The Ashes: Australia v England, fifth Test, day one, Sydney

England close the opening day of the fifth and final Ashes Test in Sydney on 8-1 - in reply to Australia's 326.

2 January 2014 Last updated at 22:29 GMT

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As it happened

  1. 0734: 

    And so our time together on the first day of this final Ashes chapter comes to an end.

    Australia's day? They seem ahead, but we won't know for sure until the England innings progresses tomorrow.

    We'll be back at 2300 GMT tonight to see if they can put a dent in that Aussie total of 326. Join us then.

  2. 0729: 

    England all-rounder Ben Stokes: "The other pitches have been a bit flatter - there was a bit more in this. You looked to bowl top of off stump and you didn't need to stray from that line and length. As the ball got older it stopped swinging and when that happens out here it becomes easier to bat.

    "You've just got to try to keep a level head and not get too carried away, whether it's good or bad.

    "There's still a lot more to play for in this game. Losing the wicket tonight wasn't ideal but hopefully tomorrow we can get runs on the board. We've just got to take what comes at us."

  3. 0727:  
    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

    "I saw Scott Borthwick playing for Durham and I didn't expect he would end up in the England side so quickly. He sent down a lot of full-bungers and England lost control as a result."

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

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Chris Rhodes: Fed up of hearing how good Mitchell Johnson is - the former laughing stock. Surely it is how poor are English batsmen?

    Stephen Botham: What happened there? I go to bed at 94-4 and wake up to 326 same old story I'm afraid, advantage not taken, story of the summer.

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

    "The best young bowler in the country - Steven Finn - is the only member of the touring party not to get a game in this series. Nobody would have predicted that when Alastair Cook's men left England."

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

  7. 0723: 

    How to reflect on that? Which team holds the whip hand?

    Given England's batting frailty, and the assistance on offer to this Johnson-led pack of Aussie seamers, you have to feel Australia are in the stronger position.

    But, their lead is only (only?) 318. England should believe that they can get in this game tomorrow.

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

    "Joe Root is talented and will come again but he has lost his footwork in this series. England have taken him out of the firing line and will try and get his confidence back for the one-dayers. I'm not sure Michael Carberry has ever played on the front foot - they've gone with him because he's an opener but he's static on the crease. You've got to dance and move, you can't be static protecting your stumps. Unless I see something in the second innings, I don't expect to see him opening for England again."

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

  9. 0720: 

    Thirty minutes for England to get through, but Mitchell Johnson was fired up in front of 45,000 Sydneysiders.

    Michael Carberry uncomfortable, then snaffled at leg slip. Nightwatchman James Anderson left to see Alastair Cook to the close, which was reached at 8-1.

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

    "Ben Stokes has some go in him - he is aggressive and competitive. You have to be like that as a bowler, you can't be soft and nice. He could make a really good cricketer for England. We've found a good player."

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

  11. 0718: 

    Runs continued to flow, the game threatening to get away from England despite Borthwick claiming Johnson as a first test victim.

    Enter Stokes. Three wickets in an over, a maiden Test five-for and 6-99 overall. Australia 326 all out. A good score on a deck offering so much help to the pacers?

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

    "Steve Smith does not look an aesthetic player but he has a lot of spirit and he will take the plaudits for getting the hundred but it was Brad Haddin that gave Australia the spark."

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

  13. 0716: 

    Fifty for Haddin, to complete the set for the series. It was a shock when he nicked Stokes to first slip, gone on 75.

    Smith, though, carried the fight. A third Test ton, this one on his home ground.

  14. 0715: 

    It got worse for Australia, George Bailey ousted by Broad. 97-5. But then came the fightback, led by the king of the counter-attack, Brad Haddin.

    Punishing England's poor lengths, Haddin and Steven Smith changed the momentum in the blink of an eye, rattling along in the afternoon.

    The tourists were hindered by the loss of Rankin, who twice went in the hamstring, and the expense of rookie leggie Borthwick.

  15. 0714: 

    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.

  16. 0712: 

    England won the toss and bowled on a greenish deck under grey skies. Their bowling was wayward, but they still found their rewards.

    Stuart Broad disturbing David Warner's stumps, Chris Rogers chopping on off Ben Stokes, the same bowler doing for Aussie skipper Michael Clarke. When James Anderson rattled Shane Watson's pads, Australia took lunch on 94-4.

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

    "It's been good, exciting and dramatic cricket. We have seen a lot of players with character stand up to be counted."

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

  18. 0710: 

    It seems an age ago that we learned of the changes to the England team, the three new caps handed to Scott Borthwick, Gary Ballance and Boyd Rankin as expected.

    What we did not expect was the axing of Joe Root, who carried the drinks along with Monty Panesar and Tim Bresnan.

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at the SCG

    "New year, same old story. Australia have fought their way out of a corner to dominate; England came out punching but have ended the day wobbling under assault from the Aussie big hitters. In what already feels like a four-day game, Alastair Cook's men need a big second day on Saturday."

