and Confused.

    Matthew Webb: The Usual Suspects.

    Alex Nightingale: Don't Look Now.

  43. 0610: 
    OUCH!- Aus 86-3

    Eeessshhh, this doesn't look good for Stuart Broad, who gives a yelp as he pulls out in his delivery stride. He hops around, looks at his take-off area, then seems to take some stick from Kevin Pietersen. The players have a drink while the groundstaff are summoned, but Broad seems OK.

    BBC Radio Test Match SpecialCATCH UP WITH BBC RADIO

    Want to relive all the overnight action you've missed? BBC Radio 5 live sports extra will replay the entire day's play from 1100 GMT, and will play highlights from the close of play until then. Also this morning, BBC Radio 5 live brings all the best analysis and reaction on Ashes Breakfast. You can hear both 5 live and 5 live sports extra on digital radio, online and via the BBC Sport app.

  45. 0603: 
    Aus 86-3 (lead by 257)

    Just waking up? You've missed another day of English batting carnage. Alastair Cook went to the second ball of the day, but even that didn't suggest that a slide to 23-5 would follow. Ben Stokes, with 47, showed big heart, getting some support from Gary Ballance and Jonny Bairstow. Ultimately, though, England were shot out for 155, only just avoiding the follow-on. Now, despite the loss of three wickets, Australia are sprinting out of sight.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Saks: Why not make Stokes opening bowler, opening batsmen and captain. Proper backyard cricket.

    Zander Twine: We will have them 100 down for 5 again and then Haddin will come and take the lead past 500.

  47. 0600: 
    Aus 85-3 (lead by 256)

    Chris Rogers, fresh from a hundred in the second innings in Melbourne, has watched wickets fall at the other end but is looking increasingly fluent. He comes forward to drive Broad between mid off and extra cover for four. He's on to 40 from only 57 balls, with Australia bumping along at 4.72 an over. With an hour to go, they could add another 60 tonight.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Ben Stokes's body language is not good, he's not happy with that over. But that's good - he shouldn't be laughing. Perhaps something is not right in his delivery stride."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  49. 0555: 
    Aus 81-3 (lead by 252)

    Not a great start from Stokes, gifting Smith a long hop, which the Aussie number five pulls to the fence to get off the mark. That subdued atmosphere we spoke of is now a little more 'dued' - the Barmy Army are bouncing under the slight cloud of the Sydney evening. On the fine-leg boundary, Kevin Pietersen seems to be distracted by some promotional girls. One of them throws him a pen, which he pockets, presumably for some autograph signing.

    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statistician

    "Stuart Broad, with 237 wickets, has now gone to ninth place in the all-time England wicket-takers' Test list, ahead of Alec Bedser."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  51. 0551: 
    DRINKS BREAK- Aus 72-3

    The players are having a drink as Steve Smith makes his way to the middle. Replays of the Clarke dismissal pick up the noise the skipper made as he got that edge. It was like he'd been punched in the stomach. Ben Stokes to pick up the attack after the break.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "That was nice bowling that induced him into a shot he won't want to remember. He was drawn a little wide and credit to the bowler, he sucked Michael Clarke in."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  53. 0547: 
    WICKET- Clarke c Bairstow b Broad 6 (Aus 72-3)

    This is an admirable effort from the England seamers, with Stuart Broad returning to remove Australia skipper Michael Clarke. From just back of a length, Broad has got one to nip away, with Clarke unable to resist a limp prod. Jonny Bairstow has the simple task of doing the rest. It feels futile, because Australia may already be too far ahead, but what might have been had England put up a better effort with the bat? Then again, that's the story of the series.

    Fall of wickets: 27-1 (Warner 16), 47-2 (Watson 9), 72-3 (Clarke 6)


    Michael Clarke
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Gigs: Rogers has just scored one more than what some commentators like to refer to as a 'maximum.'

    Nick Bruzon: As if England can't help Australia enough, now they concede seven off one ball. How is that even possible? End this nightmare, now.

  55. 0543: 
    Aus 71-2 (lead by 242)

    Now this is something you hardly ever see. A seven. If it was on the vidiprinter it would say 7 (seven). A Rogers edge to third man is hauled in from the boundary, with the batsmen running three. When the return comes in, Jonny Bairstow hurls the ball at the non-striker's stumps and, with no one to gather, it runs all the way to the opposite end of the ground for four overthrows. Michael Clarke is giggling, but bowler James Anderson, who was nearly sconned by Bairstow's throw, looks ready to nail the keeper to the dressing-room wall.

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at the SCG

    "Suspended from a crane 300 feet above the SCG is a cage containing a table and chairs. Winners of a competition run by a poultry-based fast food firm are being given the chance to be hoisted aloft and watch the proceedings below while cramming their snouts with fried bird. It is possibly the only way any England fan in Sydney could feel any more sick than they do already."

  57. 0537: 
    Aus 59-2 (lead by 230)

    For the leggy Rankin, England have a short leg and a shortish square leg in place for Rogers. Is that a plan? If it is, I'm not convinced by it. When Rankin adjusts, Rogers can drive a long half-volley through the covers for four, then gets a tickle fine to another on-side delivery. Shots of the beige of Benauds make me think I'm watching Wide World of Sports. How did so many coordinate their outfits? Where did they get them from? Super effort that.


    Damien Talbot: Any Steven Seagal film - they were all rubbish.

    Aaron Aspinall: National Lampoons' Christmas Vacation.

    Reg Bull: Very Few Good Men.

  59. 0532: 
    Aus 51-2 (lead by 222)

    Though England have taken those two quick wickets, the game feels incredibly flat. The buzz created by the SCG when England were folding this morning has quietened, to be resurrected when Mitchell Johnson is unleashed tomorrow. There's the odd noise from the Barmy Army, but I wouldn't blame them if their enthusiasm is on the wane. Anderson into a seventh over, tidy to Clarke for a maiden. That might be it for Jimmy.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Stephen: Good catch Bairstow, about time he backed himself. See what a bit of confidence can do England.

    David Meacock: "Where has Boyd Rankin been all series!" they cried. On this evidence, bowling a metre outside leg stump in the nets.

  61. 0529: 
    Aus 51-2 (lead by 222)

    Boyd Rankin continues his lone search for a radar, with Rogers taking a couple through the off side. A slash between slip and gully...glory be, England have finally posted a third man for Rogers. Just a single. Obligatory short leg in for Clarke - I don't think he's been bounced out since Brisbane - the Aussie skipper off the mark.

    Glenn McGrath, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "The ball is carrying through nicely. James Anderson bowled three balls in the same area and one kept low but the other two were being taken above the eyeline by Jonny Bairstow."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  63. 0525: 
    Aus 47-2 (lead by 218)

    Henry Blofeld is right, Bairstow has left a couple of catches to first slip but this time he moved quickly to take a tumbling, one-handed catch on the stretch. Anderson beats new man Michael Clarke with a beauty that moves away. All in all, though, life in the wicket is not good for England.

    Henry Blofeld, BBC Test Match Special

    "That was a good catch by Bairstow - he has been leaving those in this match, but he decided to go for it and took it well. He got it absolutely right."

  65. 0520: 
    WICKET- Watson c Bairstow b Anderson 9 (Aus 47-2)

    This game continues to move along at pace. James Anderson strikes again, this time to remove his former bunny Shane Watson. Full of length, outside off stump, Watson prodding to get an edge behind, where Jonny Bairstow dives right to take a very good catch. At the moment, it feels too little, too late for England, but a couple more quick ones and they may start to believe. At least until Brad Haddin comes in.

    Fall of wickets: 27-1 (Warner 16), 47-2 (Watson 9)


    Shane Watson

    Chris Thomas: Gone in 60 Seconds.

    Peter Simmonds: Don't know about films, but Shakespeare's 'Much ado about nothing' would be up there.

    John Ellender: Combination of Groundhog Day and Titanic. I got a sinking feeling at the start of every Test.

  67. 0518: 
    Aus 42-1 (run-rate 4.20)

    Can you believe this? The hundreds of Richie Benaud lookalikes are cheering as former Australia prime minister Bob Hawke downs a pint of beer in one. Seriously. No wonder he got elected. Can you imagine John Major doing that at The Oval? Rankin continues to struggle with his radar, the England answer is to post a leg slip. Don't set a field for bad bowling.

