Australia v England, 5th Test, Sydney, 2nd day

England fold as 5-0 beckons

The Report by Brydon Coverdale

January 4, 2014

Comments: 171 | Text size: A | A

Australia 326 and 4 for 140 (Rogers 73*, Bailey 20*) lead England 155 (Stokes 47, Siddle 3-23, Johnson 3-33, Harris 3-36) by 311 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Jarrod Kimber's Ashes Report: England downed in one gulp
Just as Alastair Cookie presents Sesame Street's regular Monsterpiece Theatre segment, his near namesake Alastair Cook provided the introduction for another horror show of England batting on the second day in Sydney. Right from the moment that Cook padded up to the second ball of the morning and was lbw to Ryan Harris, this was a disastrous day for England. It was the day on which an Australian 5-0 clean sweep became all but inevitable.

The morning began with Harris, Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle all bowling brilliant spells that exploited the seam-friendly conditions, and England's batsmen were flustered, flummoxed and 5 for 23. Not since 1887 have England been five for so few and gone on to win a Test; don't expect the record books to be rewritten. The day closed with Australia extending their lead to 311 runs with six wickets in hand. There is no hurry; three days remain for Australia to finish off England a fifth time.

Chris Rogers was doing his bit and by stumps had moved on to 73, eyeing off a possible third Test hundred. While Johnson, Brad Haddin, David Warner and Steven Smith have gained much of the attention Rogers has, in his understated way, become the highest scorer from either team in these back-to-back Ashes campaigns. Not bad for a 36-year-old who nearly lost his state contract 18 months ago.

Rogers accumulated his runs in brisk fashion, showing the same intent he had during his Melbourne century. He struck nine boundaries and even joined the rare club of players to score a seven, when his edge through the cordon was saved on the boundary and returned to the wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow, who needlessly hurled the ball at the non-striker's end to add four overthrows to the three Rogers and Michael Clarke had already run. It was that sort of day for England.

Smart Stats

  • England's first innings was only the seventh time in Tests that their top-five batsmen all got out for either a duck or a single-digit score. The last such occurrence came against West Indies at Sabina Park, Kingston, when England's top-five batsmen scored a total of 15 runs, none of them scoring ten.
  • England's top-five wickets managed just 23 runs. This is the lowest scored by a team for the fall of their fifth wicket at the SCG in over 100 years. The three instances of a team scoring lesser than this came in the 19th century.
  • Gary Ballance was Brad Haddin's 20th catch of the series. Haddin's become only the third wicketkeeper to score 400-plus runs and collect 20 dismissals in a Test series. Alec Stewart, 465 runs and 23 dismissals against South Africa in 1998, and Denis Lindsay, 606 runs and 24 dismissals against Australia in 1966, are the other wicketkeepers to achieve this.
  • Chris Rogers hit his fifth fifty-plus score of this Ashes, in Australia's second innings today. He's the first Australia opener since Mark Taylor in 1994-95 to hit five or more fifty-plus scores in an Ashes series.
  • Australia's 311-run lead is already past the highest a team has successfully chased at the SCG to win a Test - a target of 287 runs by the hosts against South Africa in 2006. Among visiting teams, England's 194 in 1903-04, is the highest score in the fourth innings to win a Test at the SCG.

At stumps, Rogers had helped push Australia's total on to 4 for 140 and George Bailey, perhaps playing for his Test career, was on 20. Earlier, James Anderson had pitched the ball full enough to trouble the batsmen, having David Warner lbw around the wicket for 16 and Shane Watson brilliantly caught by a diving Bairstow. Stuart Broad also drew an edge behind off Michael Clarke for 6 and Ben Stokes had Smith caught at slip for 7.

In isolation, it seemed a decent period for England. But, to butcher John Donne, no session is an island. By the time tea arrived with the loss of England's last wicket, they had lost 9 for 147 from their overnight position. They were lucky to even make that many. All that could be said for their batting was that they avoided the follow on - just. Their 155 was their lowest total since their first innings of the series.

None of their top five batsmen reached double figures and while the pitch offered some seam movement it was not extravagant; Australia's bowlers just exploited it far better than England's attack had on the first day. Bowl full, let it swing and if it doesn't it might seam. Draw the batsman forward. It was textbook stuff. From the moment Cook padded up England were in disarray.

The ball angled across Cook and straightened, but at no point did Cook appear interested in using his bat, and Aleem Dar's finger was up almost before Harris had even turned around to ask the question. England's 2 for 8 should have become 3 for 8 when Ian Bell edged his first ball to slip off Harris but was reprieved by Watson, who spilled a chance he should comfortably have taken. It barely mattered, for Australia were creating so many opportunities that it was only a matter of time.

The nightwatchman Anderson was worked over by Johnson. Bouncers lobbed off the bat into gaps, another one jammed his right hand onto the handle of the bat and when Anderson edged a regulation catch to second slip off Johnson he must have been glad to get out of there.

Ben Stokes' fighting innings ended when he left a delivery from Peter Siddle, Australia v England, 5th Test, Sydney, 2nd day, January 4, 2014
Ben Stokes showed some fight but not even he could save England © Getty Images

Three for 14 became 4 for 17 when Kevin Pietersen was drawn forward by the impeccable length of Harris. On 3, Pietersen drove hard and edged Harris to slip, where Watson held on this time. His drop of Bell wasn't costly in any way either, for on 2 from 32 balls Bell edged behind off a lovely delivery from Siddle that moved away just enough.