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    James Gulleford: Anderson played Johnson better than Carberry did which says it all! Root actually did more today with the catch! Mad selection!

  21. 0706: 

    What a day of Test cricket. 332 runs, 11 wickets. Which team will enjoy their ice bath more? You have to think it will be Australia.

  22. 0705:  
    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

    "It was a wonderful day of cricket. It was grand theatre at the end with the fast bowlers racing in and the ball whistling through."

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

  24. 0703: 
    CLOSE OF PLAY- Eng 8-1

    Well done, James Anderson. Two shortish balls, the first of which could have resulted in a single that was turned down. Anderson is in behind them both, then heads for the pavilion with his skipper. The threat of the brilliant Johnson is negotiated. England close on 8-1, 318 behind.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "It must be amazing to be a fast bowler like Mitchell Johnson - to have even the best players beaten for pace."

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

  26. 0702: 
    Eng 8-1

    This is simply brilliant from Mitchell Johnson, he's bowling some unplayable deliveries to the England skipper. A snorter has Cook defending his face with his gloves, then an away-swinger has the captain groping outside off stump. This is a man with 8,000 Test runs, looking like a novice. Cook works to fine leg and accepts the single with relief. He'll be there in the morning. Two for Anderson to survive...

    Text 81111

    Joe in Bath: It's amazing how much better a player you become while you're out of the side. What a player Nick Compton looks right now...

  28. 0659: 
    Eng 7-1 (one over remaining)

    Anderson shouldn't expect many in his half. Every fielder except fine leg is in a catching position. Anderson gets some boos as he looks to waste some time, but Australia are actually bringing Johnson from fine leg to leg gully. A bumper, Anderson virtually runs to point to get out of the way. In behind the next one, some gardening, Harris around the wicket. More time ticks by. Edged! Doesn't carry to first slip. We'll get one more over from marauding Mitch.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Ed Peacock: It's a shame because I really wanted him to do well because he deserves it, but I think that's that for Carberry's Test career.

    Gigs: Carberry was possibly out three times in nine balls there.

  30. 0655: 
    Eng 7-1 (319 behind)

    Well done Jimmy, well fended. He gets bat on and scampers to the non-striker's end, leaving Cook to see off the final ball of the over. Replays of the Carberry wicket show what a brilliant catch that was by Lyon, diving to grab the ball just above the turf in what is a pretty unorthodox position. England will want to make this Harris over last as long as possible to make sure it is the final one of the day. A big ask, though.

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

    "I don't believe in nightwatchmen like Jimmy. You do it for a while, get bombarded from the quicks for a while and then lose your bottle. You need somebody who can bat a bit. Jimmy is an Aunt Sally."

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

  32. 0652: 
    Eng 6-1

    Pity James Anderson, sent out as nightwatchman. Would you swap with him? I wouldn't.

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

    "What a fantastic piece of cricket - to have the plan, to set it, to have the bowler bowl fast and then the fielder to catch it. The thinking, execution and catch was terrific. It was wonderful cricket."

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

  34. 0650: 
    WICKET- Carberry c Lyon b Johnson 0 (Eng 6-1)

    It just had to happen. Michael Carberry has looked all at sea but, in the face of these Mitchell Johnson thunderbolts, can you blame him? It's in the body, worked around the corner, where the diving Nathan Lyon move right to take the catch at leg slip. The ball before, Carberry was shown to get a tiny edge on Hot Spot, but the Aussies didn't appeal. Brilliant start by the magnificent Johnson.

    Fall of wickets: 6-1 (Carberry 0)


    Mitchell Johnson
  35. 0648: 
    Eng 5-0 (321 behind)

    In comes a very straight silly mid off for Cook as short-leg George Bailey chirps from short leg. Bailey has a very high chat-to-runs ratio. The atmosphere calms during Harris's over. He's a threat, but it's not quite the same as Johnson's bullets. So far, so good for England.

    Text 81111

    Scillaci in Derby: The real perspective is that the day's first goal for England is accomplished - to get Australia out. Perhaps a little more runs than hoped so now England must resist, resist, resist tonight and first session tomorrow.

  37. 0644: 
    Eng 4-0 (322 behind)

    Michael Carberry, how are you feeling? Possibly playing for his Test career, Carberry is cut in half by Johnson's first delivery, with Australia screaming an appeal for caught behind. Not out, no review. It flicked Carberry's trousers. Slips, short leg, leg slip, it's fearsome from Johnson, the ball seaming around at pace of around 93mph. Is that a leave? A play and miss? It doesn't matter at that pace. In the face of Johnson and 45,000 inside the SCG, Carberry survives.

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

    "England don't have to get the 322 tonight - the only thing that matters is that they survive. They don't need to be playing crazy shots."