    Bob Hawke

    Rich Kirk: Misery.

    David Wigfield: A Comedy of Errors.

    Bill Torbitt: We need to talk about Kevin.

  69. 0514: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Aus 39-1

    Bowling coach David Saker is on the boundary edge to chat to Rankin. "Bowl on off stump, Boyd." Anderson, improving as the evening sun lengthens the shadows, appeals for a leg before against Rogers that was similar to the Warner decision, but this is turned down on height. A clip for three, then Watson cuts for four.


    Clive Wells: Clueless.

    Andy Tyldesley: The Crying Game.

    Martin Hill: Crash.

  71. 0509: 
    Aus 32-1 (lead by 203)

    Now then, Boyd Rankin has recovered from the most serious bout of cramp cricket has ever seen and is able to have a trundle here. He's bowling to leftie Rogers, but begins with a good line to a right-hander. Four leg byes off Rogers' pad, then four balls on the leg side. Maybe someone could tell him that this bloke bats the other way around? A single, then Rankin sprays it down the leg-side of right-hander Watson. You couldn't make it up.


    John Wann: Les Miserables.

    Richard Smart: Magnificent 7 - Brad Haddin.

    David Ferguson: Slaughterhouse 5.

  73. 0505: 
    Aus 27-1 (lead by 198)

    Replays show how late Warner was on that, the ball actually nipped back a little. Shane Watson is the new man. If England can't get it full to target his pads, they may as well give up. He survives his first two balls, with Anderson taking some warm applause at the end of the over.

    Glenn McGrath, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "Caught on the crease. Anderson bowling a fuller length than he did in the first dig. Pretty dead, really."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  75. 0501: 
    WICKET- Warner lbw Anderson 16 (Aus 27-1)

    Note to the England bowlers - when you pitch the ball up, you have a batter chance of taking wickets. From around the wicket, James Anderson finally gets one in the right area to David Warner, who is trapped on the crease. The finger is up lighting quick, Warner sent on his way and England are on the board. The start of something special? Let's not get carried away.

    James Anderson

    Mark Dennison: England man of the series is going to be a tough call. I'm going for Steve Finn.

    Steven Finn
  77. 0459: 
    Aus 27-0 (lead by 198)

    Thanks, Marc. I think. There are 31 overs left in the day. Australia could be 320 ahead tonight.


    Arthur Graves: The Muppets.

    Alec Milne: Superbad.

    Peter: All Is Lost, starring Robert Redford, Andy Flower and Cap'n Cook.

  79. 0458: 

    While the players have a drink, it's time for me to hand over to Stephan Shemilt. Over to you, mate.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "England's brand of cricket has to change, they have to be more aggressive and pick players to play that brand. You shouldn't judge teams on home conditions - they doctored the wickets at home. Alastair Cook is the right man to lead England forward, but he has a long way to go. He has stood up as a leader on this tour, but needs to be more proactive in the middle.

    "Andy Flower staying on is fine, but he may need to take some advice from outside. Players do get bored of hearing the same voices, so some new energy should come into the back room. I'd bring in Paul Collingwood."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    We asked for your suggestions on the film that would best describe England's tour:

    Arthur Tiger Pringle: Last Man Standing

    Benny Singarajan: The 11 stooges down under

    Chris Painter: French animated film, A Town Called Panic?

  82. 0456: 
    Aus 27-0 (Rogers 11* Warner 16*)

    This 'I know how many runs you scored last summer' movie sounds interesting. Some of the current England batsmen would struggle to even appear in the credits. James Anderson briefly lifts spirits with an excellent diving stop at wide mid-off to deny David Warner anything other than a single from Stuart Broad's latest over.


    We asked for your suggestions on the film that would best describe England's tour:

    Michael O'Connor: Unforgiven.

    Paul Barker: Dumb and Dumber.

    Matt Ellis: Dodgeball.

  84. 0452: 
    Aus 26-0

    Once again, there are a dozen brave souls suspended above the SCG on a table suspended from a crane. Billy Cooper is also up there, blowing his trumpet. That man gets where water can't. James Anderson grits his teeth through another over, conceding just three runs to David Warner. This could be a long evening session.

    Text 81111

    From Dave Hall: I don't know about comedy, but there's a cricket-based Aussie horror film called 'l Know How Many Runs You Scored Last Summer' (no, really, there is, Google it). It can't match this series for horror mixed with abject farce.

  86. 0447: 
    Aus 23-0 (Rogers 11*, Warner 12*)

    If you can't beat them, join them. It appears both Stuart Broad and James Anderson have decided to grow facial hair a la Johnson and Harris. Broad continues to look the most threatening of the England bowlers as he beats Chris Rogers on the outside edge, but he spoils himself by dropping short and being pulled for four at the end of his over.


    Chris Clarke: Re. film. 'The good, the bad and the ugly'.

  88. 0443: 
    Aus 17-0 (Lead by 188)

    There is a gentle hum around the SCG, almost as if the entire ground is waiting to see when Australia's batsmen will grab the England bowlers by the throat. David Warner hits the fourth boundary in the first three overs with a bottom-handed punch down the ground.

  89. 0439: 
    Aus 12-0 (Rogers 4*, Warner 8*)

    David Warner beats his club into the crease and faces up to Stuart Broad - waiting just four deliveries before swivelling on a short ball and helping himself to four through backward square leg. He follows up by flicking another boundary off his legs down to a very fine, fine leg.

    David Warner

    From Richard: Is there any chance that this whole tour has been scripted by the Monty Python chaps as a massive marketing ploy for their comeback tour?

    Which comedy film would best describe England's tour? Let me know...

  91. 0435: 
    Aus 4-0 (Lead by 175)

    England throw a bit more coal on to the Burnley Express, but Lancashire's finest is beginning to chug now - James Anderson's pace is down and, as all series, there is little sign of any movement. Chris Rogers gets Australia's second innings up and running by cutting a four past backward point. Australia will have a maximum of 37 overs in which to bat this evening.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "England have got a miracle to perform. They have to bowl Australia out for 100 if they have any chance."


    Adrian Home in Singapore: Can we send this lot to Brazil and see how the football team do in the next Ashes?

  94. 0429: 

    England gather in a huddle. This is the last innings in which they will take to the field as one. Can they strike early and make this match even remotely close?

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Former England fast bowler Alex Tudor: Just got up to see the score hoping we would be doing well...155 all out back to bed I think.

  96. 0424: 

    England now face a pretty daunting evening session as Australia, who lead by 171 runs, try and put the game well and truly beyond the tourists. Maybe they should just forfeit their second innings?


    Peter Simmons: I suggest England reverses their batting order. Extras look promising as an opener.

    Chris in Malta: Please can someone tell me why a debutante number 10 with an average of eight can hang around and the muppets long before him can only make seven.

    Will in Hong Kong: What were the odds on Boyd Rankin outscoring Cook, Carberry, Bell and Peterson's combined scores?

  98. 0415: 

    The Australians shared the wickets around, with Peter Siddle taking 3-23, Mitchell Johnson 3-33 and Ryan Harris 3-36. Nathan Lyon bowled well to take the other.

    Mitchell Johnson and Nathan Lyon
  99. 0414: 

    Another depressing day for England then, which began when Alastair Cook was lbw to Ryan Harris in the first over of the day. Only Ben Stokes (47) and Stuart Broad (30 not out) truly made any dent in the Australians' first-innings 326 as England limped past their follow-on target to 155. Incidentally, the players are now taking tea.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    AADZ: Poor captaincy from Clarke, giving England free runs! Johnson should have been bowling as soon as Broad walked in.

    Chris Pope: England learning something from Haddin - lower order have put on at least five times as many runs as the top order.

    Ed Smith, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "It had been coming. One yorker, three short balls, then a yorker."

  102. 0410: 
    WICKET- Rankin b Johnson 13 (Eng 155 all out)

    That's all, folks! After testing Boyd Rankin with a couple of short ones, Mitchell Johnson pitches it up and beats the big Irishman all ends up. The death rattle lets the big man know his timbers have been rearranged.

    Fall of wickets: 6-1 (Carberry 0), 8-2 (Cook 7), 14-3 (Anderson 7), 17-4 (Pietersen 3), 23-5 (Bell 2), 62-6 (Ballance 18), 111-7 (Bairstow), 112-8 (Stokes 47), 125-9 (Borthwick 1), 155 all out (Rankin 13)


    Boyd Rankin
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Thomas Knights: The competition for England's worst day of the series is well contested, but today is making a very strong case, awful.