There had been other close calls - a couple of reviews, a few balls that didn't go to hand for the fielders - but at 5 for 23 England's all-time lowest Test total of 45 looked in danger regardless. It took two of England's newest Test cricketers, Stokes and the debutant Gary Ballance, to fight and steer the team to lunch without further loss, although a Johnson bouncer to the helmet left Ballance uneasy just before the break.

Soon after it he was outdone by Nathan Lyon, who had Ballance prodding forward and edging behind to Haddin for 18. At 6 for 62, England weren't even halfway to avoiding the follow-on. Bairstow tamely drove Siddle straight to the catching man at short mid-on for 18 and later in the same over Stokes was bowled shouldering arms to Siddle.

At least Stokes had really shown something, driving confidently and ticking the scoreboard over on his way to 47. He has been the stand-out player for England since his debut in Perth, but he cannot carry the team on his own. Scott Borthwick tamely edged Harris to third slip for 1 and it was only through the last pair, Broad and Boyd Rankin, that England moved past the follow-on target.

It was largely academic, for Clarke would surely have batted again anyway. Broad whacked a few late boundaries in his 30 not out before Johnson bowled Rankin for 13. Johnson, Siddle and Harris finished with three wickets each, and finished any hopes England had of avoiding a clean sweep. Alastair Cook - or Cookie - has rarely presided over a more monstrous day.

Brydon Coverdale is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. He tweets here

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Posted by mzm149 on (January 5, 2014, 5:51 GMT)

England need to play with India to regain their confidence. They beat them in last encounters at home and away. Whitewashing India away from there home is not that tough.

Posted by Shaggy076 on (January 5, 2014, 3:30 GMT)

Aviral_Ashok; Wow make it sound so scary, fact is next series is here Ashwin averages 80 in Australia. No world spinner is averaging below 40 here (probably not even under 50). Lyon as such is very respectable and clearly outbowled Ashwin over here. You might need to come up with another plan. PS yes you scored 13 more runs than South Africa but also lost 13 more wickets.

Posted by android_user on (January 5, 2014, 1:43 GMT)

Rogers come on. Post a double century.

Posted by xtrafalgarx on (January 5, 2014, 1:39 GMT)

@Wapuser: A clean sweep has only happened 2 times in 100+ years, it is about to be three. On all of those ocassions Australia has walloped England. That goes to show that England just don't have the stones nor the ammunition to be able to do it to Australia.

Posted by Haz95 on (January 5, 2014, 1:17 GMT)

@AVIRAL_Ashok, I'm just a neutral observer but that claim is out of this world..'best spin attack', you've had one world class spinner[barely] who performed against minnows...He wouldn't rank among Murali, Saqlain and Shane etc. 'ashwin, jadeja and ojha , amit mishra', please they would have no answer to Ajmal and co. Paks weaker spinners, Hafeez and Afridi would make it into any XI on bowling alone....Tests, ODi or T20s Ajmal> a country mile Rehman>Jadeja..proven a lot more so far Z Babar>Ojha..Babar capable to be Ajmal level Afridi>Mishra...7/12 anyone?

Anyway Australia's pace attack is proving formidable but for how long though? We'll see how mitch and co. are up against Steyn and co. England will go home and regain form I believe and will prove to be a formidable opponent again...Seems as tho South Africa in tests are the only team which isn't a Home bully. Then teams like PAK or England to some extent are, in ODis and T20s.

Posted by Biggus on (January 5, 2014, 0:50 GMT)

@AVIRAL_Ashok:- I watched plenty of that SA series and I stand by my comments. Sorry but we're not quivering in fear at the prospect of playing India down here. No need for me to 'get ur knowledge widened!!!' as you put it, I've been watching the game since 1972, about 20 years longer than you've been alive. We'll beat you and we'll do it easily, whether you believe it or not.

Posted by   on (January 5, 2014, 0:33 GMT)

Australia looking one more time to take a 500+ run lead and have two days and a session to wrap the game up to make it an easy 5-0. The aggregate series winning margin should be something like 1000 runs and 8 wickets.

Posted by   on (January 4, 2014, 23:50 GMT)

India is only a challenge in India. Last time they were here they rolled over had their tummies tickled. Australia has a similar problem away from home. South Africa is the team that seems to be able succeed in all conditions. They are the benchmark.

Posted by Cpt.Meanster on (January 4, 2014, 23:46 GMT)

@BIGGUS: I normally appreciate constructive criticism in any walk of life, more so in sports. Your comments defy logic and is centred around hate, ignorance and petty short-sightedness. The 1-0 loss for India in SA is actually as good as a victory for a "young and inexperienced" team. They faced the world's best bowling attack in their own backyard and came out dignified and proud. Many of our young batsmen made 100s in totally alien conditions on their first trip to SA. So give credit where it's due. This Australian team is far from being a champion side. Playing on trampoline pitches with poorly maintained moustaches doesn't make for a world class team or world class bowler. I am sure you get my point.

Posted by pinch-hitter75 on (January 4, 2014, 23:26 GMT)

5 tests on and finally England try to play like Australia....first five score 25, the rest 130, what a recovery! England may have one Stokes, but eleven Aussies are well and truly stoked, as they have been since November. 5-0 is honestly the lone true reflection of this sorry mismatch of both skill and psychology.

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Brydon CoverdaleClose
Brydon Coverdale Assistant Editor Possibly the only person to win a headline-writing award for a title with the word "heifers" in it, Brydon decided agricultural journalism wasn't for him when he took up his position with ESPNcricinfo in Melbourne. His cricketing career peaked with an unbeaten 85 in the seconds for a small team in rural Victoria on a day when they could not scrounge up 11 players and Brydon, tragically, ran out of partners to help him reach his century. He is also a compulsive TV game-show contestant and has appeared on half a dozen shows in Australia.
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