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

  39. 0639: 
    Eng 4-0 (322 behind)

    Four slips and a short leg surround Cook, who is wide-eyed as Harris, the Rhino, rampages in. The England skipper is given a gift, a wide half-volley, and he accepts with a drive through the covers. Here comes Mitchell...

  40. 0637: 

    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.

  41. 0636: 
    Eng 0-0

    We turnaround in the blink of an eye. I sometimes wonder how the openers pad up so quickly. Alastair Cook strides out, followed by the languid Michael Carberry. It will be Cook on strike to Ryan Harris.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Andy Loughton: Woah Woah Hokey Stokey, knees bent, arms bent OUT OUT OUT.

    Gavin Osborn: Is there nothing this kid can't do? Ben Stokes to replace Cook as captain!

    Charlie Wilkes-Green: Can't see England not losing a wicket before the end of play here today.

  43. 0635:  
    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.

  44. 0634: 
    Aus 326 all out

    On winning the toss and fielding, England would have wanted to bowl Australia out today. But, would they have wanted to face Mitchell Johnson in the evening gloom on a deck offering plenty to the pacers? Alastair Cook and Michael Carberry have just shy of 30 minutes to survive on the dancefloor.

    Text 81111

    Will Foulger, Durham: There's talk of par scores on this wicket. Nonsense. This series has had nothing to do with wickets and conditions. It's been in the mind: England won't get anywhere near 350.

  46. 0631: 
    Aus 326 all out

    What to make of all that? Will England be happy with that Aussie total? They may have taken 326 all out, but not when Australia were 97-5. Steven Smith and Brad Haddin (again) counter-attacked with wonderful purpose, putting England on the back foot. It really looked like the day would get away from England, but that three-wicket Stokes over has pulled things around. We'll learn more about how good that total is in the tricky half-hour that England must face before the close.

    Fall of wickets: 22-1 (Warner 16), 51-2 (Rogers 11), 78-3 (Clarke 10), 94-4 (Watson 43), 97-5 (Bailey 1), 225-6 (Haddin 75), 269-7 (Johnson 12), 325-8 (Harris 22), 325-9 (Siddle 0), 326 all out (Smith 115)


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

    "Ben Stokes has arrived on the international stage as a bowler now. He's backed up his century at Perth with six wickets."

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

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

    "It's not a great sign that the ball is suddenly doing a bit."

    Ed Smith adds: "It's just gone overcast and muggy. England's openers have got a testing time coming up."

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

  49. 0626: 
    WICKET- Smith c sub (Root) b Stokes 115 (Aus 326 all out)

    All over, Ben Stokes wraps it up. Steven Smith is the last man to fall, heaving Stokes to Joe Root at mid on. Just two balls before, Stokes had Lyon dropped a fourth slip by James Anderson, which would have been three wickets in four balls. As it is, he settles for three wickets in the over and figures of 6-99. At the end of that frantic over, Australia are 326 all out.

  50. 0625: 
    HAT-TRICK BALL- Aus 325-9

    Played back as calm as you like by number 11 Nathan Lyon.

  51. 0623: 

    A ton in Perth, five wickets now, Ben Stokes is the find of England's horrible series. He holds the ball aloft, then sets off for a hat-trick ball...

    Fall of wickets: 22-1 (Warner 16), 51-2 (Rogers 11), 78-3 (Clarke 10), 94-4 (Watson 43), 97-5 (Bailey 1), 225-6 (Haddin 75), 269-7 (Johnson 12), 325-8 (Harris 22), 325-9 (Siddle 0)


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

    "Brilliant for Ben Stokes - it was on a good length with a hint of movement. This young lad is a real shining light for England."

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

  53. 0622: 
    WICKET- Siddle c Bairstow b Stokes 0 (Aus 325-9)

    Gone first ball! Peter Siddle goes for a golden blob and Ben Stokes is on a hat-trick. Just moving away from Siddle's tentative poke, the feather edge is straight to Jonny Bairstow. England fighting.

    Fall of wickets: 22-1 (Warner 16), 51-2 (Rogers 11), 78-3 (Clarke 10), 94-4 (Watson 43), 97-5 (Bailey 1), 225-6 (Haddin 75), 269-7 (Johnson 12), 325-8 (Harris 22)


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

    "Ryan Harris played positively and that's the way the Australians will play from now on. They will come out swinging - Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon both like to play their shots."

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

  55. 0619: 
    WICKET- Harris c Anderson b Stokes 22 (Aus 325-8)

    This day may have gone south for England, but they could yet be batting tonight. It's Ben Stokes again, how well he has bowled today. On a length to Ryan Harris, who prods the ball straight to James Anderson at short cover. In frustration, Anderson catches the ball and immediately puts his shoe through it, belting the leather away. Stokes has 4-98.