    Ian Vickery: England just aren't a team - just bits and pieces. Shot to pieces really!

  104. 0407: 
    Eng 155-9 (Trail by 171)

    Boyd Rankin has a first-class average of eight, but he sails past that on his Test debut by clobbering Nathan Lyon back down the ground for four. Stuart Broad also gets in on the fun with a lofted shot straight down the ground which runs over the boundary despite the best efforts of Ryan Harris on the rope.

    Stuart Broad
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Chris Miller: Any cricketing ability these England players had seems to have completely disappeared. Its been like Space Jam meets The Ashes.

    Nick Hayes: Why haven't England turned to Eoin Morgan? Test experience and still young.

    Nigel Davies: I have watched England for 35 years and this is up there with the worst I've seen.

  106. 0403: 
    Eng 146-9 (Broad 26*, Rankin 8*)

    Mitchell Johnson is loosening up in the eyeline of Boyd Rankin - going through a wide range of stretches to get himself loose for the challenge of bowling to the 6ft 8ins debutant. Three from the over as England continue to delay the inevitable.


    David Wallace in Spain: Can someone please tell Chris Gayle to take his bat to the SCG? England could do with him!

  108. 0359: 
    Eng 143-9 (Trail by 183 runs)

    Stuart Broad is like a deep-sea diver trying to salvage something from the wreckage of HMS England. After missing with a wild slog at Nathan Lyon, he manages to sweep the offie to the boundary before tipping the strike over to Boyd Rankin. Eight in total from the over

    Ed Smith, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "The word is Rankin isn't sure on the injury. He doesn't know if he has cramp or it was a muscle problem."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Elliot Newstead: So Lyon's spinning it on day 2. This pitch would've been ideal for a certain English off spinner that Swanned off at 3-0 down.

    Jack Copsey: Why didn't James Taylor get more of a chance at test level? He played well against the likes of Steyn/Morkel and looked solid.

    Mark Wager: The review of Australian cricket in 2011 said that players need to be accountable for performance. Maybe England need to start.

  111. 0355: 
    Eng 135-9 (Broad 19*, Rankin 4*)

    When the opposition has you by the throat, the last thing you want to see is a marauding rhino rampaging in your direction, but that's exactly what Stuart Broad and Boyd Rankin have to deal with as the former whips Ryan Harris through the leg side for a boundary. Broad tries a similar shot later in the over but it brings only a single.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "A lot of Australians are cheering because they want to see their own side bat again."

  113. 0352: 
    Eng 130-9 (Trail by 196)

    Australia circle for one last kill as big Boyd Rankin walks to the crease, and Stuart Broad gives the number eleven his head with a single into the off side. And the debutant drives the bowler back past mid-on for four to ensure the hosts will not be able to enforce the follow-on. It's a start.

    Henry Blofeld, BBC Test Match Special

    "Does Boyd Rankin know what the utensil in his right hand is for?"

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "That is a poor shot - his foot is miles away from the line of the ball. He can bat - he has had a good season for Durham - but that is disappointing. It's just going across him. If you don't have good footwork, you will get exposed at a higher level."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  116. 0346: 
    WICKET- Borthwick c Smith b Harris 1 (Eng 125-9)

    That follow-on target remains two runs away as Ryan Harris returns to the attack and induces Scott Borthwick into a flash outside off stump and Steve Smith takes a simple catch at third slip.

    Fall of wickets: 6-1 (Carberry 0), 8-2 (Cook 7), 14-3 (Anderson 7), 17-4 (Pietersen 3), 23-5 (Bell 2), 62-6 (Ballance 18), 111-7 (Bairstow), 112-8 (Stokes 47), 125-9 (Borthwick 1)


    Scott Borthwick
    Henry Blofeld, BBC Test Match Special

    "I'm sure two Durham left-handers have not been at the crease for England before, but I wonder when the last time two Durham players were batting together for England? I'm sure Collingwood and Harmison would have been together at some stage."

  118. 0343: 
    Eng 125-8 (Broad 13*, Borthwick 1*)

    Stuart Broad takes follow-on matters into his own hands by hammering Nathan Lyon into the stands before slog-sweeping four over midwicket. He adds a couple with a slice over the slip cordon, meaning England only need two more runs to avoid the follow-on.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "You could see England losing today if Clarke decided to bowl again."

  120. 0340: 
    Eng 113-8 (Borthwick 1*, Broad 1*)

    Is Michael Clarke thinking about the follow-on? He looks to be keeping Mitchell Johnson and Ryan Harris back, instead of trying to blow England's tail away. Peter Siddle has found an extra couple of miles per hour as he offers Stuart Broad some chin music, which the England man, who was once again booed to the crease, decides not to listen to. He takes then takes the only single of the over through square leg.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Paul Roberts: Good news for Yorkshire CC - Bairstow will be available for selection all next season.

    Dennis Edwards: I'd give Bairstow a couple more chances and if he fails, recall Prior. There doesn't seem to be much between them on this tour.

  122. 0335: 
    Eng 112-8 (Trail by 214)

    England still need another 15 runs to avoid the follow-on as Nathan Lyon rips one past the left-handed Scott Borthwick's outside edge. A maiden over as the tourists try to regroup.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Stokes played nicely, but it was a lack of judgement there. When your hear the death rattle, you know you have done something terrible. It's hit flush, not just clipping the stump."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "That's odd, because he's played nothing like that since he came in to the team. That hit the off stump hard. What a shame, because he has played really well."

  125. 0331: 
    WICKET- Stokes b Siddle 47 (Eng 112-8)

    Just when you think it can't get any worse, England remind us that it can. Ben Stokes, who has played superbly well, decides to leave a length ball and is left red-faced as the ball cannons into off stump.

    Fall of wickets: 6-1 (Carberry 0), 8-2 (Cook 7), 14-3 (Anderson 7), 17-4 (Pietersen 3), 23-5 (Bell 2), 62-6 (Ballance 18), 111-7 (Bairstow), 112-8 (Stokes 47)


    Ben Stokes
    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "After all that hard work, that is a terribly tame way to get out. He had one hand off the bat."

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "That's the problem with Bairstow, he gets in then gets out. He played nicely against Johnson, his technique had improved, but it's another opportunity missed."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  128. 0326: 
    WICKET- Bairstow c Bailey b Siddle 18 (Eng 111-7)

    Another tame England dismissal as Jonny Bairstow falls into the trap which had been set - popping up a simple catch to a grinning George Bailey at a very straight silly mid-on.

    Fall of wickets: 6-1 (Carberry 0), 8-2 (Cook 7), 14-3 (Anderson 7), 17-4 (Pietersen 3), 23-5 (Bell 2), 62-6 (Ballance 18), 111-7 (Bairstow)


    Jonny Bairstow
  129. 0326: 
    Eng 111-6 (Stokes 47*, Bairstow 18*)

    Northern grit is currently keeping the Southern Stars at bay - Nathan Lyon squinting as Ben Stokes drags four through the leg side. We're on Nelson...


    Clive in Milwaukee: Horrible dilemma: wanting Stokes to get at least a fifty but hoping England capitulate quickly, the follow-on is enforced and the whole miserable series is over and done by the middle of day three at the latest. The sooner England can clean house and begin the rebuilding process...

  131. 0321: 
    Eng 106-6 (Trail by 220)

    Peter Siddle is the master of patience - staring down the opposition batsman by hanging the ball outside off stump and trying to tempt Jonny Bairstow into a rash drive. The youngster almost obliges before getting to the sanctuary of the non-striker's end with a single backward of point. Ben Stokes moves ever nearer to another half-century as he pushes a couple through midwicket.


    James Leach: It's beginning to look as though England will have a second opportunity to score 500 in their second innings to win.

  133. 0317: 
    Eng 103-6 (Stokes 41*, Bairstow 16*)

    It really shouldn't be underestimated what a huge find Ben Stokes is. When England had Andrew Flintoff in their side, they looks a lot more balanced. It might be particularly important now that Graeme Swann has retired. Another Nathan Lyon over, another two runs.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "At least, amongst the chaos, three youngsters have got stuck in. Ballance, Stokes, and now Bairstow. You really have to doff your cap to Stokes, because he's stood up in every game he has played. I like the look of Ballance too."

