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Live: Day two, 5th Ashes Test, Sydney

Chris Rogers acknowledges his half century.
Chris Rogers acknowledges his half century. Photo: Brendan Esposito

Day Two Recap ... A capitulation


Upper hand: If Australia had a marginal edge at the end of the day one, it has all but wrapped this Test up by the end of the second day, thanks to a superb bowling effort which skittled half of the English batting line-up for, incredibly, just 23 runs. There was no coming back from there, despite a rally later in the innings and some regular wickets when Australia batted a second time. With a lead already of 311, six wickets still in hand and three days to play, who knows what daunting target Clarke will leave England in the fourth innings. But cynics would suggest what he has to play with even now is already more than enough.

The key man: You'd have to say key men, this time, and they were the Aussie pace trio of Johnson, Harris and Siddle, who each snared three wickets and bowled brilliantly, never letting the pressure off from the time Harris trapped English skipper Cook with the second ball of the day. All bowled with venom, and just enough movement both in the air and off the pitch to consistently having the batsmen finding the edge, six caught behind the wicket.

Big moment: The second ball of the day. Right on line with the first ball, Harris let go a jaffa with his second, Cook another batsman to mistakenly let one go, rapped on the pads as a result and given LBW. Bell was dropped by Watson from the very next ball, but from that moment the tone had been set and the English batting line-up was under siege, unable to offer any sort of rearguard action until it was way too late.

It all could have changed if ... England hadn't mentally disintegrated during that torrid first hour. But once again, it was left to the more inexperienced talents of Ben Stokes to lead the way, and by the time he and debutant Gary Ballance got together, the damage was done. A few senior teammates should feel embarrassed about what they've left to the greenhorns.

Things went swimmingly for ... Chris Rogers. The veteran opener once again remained a sea of calm as wickets kept falling around him. His undefeated 73 was his fourth successive knock of 50 or better, and he's hardly proved the stodgy custmer he's often been cast as, either, this hand coming from just 89 balls at a strike rate of 82.02. Is proving an inspired selection.

Not so swimmingly for ... Ian Bell. Should have been out first ball and was still only two runs when he lost his wicket to the 32nd he faced. The man whose three centuries helped win The Ashes for England only a few months ago has lost any semblance of form in the return bout and hasn't fared any better moving to No.3 in the order. Hasn't scored more than 32 in seven of his nine hands out here.

What does it all mean?: That a 5-0 whitewash now appears a formality. With three days left, Australia can take as long as it likes to build an even more daunting target than the one it already has at its disposal. This has been another abject performance from the visiting team, who will look back on this series as one of the lowest points of its recent cricket history.

And that's it for today. Rohan Connolly signing off from blog central, join us back here for more live day three action from a little after 10am on Sunday. Have nice night, everyone, see you in the morning!

STUMPS: Australia 4/140 (Rogers 73 not out, Bailey 20 not out)

This looks like the last over from Anderson, Borthwick's managed to avoid getting belted at least, but this pair has nonetheless still added nearly 50 and the lead is 311. Bailey's just playing it out now, lets another go, plays the last, and that's stumps, folks, Australia 4/140. Hang about for our stumps summary, coming up soon.

Cook's bringing leggie Borthwick on here. There's about 15 minutes left. And if he bowls as loosely as yesterday, it could prove a costly little exercise.

They're getting runs off virtually every ball now, and that single to Bailey takes the lead past 300, Rogers 69 not out.

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Rogers shifting up a gear here! Flicks Stokes square for a boundary, then cuts him off the front foot for another, and next ball hits him straight down the ground. Finishes off with a single and there's 15 from the over after nine from Rankin previously.

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Broad's being given a spell, big Rankin coming back on again, would want to bowl a much better line and length than in his last stint at the crease.

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Good shot Bailey, Stokes pitches too full and the Tasmanian hits him down the ground for four. That might help ease the nerves a little. Looks much better does Geroge when he's going for his shots.

Is that out? Bailey flicks Broad down leg side, Bairstow takes it, and there's a half-shout. Turned down, they don't review, and they were right not to, it's taken him on the thigh pad. Plays the next one back to Broad, bowler flicks it back at the stumps and gives away a free run.

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Beautiful shot again Rogers, cover drives Broad for four to take him to 49. He's the rock once again. And there's his 50! Clips him behind square for a single. Fifty or more in his last four Test innings now.

Bailey's the new man, and it's not too melodramatic to suggest he's playing for his Test career. He's away with a thick edge along the ground, which gives him a couple. Australia's lead is 264, they'll want another 100 at least, but once again, it's up to the middle and late order to get them. This has certainly been a bowlers' series.


WICKET! Smith's out, gets a nick to Stokes and it travels low to Cook at first slip. Just got his hands under the ball, Smith hesitated for a moment, but no problem, it definitely carried, and there's another one. Thirteen wickets already today!

Steve Smith walks off after being caught at first slip.
Steve Smith walks off after being caught at first slip. Photo: Brendan Esposito
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Finally, the repairs are done and we're back with some actual cricket! And straight away, Rogers gets a thick edge to Stokes along the ground past slips for four, he's on to 45.

Hello. Broad comes in to bowl and pulls up abruptly, looks like he might have rolled his ankle. Now they're all standing around looking at where there was some sand about half a metre before the cut section of the pitch. Think he's OK, but the 12th man have come out with more drinks, and there's not a lot of action going on. No wonder the over rates in this series have been dismal!

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Former England skipper Michael Vaughan has had enough and turns his back on his country's abject performance!


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Great shot Rogers! Lovely off-drive races away for four, he moves on to 40 and once again has done the job. Took him a long time to get there, but it's fair to say he hasn't wasted the opportunity!

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New batsman Smith joins that burgeoning band of batsmen to get off the mark with a boundary, a lovely pull shot off Stokes gets him away, then he follows it up with another two. Australia's lead is now past 250.


WICKET! Clarke's out, Broad gets him, got hit on the fingers the previous ball, and just dithered a little the next delivery, caught flat-footed and sparring at it, gets little edge through to Bairstow. Australia 3/72 now, they'll take drinks, and it's amazing how many wickets this series have fallen right on a scheduled break!

Michael Clarke edges Stuart Broad and is caught behind.
Michael Clarke edges Stuart Broad and is caught behind. Photo: Brendan Esposito

And that's going to be SEVEN! Rogers edges one, bounces over slips, just cut off by Bell on the rope, Stokes hurls it back to Bairstow, who grabs it and promptly hurls it at the bowler's end! No one there, understandably, and it shoots down to the opposite boundary! Bizarre!

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