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

    "It's very tempting when a team is losing to look around at who else is on the tour and get them in the team. But there's a reason why players like Boyd Rankin were not selected for the matches at Adelaide, Perth and the MCG."

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

  57. 0618: 
    Aus 325-7

    It's getting hard to describe how demoralising and disappointing this is for England at the moment. Now, Harris is leaning back to pull Anderson for six over mid-wicket as if he was Sachin Tendulkar. That's the 50 partnership for this ninth-wicket pair in only 42 balls. How bad might it get for England before the close. To remind you, Australia were 97-5.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Dave Gay: Steve Smith - stop ragging on him - future captain - 24 - big career ahead. English denial will lead to more "shock" losses.

    Steve Smith
    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at the SCG

    "Thoughts now turn to the par score on this SCG track. There is grass on it for the quicks, and there is also uneven bounce in addition to cracks that will surely expand in this warm January sunshine. England's weary troops might not like to hear it, but Australia may already have moved from competitive to commanding."

  60. 0614: 
    Aus 318-7 (Smith 115, Harris 15)

    Cook has to ring the changes, but he's essentially down to three bowlers. Ben Stokes is back - he, Broad and Anderson have bowled nearly 60 of the 74 overs sent down today. Harris looks more comfortable now the bounce of Broad has gone - he comes forward to drive for three. The joy and optimism on England faces at lunch has eroded. The Barmy Army have barely been heard.


    Ian Macauley in Poland: Perhaps the Ashes urn could be renamed Al-Haddin's Lamp for this series!

  62. 0610: 
    Aus 312-7 (run-rate 4.29)

    James Anderson comes back in place of Broad, with Ryan Harris now getting in on the run-getting. A wild flash over the slips for four, a push through the covers for two, a lean back to biff for an off-side four. Australia's number nine takes England's premier bowler for 10 off the over. It's getting gloomy, clouds have rolled in. If it rains, I wouldn't want to be sitting on top of that crane.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "The Australians know that Alastair Cook has a real crisis on his hands because he has nobody to bowl in the build-up to the new ball."

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

  64. 0605: 
    Aus 302-7 (Borthwick 1-49 from 7)

    Replays of that Johnson wicket showed Borthwick's huge cry of "caaatttccchh" as the ball went up, followed by a fist-pump when Root did just that. He spins catches to himself before each delivery, then rips the ball down with his tongue poking out. Consistency is a leggie's biggest challenge, and his length has gone here. Another full toss is biffed for four by Smith. There are 18 overs left in the day, but we can only play until 0700 GMT. There are eight overs until the new ball.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Rubyshakes: Steve Smith - poorest batsman ever to score 2 Ashes tons? Discuss.

    Charlie Wilkes-Green: Well batted Steve Smith, fantastic innings. Scored at a decent rate too.

  66. 0601: 
    Aus 294-7 (partnership 25)

    Just waking up? You've missed some day. England, as expected have given Test debuts to Scott Borthwick, Gary Ballance and Boyd Rankin in place of Monty Panesar, Tim Bresnan and, surprisingly, Joe Root. It was going so well after the tourists won the toss, Australia reduced to 97-5. Since then, though, the game has gone away from them at a rapid rate. A Steve Smith hundred, 75 for Brad Haddin. To cap it off, Rankin has gone in the hamstring. Broad is overdoing the short stuff to Harris, who may as well duck before the ball is released. Four byes over keeper Bairstow's head.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "What a horrible ball that was - Steve Smith just said thank you very much and smashed it. Smith is a good, quirky character and this will mean a lot on his own ground."

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

  68. 0556: 
    100 FOR STEVE SMITH- Aus 289-7

    Well batted Steve Smith, and what a way to go to a third Test hundred. From 93, he biffs Borthwick for two sixes in the over. The first a dance and loft over long on, the second, to go to three figures, a full toss plundered in the same direction. He removes his lid, kisses the badge and salutes his home crowd. That ton came from 142 balls. At first he was overshadowed by Brad Haddin, but now he's the main man in this Aussie charge towards a match-winning total.

    Steve Smith

    Fall of wickets: 22-1 (Warner 16), 51-2 (Rogers 11), 78-3 (Clarke 10), 94-4 (Watson 43), 97-5 (Bailey 1), 225-6 (Haddin 75), 269-7 (Johnson 12)


    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.

  70. 0552: 
    Aus 276-7 (Smith 92, Harris 0)

    Do England see the finish line? This Aussie tail is decent, so there's plenty to do. Ryan Harris was bounced out by Broad in Melbourne and a short leg is immediately summoned to boot hill. Chin music for Harris, some fending, an ugly swot, then a leading edge that teases the short-leg fielder. Harris survives, but I don't think he fancies the Broad bumper barrage.


    Nick Baker, Manchester: So is Borthwick now going to be treated like Kerrigan, as in, Cook is going to let the Aussies attack him out of a Test career? This is not the way to treat a young bowler on debut. Give them encouragement, don't discard them.