    Glenn McGrath, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "I think Clarke is holding Johnson and Harris back a little. They are pushing hard for the seventh wicket and, if that falls, you'll see those two back into the attack."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  136. 0312: 
    DRINKS BREAK- Eng 101-6

    Scott Borthwick is the next man in, with more than 1,000 runs under his belt from batting at number three for Durham last summer. When was the last time a player made his England debut and batted at number nine, having been in at first down for his county? Jonny Bairstow plays out a maiden to Peter Siddle as the Aussies try to keep their foot on the throat. Drinks.


    From Matt: Surely to discount Bairstow as a wicketkeeper you have to let him keep wicket!! England would rather have him as a waiter all summer than let him keep for his county. How does that benefit anyone? All the others mentioned get the chance to keep wicket week in week out for their respective counties. All seem to forget Prior wasn't the greatest with the gloves when he first started.

  138. 0307: 
    Eng 101-6 (Stokes 40*, Bairstow 15*)

    The Barmy Army haven't had much to cheer today, but they manage to break into applause and give the St George's flags a flutter in honour of England reaching 100 courtesy of Ben Stokes's clip into the leg side. Three figures looked a long way away at 23-5. Jonny Bairstow also picks up a single in another fairly quiet over. England like quiet - it means they are doing okay.

  139. 0304: 
    Eng 99-6 (Trail by 227)

    Michael Clarke obviously fancies his chances of snaffling Jonny Bairstow fairly soon as he employs three slips, a gully and a short leg to Peter Siddle. When Vicous tests out the middle of the pitch, Bairstow goes on the pull and skies a couple into the leg side. Other than that, it's decent line and length from the bowler.


    Dave in Norwich: England have been playing their 'B' team. That is Bell, Ballance, Ben, Bairstow, Borthwick, Broad and Boyd.

  141. 0301: 
    Eng 97-6 (Stokes 39*, Bairstow 12*)

    It's unrelenting from the Australians - Nathan Lyon proving just as dangerous as the pack of fast bowlers. Jonny Bairstow still remains unconvincing as he struggles with the turning delivery. Just two from the over.

    Glenn McGrath, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "I thought I could see part of off stump, so it was surprising that he got so far outside the line."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  143. 0258: 

    Ben Stokes is a very lucky man because that looked very close, but not close enough - the ball hitting him outside the line of off stump.

    Glenn McGrath, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "Erasmus looked at that for a long time before giving the decision."

  145. 0257: 

    Australia use their second review on Ben Stokes as Nathan Lyon manages to get one to hold its line and crash into the England batsman's pads.

    Text 81111

    From Mother Cricket: In a way, it serves us right. We thought we were on top of the world in September but 3-0 wasn't the right result. Fair play to Australia, they have worked their backsides off, created a great team spirit and expressed themselves.

    From Ashley Duke: England have only three players left in today's line-up that were playing in the 2005 Ashes series and only three from the 2009 series. That, in my humble opinion, lies the problem.

  147. 0256: 
    Eng 95-6 (Trail by 236)

    Stokes for captain? I'm not sure about that just yet but, on a serious note, is there any decent alternative to Alastair Cook. Personally, I'd stick with the Essex man but I do think that Stuart Broad might make a decent, aggressive captain too.

    I've never been one for bowling captains, but there is the advantage that they might have a better understanding of a pitch if they get to bowl on it before their teams gets a bat. Ben Stokes continues to dig in as he slashes hard and dispatches Peter Siddle to the boundary before tipping a single.

    Text 81111

    From Steve in Manchester: Stokes makes 30. Won't be long now before someone suggests making him captain!

  149. 0251: 
    Eng 89-6 (Stokes 33*, Bairstow 11*)

    Don't make that stroll too leisurely, Christopher [see tweet below]. Not if you want to see some cricket. Jonny Bairstow takes a single off a full toss to get up the other end and watch Ben Stokes, who finishes Nathan Lyon's latest over with a quick single to a dozing mid-off.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    West Indies batsman Chris Gayle: Think I am going to take a stroll down to the SCG to watch a bit of cricket.

    Glenn McGrath, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "If you apply yourself out there and look to build an innings, you can score runs. Australia have really restricted the scoring, whereas their batsmen went at four an over."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  152. 0248: 
    Eng 88-6 (run-rate 2.25)

    The Sydney sun is beginning to sizzle as England's hopes of avoiding a whitewash begin to fizzle. Ben Stokes is doing his level-best mind, as he pushes Peter Siddle through the covers for a couple. The Durham all-rounder appears to have a solid enough technique without the obvious flaws of some of his team-mates.


    Philip Richards: England's performance on the field is matched only by Ian Botham's punditry off the field. He got 5-0 right, but chose the wrong team.

  154. 0244: 
    Eng 86-6 (Stokes 31*, Bairstow 10*)

    Nathan Lyon continues round the wicket with three close catchers circling the batsmen like a bird of prey. He manages to rip one past Ben Stokes's outside edge before almost getting Jonny Bairstow when the number eight tries to turn one around the corner. Five from the over, but England remain unconvincing.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Arvind Mulgund: 2011 saw 3 English centurions in the SCG test. Fast fwd 2013: Eng in danger of being bundled under 100 as a team.

    Jonny Gregory: Sick of all the fickle criticism of Ian Bell, wasn't he our best player in the summer when we won the Ashes?

  156. 0240: 
    Eng 81-6 (Trail by 245)

    Mitchell Johnson, who is given one last over to try and finish off Jonny Bairstow, is given a crack at the young Yorkie when Ben Stokes plays a classy back-foot drive through the covers which brings three. Bairstow, who gets four with a wild slash outside off stump, looks all at sea as his back foot backs off towards short leg. It's as though he's instinctively backing away from the ball. He survives, but for how much longer?

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Kenny Jarvis: None have these wickets have been unplayable deliveries. Australia have bowled well, but this is extremely poor.

    All-A-Mort: I think England's fight is in another set of luggage left on the runway at Heathrow by mistake.

    Alex Reilly: That's a shame, Ballance has been better than that!

  158. 0235: 
    Eng 73-6 (Stokes 26*, Bairstow 3*)

    Ben Stokes, compact in his crease and happy to take his time, plays patiently against Nathan Lyon as the SCG breaks into the post-lunch hum. He manages a single into the covers before Jonny Bairstow extravagantly leaves the final delivery of the over with the Aussies hopping about and wailing like a cat on a hot tin roof.

    Ben Stokes
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Bairstow's back foot isn't moving, which means he's not getting in line with the ball. From that lack of footwork, you can imagine Johnson fancies another over at him."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  160. 0232: 
    Eng 72-6 (35 overs)

    On the cricket desk, we're having a natter about England's next long-term wicketkeeper. Jonny Bairstow, who is being worked over by Mitchell Johnson, is the man in possession but I think Jos Buttler would be a more than capable replacement for Matt Prior. Others reckon Steve Davies might come into the reckoning. A maiden over, with Johnson looking to have Bairstow, who is aiming wild slogs outside off stump, on toast.

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at the SCG

    "The encouraging news for England? When they made their lowest ever total against Australia - the 45 at this very same ground - they ended up winning the match, if only by 13 runs. With Ben Stokes having taken them well past that total, things are therefore looking extremely promising. The less happy news? That stirring comeback happened 127 years ago. Forget lawnmowers and heavy rollers - the pitch was prepared by hungry livestock. As you gloomily were."

  162. 0228: 
    Eng 72-6 (Stokes 25*, Bairstow 3*)

    Peter Siddle is brought into the attack as Michael Clarke tries to keep things fresh - Jonny Bairstow capitalising on some stray lines to clip two through midwicket. He takes a single before Ben Stokes advances his score with a pull which brings a couple into the leg side.

    Text 81111

    From Ollie: Surely you'd rather have Prior coming into this situation than Bairstow?

    From Michael: Ballance has gone. Now Bairstow, Borthwick, Broad and er Rankin left. B-B-Blimey.

  164. 0223: 
    Eng 67-6 (Trail by 259)

    It's the old quick man/slow man combo for England to deal with now - cricket's equivalent to the big man/little man up top. Mitchell Johnson pounds his way to the wicket, but he's not going to bully Ben Stokes who plays the ball straight back to the galloping quick.

    The Durham man is momentarily reduced to his knees by one which crashes into the top of his boot, but he hobbles back to take guard and pulls out of an attempted pull to leave a vicious, rising delivery which then runs away for five wides.

    Andrew Samson, BBC Test Match Special statisticianHOW'S STAT?

    "That's Brad Haddin's 20th catch of the series. He's only third wicketkeeper to take 20 catches and scores 400 runs in a series. The others are Denis Lindsay and Alec Stewart."

    Gary Ballance
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's the business of starting again after break. There's a little bit of turn, just catching the edge of the rough. It was just a little tickle."

  167. 0215: 
    WICKET- Ballance c Haddin b Lyon 18 (Eng 62-6)

    Dearie me, England's first innings will be lucky to reach tea at this rate. Gary Ballance, rooted back in his crease, plays an misses at a sharp spinning delivery and, three balls later, gets a similar ball which he nicks behind to a gleeful Brad Haddin. He had been warned.

    Fall of wickets: 6-1 (Carberry 0), 8-2 (Cook 7), 14-3 (Anderson 7), 17-4 (Pietersen 3), 23-5 (Bell 2), 62-6 (Ballance 18)


  168. 0213: 
    Eng 62-5 (Ballance 18*, Stokes 23*)

    Mitchell Johnson wipes his lunchtime raw meat from his moustache and is straining at the leash to feast on some more English batsmen in the heat of the afternoon. Gary Ballance is dealing with the left-arm quick fairly well for now, angling a short one past bat-pad and taking a single.

  169. 0208: 

    Now then, what have you got England? Is there one last bit of fight in that dressing room? Let's find out.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Katie Willow: Why so much negativity? No sporting team wins all the time and this is giving the future players a chance without pressure.

    Chris Abrehart: Cook, Bell, KP still good players, everybody has bad spell and who else could face MJ and Harris?

    Gurdeep Singh: When is the next World Cup? February next year. Where is it? Australia. Uh oh.

  171. 0157: 

    These are the types of situation which Brad Haddin has consistently turned into match-winning ones for Australia. Can England's lower order do likewise? We can dream, can't we?

  172. 0156: 

    Thanks Stephan, it's been some morning hasn't it? But fear not, England supporters. The future of English cricket is at the crease, and neither Ben Stokes nor Gary Ballance will go down without a fight.


    Huw Collett: I wonder if the Barmy Army has sung the Addams/Johnson family ditty again since the first day at Brisbane when he came out to bat...?

    Text 81111

    Joe in London: These numbers 7 2 3 17 23 2 came to me in a dream last night. All day I thought they might be the winning lottery numbers.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Shouma Khan: Things I never thought I would say or ask during the Ashes - is Ben Stokes now the best cricketer in England?

    Francis Stanford: Stokes and Ballance just showing that they are the future of English Test cricket. a lesson to the senior players.

    Si Lomas: Younger lads putting the experienced players to shame here, time to give others like Varun Chopra, Jamie Overton a chance.


    Martin in Brisbane: My Aussie mate just invited me for lunch in the West End of Brisbane. I am not falling for that one. There will be TVs everywhere and he will be sat there like a Cheshire cat.

  177. 0138: 

    So England will return on 61-5, still 265 behind and 66 short of avoiding the follow-on. During the interval, TMS is taking a look at the careers of Ashes-winning Middlesex captains Mike Brearley and Mike Gatting, while Marc Higginson will soon be here to talk you through the afternoon.

    Text 81111

    Dave in Teignmouth: So the boys are showing the men how to play, eh? Well, for the time being at least. One has to ask how do Cook, Flower and the management set-up all survive this unscathed? Lack of ideas and lack of spirit shown by too many.

  179. 0134: 
    Eng 61-5

    Could that first hour have gone any worse for England? The tone was set by Alastair Cook's second-ball aberration and what followed was an exhilarating, hostile and dangerous passage of Test cricket. James Anderson was never likely to last long, and Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell weren't able to deal with good deliveries. At 23-5, the match seemed, and probably still is, as good as lost, but Ben Stokes and Gary Ballance have showed admirable fight since then.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "The two youngsters are confident, positive and don't have any negative baggage with them. Jonny Bairstow has confidence and Scott Borthwick can bat so there is an opportunity for the young lads. If you love your cricket, this morning's play was enthralling."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  181. 0131: 
    LUNCH INTERVAL- Eng 61-5

    Ben Stokes, who waited some time to face another delivery, covers up Nathan Lyon's over to take us to lunch and the end of a disastrous morning session for England. They reach the interval on 61-5, 265 behind. At one point this morning, they had lost four wickets for 15 runs.


    Stephen Cousins: Any truth in the rumour that Boyd Rankin will return to Ireland to play a higher level of cricket?

    Richard Jones: England have figured out the Aussies' plan and are going to copy it - get to five down then start batting.

  183. 0128: 
    Eng 61-5 (Ballance 17, Stokes 23)

    Plenty of short stuff at pace of 91mph, but Ballance is in behind it, then sways out of the way of the climber. Well played, lad. After a 13-minute over, we have only to go until lunch.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Rather like the hundred or so Richie Benauds in the ground, I propose that next year we have a day of a Test where everyone dresses up like Henry Blofeld."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  185. 0126: 
    Eng 61-5 (265 behind)

    Applause when Ballance is ready to continue, short leg George Bailey in his ear as he readies himself for the remainder of Johnson's over. Expect another short one...


    Suzy in Leicester: Ballance reminds me of an in-form Cook... right balance and playing good-looking shots.

    Gary Ballance
  187. 0123: 
    Eng 60-5

    Still we wait. It's odd to see Matt Prior performing the 12th man duties. He's even biting the bolts on a helmet to get them loose. Monty Panesar is out there too, but I doubt he's much use.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "I reckon the last truly express pace bowler England have fielded was Devon Malcolm. He wasn't a great bowler but he won matches with his pace. He frightened the South Africans to death. There's nothing like that in county cricket any more - at least 20 years ago county batsmen would face players like Wayne Daniel, Ezra Moseley and Curtly Ambrose."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  189. 0122: 
    Eng 60-5

    Ballance seems fine to continue, but he needs a change of helmet. We've got a delay because he wasn't happy with the first one that came out. There was little sympathy from the Aussies, Peter Siddle and Mitchell Johnson had a little giggle at the end of Johnson's run.

    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "Gary Ballance just could not get out of the way of that and it will have stunned him a little bit."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  191. 0120: 
    OUCH!- Eng 60-5

    Mitchell Johnson switches ends and bounces his dark hair in to Stokes with two slips, a gully and a short leg waiting. Single taken, then...bullseye! Ballance gets in no position to play a short ball, drops his head and takes one on the grille. You don't often see blows as flush as that. It was not glancing, it nailed Ballance and would have had him in awful trouble had he not been wearing a lid. He calls on the physio as the referee counts to eight...

    Gary Ballance

    Will in Bath: Re: Ollie (0107). The number didnt work as you only had 9 numbers. You missed '5-0' off the end.

  193. 0115: 
    Eng 58-5 (Ballance 17, Stokes 22)

    Spin for the first time, Nathan Lyon's off-breaks from around the wicket offering a new challenge to this pair of lefties. A slip, a short leg, but Lyon drops short to allow Stokes a hammer through the covers for four. 15 minutes until lunch. Can England make it without further losses?

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Alastair Cook's dismissal this morning reminded me of when Andrew Strauss was out in his final Test. Strauss missed a straight one from Vernon Philander and you could tell he was gone. Just like Cook today."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  195. 0111: 
    Eng 53-5 (Harris 2-28 from 11)

    Have this young pair managed to take the heat out of the situation? I wonder if we're watching what will be England's numbers five and six for a few years to come? Ok, neither have reached 20 yet, but small victories and all that. Nice from Stokes, two past mid-on and three clipped off his toes earn him a word from Harris. Ballance matches him with a cover-driven couple.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Gary Ballance is a tough cookie, mentally tough, but he won't have seen pace like this in county cricket."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  197. 0107: 
    Eng 46-5 (Ballance 15, Stokes 12)

    The return of Johnson brings the Benauds to their feet. All have the wigs, the beige jackets, and oversized microphones that they wave in a baying Tomahawk-style as he stalks in. Stokes has had the odd problem with Johnson in this series, but takes a single through square leg. Three slips, a short leg and a leg slip wait for Ballance, who rocks back to cut a short ball for four. He looks older than his 24 years, and is playing as such.