  72. 0546: 
    Aus 272-7 (Borthwick 1-28 from 5)

    Ryan Harris is the new man, arriving after what I think may have been a drinks break. That shot of Johnson's was as baffling as it was ugly. Maybe he fancies a bowl on this deck.

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

    "It was over-confidence from Mitchell Johnson, thinking he could plant Scott Borthwick in the crowd. I have no sympathy because the shot selection is rubbish. There are plenty of other areas to hit the ball. It was like Kevin Pietersen's shot at Perth."

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

    Mitchell Johnson
  74. 0541: 
    WICKET- Johnson c sub (Root) b Borthwick 12 (Aus 269-7)

    Well done, Scott Borthwick. A magic moment for the Durham man, his first Test wicket. It was rather gifted by Mitchell Johnson, who lost patience despite the fact Borthwick's length was all over the place. When a leggie was landed in the slot, Johnson looked to hit it to Bondi, but could only send it high into the clear blue sky. From miles up, it came down to long on, where sub fielder Joe Root pouched the catch. A bonus for England.

    Fall of wickets: 22-1 (Warner 16), 51-2 (Rogers 11), 78-3 (Clarke 10), 94-4 (Watson 43), 97-5 (Bailey 1), 225-6 (Haddin 75), 269-7 (Johnson 12)


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

    "This is disheartening for England now. They got themselves into a good position but they just can't finish Australia off and it must leave a sinking feeling in their stomachs."

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

  76. 0539: 
    Aus 267-6 (Broad 2-60 from 18)

    Stuart Broad returns around the wicket to Johnson, the man with a moustache that looks menacing even when his batting. That helmet is a Hannibal Lecter muzzle, protecting the fielders. A single, then Smith continues his one-man attempt to throw the kitchen sink at every ball. Four guided to third man - yet another four on the off side. How can England get control? If they defend, runs will be easier to come by. If they attack, there will be more gaps for the charging Smith.

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

    "The Australians have had a gameplan all series to attack the England spinners. Just look at what happened to Graeme Swann."

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

    Steve Smith
  78. 0534: 
    Aus 262-6 (partnership 37)

    Indeed Scott Borthwick is called on for a fourth over in Test cricket, with fielders scattered all over the SCG. Just one slip for Smith, who is eyeing a third Test ton. A skip, a single, then Johnson does the same. Ooohhh, decent length, ripping past Smith's edge, then a big inside edge that almost rolls on to the stumps. The googly? Not sure. Encouraging.

    Fall of wickets: 22-1 (Warner 16), 51-2 (Rogers 11), 78-3 (Clarke 10), 94-4 (Watson 43), 97-5 (Bailey 1), 225-6 (Haddin 75)


  79. 0530: 
    Aus 260-6 (Smith 80, Johnson 9)

    Smith really has picked up Haddin's mantle. He knows that if he targets Stokes and Anderson, England may have to turn to Borthwick. Another stand-and-deliver belt down the ground, then a swivel on a pull for a couple. How do England stop the charge? In the last 10 overs, Smith has scored 26 runs from the 31 balls he has faced.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Elliot Newstead: Why the hell did they bring Rankin back on? Hamstring injuries don't just disappear after a few hours. Idiotic decision.

    Boyd Rankin
  81. 0526: 
    Aus 253-6 (run-rate 3.95)

    It's glorious in Sydney, the sort of day where you'd want to be on the beaches of Bondi, Coogee, La Perouse or Manly. Still Stokes, capable of bowling until the sun goes down. It's pacey from the rough-edged Durham man, up towards 90mph, but Smith can belt down the ground for four. Stokes, who looks like he can handle himself, has a word with Smith, who looks like he'd lose a fight with a bus ticket.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Brent Marrow: How good would this Australia team be if they had decent batsmen from 1 to 5?

    Kevin Richards: Surely time to give Borthwick another run with Haddin back in the sheds. Let's get the tail swinging as 3 bowlers ain't enough.

  83. 0521: 
    Aus 245-6 (Anderson 1-43 from 18)

    Still James Anderson as Alastair Cook removes his cap and chews his gum with all the worry of a man whose wife is in labour. Replays of Boyd Rankin showed just how upset the big man was. He might be a giant, but he's got a bit of a baby face. Tim Bresnan is on as sub, which can't be good when you've been dropped. A Johnson push gets him three through the off side.

    Text 81111

    Phil Hook, Gateshead: Good shout regarding Durham and Paul Collingwood. The coaching set-up at Durham is superb with a conveyor belt of high quality youngsters coming through. As for Colly, his grit and determination are what England need; surely at some stage he will be involved in the England coaching set-up?