    Ollie: Re: 0049. I just rang that number (0,7,7,2,3,7,10,35-5), and was told it wasn't recognised. Much like the England cricket team on this tour.

  199. 0103: 
    Eng 41-5 (Ballance 11, Stokes 11)

    Perhaps spurred by reaching double figures, or by the knowledge he's one of the few who will keep his place in this side, Stokes is looking more expansive. A drive stopped at mid-off, then a similar shot to a ball that wasn't there brings an inside-edged single. Lovely from Ballance, a cover drive from Harris scorching the off-side turf and reaching the fence. These two are battling impressively, but now have to deal with Mitchell.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Nick Orchard: For the tail to wag, there needs to be a dog.

    Steven Gordon: So this is the storm the Met Office was warning would make things miserable in the U.K. for the next few days, right?

  201. 0100: 
    Eng 36-5 (290 behind)

    This innings is the first time that all of England's top five have been dismissed for seven runs or fewer in a Test innings. The reprieved Stokes at least gets warm applause for being the first to double figures. It's pointed out to me that England are currently relying on Stokes, Ballance, Jonny Bairstow and Scott Borthwick to get them out of this hole. There's no age and virtually experience between them.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "I think it was out, I think it had gone in - Brad Haddin appears to get his fingers under the ball. The only thing I will say is that Brad Haddin clearly had some doubt."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  203. 0055: 
    NOT OUT- Eng 33-5

    Breathe. It just, only just, hit the deck before the diving Haddin gathered the ball. He said he didn't know and there is no real way he could have. There was only a blade of grass between the ball and the rubber of his gloves.

  204. 0054: 
    THIRD UMPIRE- Eng 33-5

    Is Stokes on his way? He's inside-edged Siddle, but has it carried to Haddin? The keeper isn't sure, so we need another look.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Terry Mahoney: In my lifetime, Scotland's '78 World Cup exploit was the most embarrassing sporting excursion from these shores...not anymore.

    Bertie Stemp: Dare I say it, but liking this start from Ballance, cutting into the ground, leaving confidently, defending solidly...

    Andy Field: England managing the impossible, being even more embarrassing than they have been so far on this terrible tour.

  206. 0053: 
    Eng 33-5 (Ballance 7, Stokes 7)

    Shot lad. Ben Stokes comes forward with an iron-straight bat to drive the returning Harris through mid-off for four. The shot of the day, but there's not much competition.

    Michael Vaughan, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    "Andy Flower has been outstanding for England but I feel there has been too much finger-pointing at the young captain rather than other personnel. England have not evolved, they continue to play the same attritional way. Look at what happened before this series - the weekend before the players left for Australia for three months they were taken away on a training camp and taken away from their families."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  208. 0049: 
    Eng 28-5 (20-4 today)

    Looking down England's batting card - 7, 0, 7, 2, 3, 7, 2 - it reads like a phone number. What would you do if you were in the position of these two youngsters? Try to ride it out? Look to counter? At the moment, they wait, Ballance watchful as Siddle explores the off stump. Only six runs have come from the last seven overs.

    Text 81111

    Ollie, Oxford: I've seen industrial chimneys being demolished with explosives collapse slower than this. It's all about the management of the team, it needs a serious shake up. It's best to unsettle things now when the team are at their lowest, it can't do anymore damage.

  210. 0045: 
    Eng 28-5 (Ballance 7, Stokes 2)

    Australia's bowling this morning has illustrated another huge difference between these two sides. When the Aussies were under the pump yesterday, yes they counter-attacked, but they were allowed to score freely by some wayward England bowling. The momentum changed. Today, England have been given nothing. Barely a bad ball has been bowled. The only boundary of the morning came when James Anderson fended Mitchell Johnson over the slips. Even that was an accident.

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at the SCGJoin the debate at #bbccricket

    "What's the collective noun for Richie Benauds? At least 150 punters at SCG dressed in tribute (sports jacket, grey wig). A squint? A beige?"

    Australia fans
  212. 0041: 
    Eng 25-5 (Siddle 1-1 from 3)

    Watching batsmen under this sort of pressure is compelling. When it's your team, it can be too much to bear, but, at the same time, you can't drag your eyes away for the fear of missing something. Matt Prior and Monty Panesar sit glum faced on the England bench as the SCG hums in anticipation. That background music that accompanies every Test match is louder than usual - the crowd expects action. Stokes does well to play back a Siddle maiden.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Christian Wren: Are England playing some cricket version of limbo? You think they can't get any lower and then they lose five wickets for 23 runs.

    Mark Antrobus: Clarke must be thinking about whether to enforce the follow-on, an innings defeat is a real possibility here.

    James Clouting: What's the worst ever first hour in Test cricket? 15-4 has to be up there.

  214. 0036: 
    Eng 25-5 (301 behind)

    A cloud covers the sun to momentarily plunge the SCG into gloom, but it's nothing like the darkness hanging over England. When you consider how Mitchell Johnson has consistently torn through the England tail, one more quick wicket could see the tourists routed for an embarrassing score. Ballance, though, looks composed, clipping a couple off his toes. His flat-mate Joe Root watches on. He might be pleased to have missed out on this carnage.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "What an utter shambles. Teams just get to this stage and they are gone. What might happen in the one-dayers which follow, I can't begin to imagine. 23-5 flatters England - by rights they should be 21-5 if Ian Bell has been caught earlier."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  216. 0032: 
    Eng 23-5 (303 behind)

    Most of England's collapses in this series have been through their own mistakes, but Australia have been brilliant this morning. Hostile fast bowling has been mixed with wicket-taking deliveries. Alastair Cook's wicket was a misjudgement, but all of Anderson, Pietersen and Bell got good balls. Then again, shouldn't Test batsmen be able to deal with decent deliveries? Ben Stokes the new man, this pair at the crease have five Tests between them.

    Glenn McGrath, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's getting worse and worse for England. Again, it was a ball in the right area and Ian Bell tried to defend but got a little edge behind. He thought he might have got a second chance after being dropped from the first ball he bowled, but he's lasted just 31 more balls."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  218. 0027: 
    WICKET- Bell c Haddin b Siddle 2 (Eng 23-5)

    It's getting hard to describe just how one-sided this is becoming, how Australia's bowlers are totally dominating England's batsmen. This time it's Ian Bell, again it's another beauty from Peter Siddle. Length on off stump, movement away, Bell's prod resulting in a tickle through to Brad Haddin. England have lost four wickets for 16 runs today.

    Fall of wickets: 6-1 (Carberry 0), 8-2 (Cook 7), 14-3 (Anderson 7), 17-4 (Pietersen 3), 23-5 (Bell 2)


    Peter Siddle and Ian Bell
    Glenn McGrath, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "You can tell Ian Bell is at least still thinking about his game because he's standing out of his crease and trying to make it harder for Shane Watson to get an lbw. You can do that against Watson, but not against somebody like Mitchell Johnson."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  220. 0025: 
    Eng 22-4 (304 behind)

    To say Shane Watson looks a reluctant bowler would be an understatement, but even he must fancy it when the opposition is 22-4? Watson is on to replace Harris, as Australia employ their most economical seamers in an attempt to prevent any England counter-attack. There's movement, Bell bats out of his crease to combat and plays back back a maiden.

    Ed Smith, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "It's been one of the most torturous mornings in Test cricket I can remember."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  222. 0021: 
    Eng 22-4 (304 behind)

    The first change of this most hostile of mornings, Peter Siddle replacing Mitchell Johnson. He's bowling to leftie Ballance, whose technique is to get back and across, without committing very far on to the front foot. As we discussed, Ballance is a bit of a ringer for Rob Key, facially, rather than in the belly. He's beaten by a good 'un, but is solid enough.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jordan Chambers: There needs to be a complete overhaul after this series, bring the younger players in and focus on the future.

    Owen Hewitt: I have a feeling that we are about to witness England's worst batting of the entire tour.

    Ed Dymott: Most accomplished batsman so far was Jimmy Anderson. Showed some guts.

  224. 0016: 
    Eng 22-4 (Bell 2, Ballance 3)

    Ballance, breathing so hard it looks like his heart might burst from his chest, registers his first runs in Test cricket with a lovely off drive off Harris. He picks up three, then can watch as Bell clips a couple off his toes. Bell is then miles forward to cover up on the off stump. Maybe, just maybe, the heat has been turned down.

    Ian Bell
    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at the SCG

    "England supporters now at the stage when even gallows humours has lost its meagre comforts. The Sydney Museum of Contemporary Art is currently running a Yoko One retrospective; if given the choice between enduring a day of Yoko's contribution to the Double Fantasy LP and England's contribution to the Ashes Nightmare long-player, you might find more votes from the travelling support for Ono than oh no."

  226. 0012: 
    Eng 17-4 (309 behind)

    Looking again at the Pietersen dismissal, he didn't do a great deal wrong. Trying to be positive, he was well forward to a full ball that moved enough to take the edge. Could he have left it? Perhaps, but edges behind happen to players new to the crease. Johnson, in what might be his final over of the spell, is cranking it up to Bell, but the batsman barely has to play.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    James McCarthy: We are an absolute disgrace. Far worse than 07. That team didn't have the talent, this one has just failed. No pride.

    James Williams: This Ashes match truly hangs in the Ballance.

    Josh Davies: Making his Test debut at number six, Gary Ballance probably expected there to be more than 17 runs on the board.

  228. 0008: 
    Eng 17-4

    Well done, Gary Ballance. He survives through a mixture of leaves and forward defence. Plenty making the comparison between Ballance and Michael Vaughan's Test debut, when Vaughan found himself at the crease with England 2-4 against South Africa.


    Andy Green in Woking: It's men against boys in the Ashes. The trouble being the boys thought they were a damn good better then they actually are after the summer. If this was a boxing match it would have been stopped after the second Test. They should not be paid and be sued for breach of contract: pretending to be cricketers.

  230. 0007: 
    Eng 17-4

    What on earth must Gary Ballance be thinking? The Yorkshire left-hander strides out for his first Test innings with England 17-4 against a rampant Australia. Good luck.

    Glenn McGrath, Ex-Australia fast bowler on BBC Test Match Special

    "Another big wicket. Ryan Harris has got the ball up, bowled fuller and on this wicket with the bit of grass he is a real handful."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  232. 0003: 
    WICKET- Pietersen c Watson Harris 3 (Eng 17-4)

    Australia are all over England like at no other time in this series - and that's saying something. It's Kevin Pietersen, the man most likely to make a difference, who is the latest to join the morning procession, falling to the brilliant Ryan Harris. Full on off stump, moving away, thick edge to first slip, where Shane Watson makes no mistake this time. It's a mauling.

    Fall of wickets: 6-1 (Carberry 0), 8-2 (Cook 7), 14-3 (Anderson 7), 17-4 (Pietersen 3)


    Kevin Pietersen
    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Look how wide that was - Kevin Pietersen wouldn't have reached that with my mum's sweeping brush. KP has the talent and he just needs to settle down and play an innings."

    Listen to Test Match Special on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  234. 0002: 
    Eng 17-3 (9-2 this morning)

    The Johnson chants continue as Mitch stalks his menacing moustache towards Pietersen. England's number four (well, five in this innings) is away with a tickle around the corner, but then completely loses the plot. First a wild drive, nowhere near it, then the shortest of singles, only completed thanks to a dive and the miss of Warner's throw. All happening doesn't do it justice.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jonathan Poole: Bell and KP - time for England's senior batsmen to stand up and thwart the whitewash!

    Jeff Ando: Alastair Cook is quite simply a broken man. I think they all just want to go home now.

    Sam Conway: Unacceptable from England's cricketers! Don't they know it's the football team that the country is meant to be embarrassed by?

    Alastair Cook
  236. 2358: 
    Eng 14-3 (312 behind)

    It's almost like Ryan Harris has put a tea towel on a length and is hitting it with every delivery. This is such an examination for Bell, constant probing on the off stump, with movement away and grabbers waiting in the slips. Every person inside the SCG is living every ball, ooohs and aaahs following every delivery. It's like these two batsmen are taking on the whole of Sydney.

    Text 81111

    From Ed in Chester: Cricket off, there must be some awful film on C5.

  238. 2355: 
    NOT OUT- Eng 14-3

    Relax. It's going a long way down the leg side.

  239. 2354: 
    UMPIRE REVIEW- Eng 14-3

    Not another? Full and straight from Harris to Bell. Playing across the line, looks decent, but Aleem Dar not keen. We'll have another look.

    Henry Blofeld, BBC Test Match Special

    "I've seldom seen such tense, vibrant and violent few opening overs as those."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  241. 2353: 
    Eng 14-3 (312 behind)

    "John-son, John-son," is the chant, performed by what seems like hundreds of Richie Benaud lookalikes in the crowd. If England have got any hope, you feel that this pair must do the work. Perhaps, it's the time for a KP counter. For now, he's pushed back his first two balls.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "That's not a very pleasant 20 minutes for a nightwatchman. There are times in club and county cricket when they're medium paced bowlers and you're just seeing out time but you felt if he had hung around for a bit longer he might have got seriously hurt because there were three or four balls there that were just too much to handle for a tail-ender like him."

  243. 2349: 
    WICKET- Anderson c Clarke b Johnson 7 (Eng 14-3)

    It was a matter of time. All things considered, this is some of the most hostile fast bowling you could see. Mitchell Johnson at 91mph, on a lively pitch, bowling to England's number 11. Ultimately, it was too much for James Anderson, who battled bravely before edging to Michael Clarke at second slip. Sydney is alive, England are miles behind and Kevin Pietersen is coming to the crease.

    Fall of wickets: 6-1 (Carberry 0), 8-2 (Cook 7), 14-3 (Anderson 7)


    Mitchell Johnson

    Lewis Griffiths: I watched the Omen last night but this horror story is a lot more scary!

  245. 2347: 
    Eng 10-2 (316 behind)

    Oh, Jimmy. I can understand you wanting to get off strike, but don't run yourself out. Sent back by Bell, then nearly fending to short leg. My word, this pitch really is playing some tricks, Harris getting one to climb past Anderson's nose, still rising as Haddin jumps to take it. Anderson, perhaps foolishly, pinches a single off the final ball.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Luke Green: Jenny has just died in Forrest Gump and Alastair Cook has gone second ball. These past 5 minutes couldn't have gone much worse.

    Ryan Harris and Alastair Cook
  247. 2342: 
    OUCH!- Eng 9-2

    Anderson needs some treatment on his left hand after taking a blow off Johnson. It wasn't the delivery that kicked up at head height, but one that jumped and took the bottom thumb. It's his left, non-bowling hand. Repairs done, he now must face Ryan Harris.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "I don't really believe in a nightwatchman who can't bat. I want someone who can bat a bit, like Jonny Bairstow, someone who can get in and play a bit the next day, not just be an Aunt Sally."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  249. 2341: 
    Eng 9-2 (317 behind)

    Anderson has a lot of company. Slips, gully, leg slip, short leg, man on the off side. Ooohhh, leading edge nearly finds that off-side catcher, then Anderson fends at an absolute brute, the ball smashing into his hand. It could have gone anywhere, but Anderson can gratefully accept a single. It's early in the morning, but the SCG is already alive. No reading the paper, having a brew, mulling over breakfast, just engrossed in the cricket. Every ball an event.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    David Reynolds: That was the leave of a broken man.

    Nik Hughes: I'm going to bed.

    Abdullah Mahmood: Oh dear.

  251. 2337: 
    Eng 8-2

    Harris barely bothered to appeal for that lbw against Cook, umpire Aleem Dar's finger was up before the bowler had turned around. It was as plumb an lbw you could see, made all the more bizarre by the fact the bat was nowhere near. Now it's Mitchell Johnson v James Anderson...

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Paul Roberts: Cook has mentally disintegrated. This is beyond embarrassing.

    James Bamford: Right that's it, I'm emigrating!!!

    Matt Barron: Turned the cricket on 10 minutes ago. Saw the second ball. Turned off and gone to bed. Embarrassing.

  253. 2333: 
    DROPPED CATCH- Eng 8-2

    What has Ryan Harris had for breakfast? He's making the ball talk, to the extent that new man Ian Bell should be gone from his very first ball. Poking at one swinging away, he gets a thick edge to first slip, where Shane Watson drops an absolute dolly. Now what? Last ball of the over, leading edge, just short of mid on. What a start.