  85. 0517: 
    Aus 242-6 (Smith 66, Johnson 5)

    The Rankin injury further exposes England to the use of Scott Borthwick. The young leggie has not been seen since he bowled three overs for 21 runs. Without the pair of debutants, Alastair Cook only has Anderson, Broad and Stokes. Stokes finishes Rankin's over, with Borthwick getting loose. Some of Kevin Pietersen's off-breaks, perhaps? Michael Carberry sends down some buffet bowling too.

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

    "It's strange to bring him back - to have him bowl one ball and then pull up again serves no purpose. Surely he has been in the nets testing it out to see if he could get through an over or two?"

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

  87. 0514: 
    OUCH!- Aus 240-6

    You're not going to believe this. Rankin has bowled one ball and is holding that left hamstring again. The physio is on, there's a conflab between bowler, captain and the umpire. Rankin is heading off again. You can't help but feel for him. He's waited all tour to make his Test debut and he's gone in the fetlock.

  88. 0512: 
    Aus 240-6

    Now then, here's something we though we might not see again today. Boyd Rankin is going to have a bowl. He went off with a hamstring injury one ball into his ninth over in the afternoon session.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Philip Smith: I agree with Michael Vaughan - England could do with some stonewall Colly-style nerdling to frustrate the likes of Johnson.

  90. 0510: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Aus 240-6

    James Anderson, military hairstyle, plenty of growth on his chin, kicks his heels behind him as he runs toward leftie Johnson. With the shadows noticeable for the first time in the day, Anderson asks for leg before from a full one, but Mitch has got a big inside edge.

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

    "I enjoy my time coaching with England Under-17s and I like to give up 10-15 days a year and try and give my opinion to them but I don't see myself becoming a head coach in time. But I would like to give my opinion as an advisor - rather like Mark Taylor and Shane Warne do for Australia. When you are outside of the bubble of the dressing room, it's easier to say what you see."

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

  92. 0506: 
    Aus 239-6 (run-rate 3.98)

    You'd say that the current match situation is about even, but, on opting to field first, England might have hoped for more. On top of that, their batting has been so brittle in this series, you wonder how they will go a deck offering some naughtiness for the pacemen. The flame-haired Stokes to Johnson, two clipped through the leg side.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jack Ashbee: Too little too late. The tail can just play without pressure now. Anything above 200 is too high for England to chase.

    Jay: Stokes is the new Flintoff/Botham. Let the expectations and pressure skyrocket.

  94. 0502: 
    Aus 237-6 (Smith 64, Johnson 2)

    James Anderson, 1-35 from 15 so far, returns on a perfect Sydney afternoon. Steven Smith went quietly about his business during that stand with Haddin and he is continuing to play his shots now the wicketkeeper has gone. Full from Anderson, Smith lacing yet another drive through the covers. All 10 of his boundaries have come on the off side.

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

    "Ben Stokes is the one positive for England in this series. He's got his mate Scott Borthwick out there with him today and Durham are producing some good, young cricketers. Their coach, Geoff Cook, and captain, Paul Collingwood, deserve a lot of credit. Colly is actually coaching Scotland at the moment. Why is he not involved with England?"

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

  96. 0457: 
    Aus 233-6 (58 overs)

    Before that Haddin wicket, TV pictures showed the view from the table suspended from a crane over the ground (see 0110). The people sitting up their are strapped in to their seats, which are arranged around a bar in the middle, manned by some staff that are tied to the structure. What do you do if you need the toilet? Also, half the people up there have their backs to the cricket. You'd be livid if you went up there and could only see the car park.


    Kevin Rose: I have been watching the Ashes from here in South Africa and can't quite believe how what seems a fairly ordinary Australian side can be so dominant. We are looking forward to them coming over here and playing our boys in a few weeks.

  98. 0453: 
    Aus 228-6 (Smith 55, Johnson 2)

    Broad has three slips and a gully for new man Johnson as the Barmy Army make themselves heard for the first time in the match. Johnson, remember, has pinned Broad with a couple of yorkers, one with nasty results. If I was Broad, I'd be after retribution, but he's short instead. One ball leaps from back of a length, causing Johnson to take the bottom hand off the bat. This deck could get lethal.

    Text 81111

    Zaid, Portsmouth: From an amateur's playing point of view it boggles the mind at how easy Brad Haddin makes batting against England look. We just don't have the answer when frustrated.

  100. 0450: 
    Aus 226-6 (Stokes 14-1-75-3)

    Was Haddin expecting another short ball? He was slow in coming forward, meaning he was playing away from his body. His 75 came from 90 balls and has changed the momentum in this match. Still, with Haddin gone, England have a chance of bowling Australia out for 275, which would represent a good result. The run-rate is the problem, though. Mitchell Johnson the new man.

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

    "England need to continue taking wickets now because Australia are scoring their runs at such a fast rate."

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

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "Everyone in the ground is on their feet for Brad Haddin, because it's been potentially another match-saving innings."