    Geoffrey Boycott, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "Not much swung yesterday for Jimmy Anderson and that just swung and did him. That happens, it's just a pure misjudgement.

    "It's soul-destroying but I always say to young bowlers bowl it pretty straight and full in those first few balls because batsmen do make cock-ups."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  255. 2330: 
    WICKET- Cook lbw Harris 7 (Eng 8-2)

    You can't believe this has happened. Alastair Cook has left his judgement in the dressing room and is out lbw to the second ball of the day. It's full of length from Ryan Harris, shaping back, and Cook, inexplicably, shoulders arms. It thunders into the pads, in front of all three, as plumb an lbw as you could see. It's a horrible start for England and perhaps the start of a miserable day.

    Fall of wickets: 6-1 (Carberry 0), 8-2 (Cook 7)


    Ryan Harris

    Oliver Davies: Anderson should play some shots, get a quickfire 20 or 30. I don't think he will be able to hang about for long and at this early stage of the innings its pointless him blocking anyway. Odds on a Test fifty?

  257. 2329: 

    Applause tells us that the players are on the way. The baggy green caps of Australia, led by Michael Clarke, stride into the bright sunshine, followed by the England batsmen.

    Alastair Cook is dancing to the crease, James Anderson is lagging behind, perhaps not quite as keen on the task ahead of him.

    Cook will be on strike, Ryan Harris has the ball.

    Text 81111

    From Garry in York: New year's resolution for the England bowlers, well anyone who bowls - aim at the wickets every now and then? Quite often really. In fact mostly. If unsure why/how see G McGrath of Australia.

    Simon Hughes, BBC Test Match Special

    "We often talk about the perceived step up but Ben Stokes has done it in these circumstances, having come through that as the stand-out performer and he will take so much confidence into his career.

    "If you come into the furnace of an Australia series going wrong and play like he has, it'd be a fool to bet against him having a great Test career."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Martin Taylor: All over bar the shouting. Can't see anything but an Aussie whitewash. England have no fighting spirit at the moment.

    Text 81111

    From Dan: If England are searching for an opener, they should look no further than Alex Hales. He adds something different to the batting line up and he's been around the T20 squad so it shouldn't phase him. David Warner has scored 500 runs this series taking an attacking approach and it's needless to say Hales can profit likewise this summer.

  262. 2322: 

    Australia's Brad Haddin on Test Match Special: "We're pretty comfortable with our plans and if we can stay in the contest long enough we can break this game open. That comes from a stable environment and guys knowing their job. It's a simple game and the plan is working at the moment.

    "As long as I keep challenging myself I see no reason to give the game away. I'm enjoying being part of this group and we've got a lot of good series and a World Cup coming up.

    "We've got to make sure we challenge that off stump and just make sure we're full."

    Simon Hughes, BBC Test Match Special

    "It might not swing as much today, but there's enough in that pitch for the Australia bowlers to intimidate the England batsmen. That spell from Johnson last night was the best he's produced in the series. The pace was fantastic, there were no sighters, and he was at them all the time.

    "If Australia bowl well today, I can see England struggling to make 200."


    From Tony in Southampton: England's best chance now is to grow luxuriant moustaches - seems to have worked wonders for Mitchell Johnson.

    Ed Smith, Ex-England batsman on BBC Test Match Special

    "The wicket is changing colour almost as we speak. The green tinge is changing to a more friendly shade of beige."

    Listen to live Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra

  266. 2318:  
    BBC Radio Test Match SpecialLISTEN ON THE BBC

    And, while you're airing your views on this entertaining and informative text commentary, listen to live coverage from Sydney on Test Match Special.

    Aggers and co can be heard on 5 live sports extra, Radio 4 longwave, digital TVs, online and via the BBC Sport and BBC Radio apps.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Adam: Aus to be batting again by the end of the day.

    Ollie Smith: I feel sorry for Borthwick. Hardly setting the world alight in Sydney grade cricket and not a 'bowler'. Where's Monty?!

    Richard Parfitt: England to be bowling again before tea seems most likely, but let's stay optimistic until Broad gets out in about an hour or so…

  268. 2314: 

    So what do you think? Is this the day when England can finally match the Aussies, or are we set for the same old story? Tweet using the hashtag #bbccricket, text on 81111 or email

    Also, what are you cricketing predictions for 2014? Who might be the star of the year and which young player should we be watching over the next 12 months?

    Do you have any cricketing new year's resolutions, either for yourself or the pros?

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at the SCG

    "A sun-baked Saturday morning at the SCG, solid blue sky over the green-roofed Members' and Ladies' Pavilions, spiffy patrons assembling on the artificial turf behind the new stands to sip coffees and neck smuggled-in booze. A day for England to bat and bat, but when in this series hasn't it been?"

  270. 2312: 

    Chief sports writer Tom Fordyce crunched the numbers to illustrate the gulf between the contributions of Australia's lower order and England's.

    "In total, England's last five wickets in four Tests have added just 218 runs," Tom wrote. "Australia's, even before this first day in Sydney, had added 842; once Haddin and Smith had finished at a packed and cavorting SCG, that total had climbed to 1,071."

  271. 2310: 

    Six-wicket man Ben Stokes said England were at a loss as to how to stop Haddin after his latest Ashes recue act.

    "When he came in and started hitting it back over your head, you stand there scratching your head, thinking, 'this isn't meant to happen'," said Stokes. "He's taken every chance to get runs."

  272. 2309: 

    In his first day review, BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew made a compelling case for Haddin, rather than Johnson, to be Australia's player of the series after the keeper-batsman made his fifth consecutive first innings score of fifty or more.

    Agnew wrote: "On average, Australia have been 141-5 in the first innings of every Test match. But largely thanks to Haddin's five consecutive half-centuries, their last five wickets have gone on to add an average of 214.

    "It is an extraordinary statistic that encapsulates the difference between the two sides. Like Australia, England have often themselves five wickets down without not enough runs on the board. But unlike their hosts, England's tail has been blown away."

  273. 2308: 

    And that is where we begin on day two. England 8-1, 318 behind, with captain Alastair Cook and nightwatchman James Anderson at the crease.

    Can they get close to the home total? It's possible, but you fancy the odds are stacked against this fragile line-up on a lively track.

    But maybe, just maybe, it's a day for something special.

  274. 2306: 

    Haddin's counter-punching 75 was taken on by Steve Smith's pugnacious 115.

    It looked like the match would sprint away from England, only for the increasingly impressive Ben Stokes to intervene. His 6-99 brought a swift end to the Aussie innings for 326.

    Too many on this deck? It certainly seemed so when Michael Carberry was blown away by Mitchell Johnson for a duck.

  275. 2304: 

    Yep, for a while on the first day of the fifth Test, 2014 was going well for new-look England.

    Australia stumbled to 97-5 a Sydney pitch offering plenty for the seamers and were in danger of being bowled out very cheaply.

    But, upon the arrival of Brad Haddin, the beginning of 2014 quickly began to feel like the end of 2013.

  276. 2302: 

    A time for new faces - plenty of them. To win the toss - done. To hold catches - nothing outstanding, but they all stuck.

    To bowl a decent length - sort of, but room for improvement. To not let Brad Haddin lead an Australia fightback - total failure.

    To finally get some first-innings runs and avoid a 5-0 whitewash - we'll see, but it's not started well.

    Brad Haddin
  277. 2300: 

    New year, new you. A time to right the wrongs, for self-improvement, to leave all those bad habits behind.

    No more letting it slip, no more letting yourself down. A time to be the best you can be.

    This is your year.

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Live Scores - Australia v England


  • Australia beat England by 281 runs
  • Australia: 326 & 276 (61.3 overs)
  • England: 155 & 166 (31.4 overs)
  • Venue: Sydney

England 2nd Innings

All out
View full scorecard
Cook c Haddin b Johnson 7
Carberry c Haddin b Johnson 43
Bell c Warner b Harris 16
Pietersen c Bailey b Harris 6
Ballance lbw b Johnson 7
Stokes b Harris 32
Bairstow c Bailey b Lyon 0
Borthwick c Clarke b Lyon 4
Broad b Harris 42
Anderson not out 1
Rankin c Clarke b Harris 0
Extras 1nb 5b 2lb 8
Total all out 166

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