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

  103. 0446: 
    WICKET- Haddin c Cook b Stokes 75 (Aus 225-6)

    It's not a misprint, England really have managed to remove Brad Haddin. Again it's golden-arm Ben Stokes, who responds well from that tonking in the previous over. Full on off stump, Haddin's lack of footwork this time lets him down, with a thick edge going to the safe paws of Alastair Cook at first slip. Huge relief for England, Haddin was taking the game away from them. Can the tourists run through the tail?

    Fall of wickets: 22-1 (Warner 16), 51-2 (Rogers 11), 78-3 (Clarke 10), 94-4 (Watson 43), 97-5 (Bailey 1), 225-6 (Haddin 75)


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

    "England need something a little different. What about Michael Carberry? Or Kevin Pietersen - we never see him bowl his off-spinners these days."

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

  105. 0444: 
    Aus 224-5 (Smith 54, Haddin 75)

    The most frustrating thing from England's point of view is that Haddin seems ambivalent to the pain he is purveying. A tremendous fidget, there's an adjustment of the helmet, a pull at the gloves then a yank of the pad. Bat placed between his feet, a couple of taps, then a rock to pull a Broad long-hop for four. Is Haddin earning the right to score these runs, or are England allowing him to do so? It's a bit of both.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "Australia are taking England to the cleaners now. They know Boyd Rankin is injured and they don't want to bowl Scott Borthwick. Now they are targeting Ben Stokes."

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

  107. 0439: 
    Aus 218-5 (run-rate 4.04)

    Is it demoralising yet? Haddin continues where he left off before tea, but this time he doesn't even try to make it look pretty. A touch of width from Ben Stokes, Haddin dispenses with foot movement to biff over the covers for four. He follows up with what is tantamount to a T20 slog. Front leg out of the way, slapped down the ground for four more. Remarkable attacking cricket, an attempt to grind England past the dirt they are already in.


    It will come as no real surprise that Brad Haddin averages considerably more against England (44.58) than in his overall career (37.03). The only other two countries against whom he averages more than 40 are West Indies and New Zealand. Interestingly, he scores his runs at 47.55 in Australia and at just 28.43 away from home.

  109. 0433: 
    50 FOR STEVE SMITH- Aus 206-5

    Shot lad. What a lovely way for Steve Smith to bring up a sixth Test half-century. Full and wide from Broad, Smith eats it up as if he hasn't just had a meal break. It screams along the turf to the point fence for four. 87 balls for that 50, Smith is doing a fine job rebuilding with Haddin. Is this the same bloke who looked so poor that last time England were down under? Meanwhile, William Boyd Rankin, to give him his full name, is back on the field after some treatment on that tweaked hammy.

    Steve Smith
  110. 0430: 

    Here we go for the final session - one that will extend until 0700 GMT because there's still an unlikely 38 overs to fit in. It's a beautiful afternoon, the sun burning bright in a cloudless blue sky. It feels like a time to be batting. Stuart Broad will be bowling to Brad Haddin.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Richard Powell: First session's efforts seem in vain and it's looking ugly in pink! Unfortunately, Haddin has a big heart to match his big gob.

  112. 0425: 

    But that's to take nothing away from this Aussie pair, who have added 104 runs for the sixth wicket. Steve Smith has 48 from 84 balls and perennial pain-in-the-backside Brad Haddin has 59 from 79.

    With the way the pitch is playing - there is already some uneven bounce and exaggerated movement - 300 could be a winning score.

  113. 0423: 

    From 94-4, Australia moved to 201-5. That was 107 runs in 26 overs, for the loss of George Bailey. England lost Boyd Rankin to a hamstring injury and saw Scott Borthwick go for 21 in his first three overs in Test cricket. On top of that, they bowled far too short.

    Alastair Cook and Boyd Rankin
  114. 0422: 

    Thanks, Marc. That session went about as badly as it could have done for England, didn't it?


    From Ian: Once again England fail to capitalise, Cook MUST go he is devoid of any plan B,C,D,E,.. if plan A fails! We get to 97-5 then let them put 100+ on, we may as well give in now, send them back, take away their match purse as few of them have earnt it!

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

    "Graham Onions can bowl, but all they do is give him one practice match on tour. If he doesn't bowl well, they say he can't play the Test matches. Some bowlers take a while to find their form on a tour. I bet Bresnan and Rankin don't have better Championship records than Onions."


    Gill Howarth: I note some English comments here suggesting they've let it get away. For mine it looks like total around 300, a result for them, although Cook's captaincy leaves much to be desired.

    Australia fan
  118. 0418: 

    I reckon, after scoring 107 runs for the loss of just one wicket, that was well and truly Australia's session. Can England fight back after tea? Stephan Shemilt is here to talk you through it...

    Text 81111

    From Phil: Scott Borthwick won't be too downhearted by being attacked by the batsmen. Pitches at Durham don't favour his style and he is often targeted. What he has in his favour is a simple action, ability to spin the ball and has a few variations up his sleeve. He has the potential to be another genuine all-rounder for England.

    Scott Borthwick
    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at the MCG

    "It's deja-vu all over again, as they say. New Year, same old story - England take five wickets, dare to dream, Brad Haddin comes in, dreams turn to nightmares."

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "Johnson is taking the headlines, but Haddin has arguably had more influence on the series."

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

    "England need to regroup, have a serious discussion. This is where leadership comes in, not captaincy, but being a leader. Also, the senior players need to stand up. They can't allow this to happen again. If Australia are still batting tonight, it will be a nightmare."

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

  123. 0411: 
    TEA- Aus 201-5 (Smith 48*, Haddin 59*)

    James Anderson is still chirping away at Brad Haddin, but it means very little when he bowls a half-tracker to the Aussie keeper and is pulled through to the midwicket boundary. That brings up the 100 partnership and takes the hosts past 200. And with their side well and truly on top, Haddin and Steve Smith waltz off for a spot of tea.

  124. 0407: 
    Aus 193-5 (Stokes 12-1-62-2)

    Ben Stokes looks annoyed - he's marching back to his mark now, especially miffed when Steve Smith gives a reminder of his considerable talents with a boundary through the off side. It's not all about Brad, you know.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Richard Cook: When was the last time a team were 97-5 and went on to win by an innings?

  126. 0404: 
    Aus 188-5 (run rate 3.81)

    How England could have done with more than 400 runs from their number seven in this Test series. Brad Haddin continues to frustrate the tourists as he greets James Anderson's return to the attack with another clubbed boundary. That run-rate is increasing rapidly now.

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

    "What a player Brad Haddin has been. Everything that has been good about Australia has been summarised by Haddin's battling, combative qualities."

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

    Brad Haddin is the second wicketkeeper to score a half-century in each match of a five-Test series. The last one was West Indies' Gerry Alexander in 1960-61. It is also his sixth fifty in seven Tests. The last Australian to score a half-century in each Test of an Ashes series was Keith Stackpole in 1971-72.

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at the SCG

    "With Boyd Rankin off with injury and Scott Borthwick having conceded 21 runs from his first 18 balls in Test cricket, is there an argument for wrapping third debutant Gary Ballance in bubble-wrap the next time he goes in at short leg?"

  130. 0359: 
    Brad Haddin

    Brad Haddin brings up his half-century with a cheeky single to mid-on, ensuring he has now scored a fifty in every match of this Ashes contest. What a superb contribution from the combative old pro. Even Ben Stokes, who played with a smile on his face in his first couple of Tests, is grimacing now as he unsuccessfully tries to make an all-important breakthrough.


    Clive in Milwaukee, USA: Usually having the opposition at 175-5 on day one would be cause for joy. However, this England team are so demoralised that from their body language they seem to already believe they've lost.

  132. 0354: 
    Aus 181-5 (Smith 40*, Haddin 49*)

    Stuart Broad is back to plugging holes in England's sinking ship. While the Australians plunder runs at the other end, he's struggling to build any sort of pressure. Just two byes from another very good over.


    From Mike in LA: Can we just add 100 to the Aussie score instead of having Haddin bat? It'd keep the bowlers much fresher.

    From Will: Why did England agree to an itinerary with so few matches on this tour outside the Tests? And what there was, was against sub-standard opposition. No way to prepare for a Test series, or allow anyone to play themselves into form.

  134. 0351: 
    Aus 179-5 (Smith 40*, Haddin 49*)

    For Scott Borthwick at the SCG in 2013, think Simon Kerrigan at The Oval in 2012. The Australians are climbing into the debutant spinner, muscling in to spoil the youngster's big day. As the Durham leggie tries to give the ball some air, he is hammered to the boundary at the beginning and end of his third over.

    Scott Borthwick
    Text 81111

    From Oz in Kent: Definitely shouldn't be allowed a replacement player if injured. Firstly it could be exploited to swap players on form, and secondly it would mark a backward step following on from the banning of runners, and retiring hurt meaning effectively you're out. Gutted for England if Rankin's hurt but that's sport!

  136. 0347: 
    Aus 170-5 (Broad 12.5- 4-42-2)

    Once again, England revert to type and look in the direction of Stuart Broad for a breakthrough. The tall all-rounder ends a maiden over with one which nips back in and cuts Brad Haddin in half. Briefly returning to the Boyd Rankin debate - under current rules he cannot be replaced, but is there an argument, in the current age, for replacements to be permitted?

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Chris Miller: Haddin rescuing Australia again. This is all a bit Bill Murray in Groundhog Day.

    John: Going pear shaped again for England. Had them by the throat and again loosened in no time.

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

    "England haven't bowled very well. You could say Australia have batted well, and they have, but England have not made it difficult for them."

  139. 0343: 
    Aus 170-5 (45 overs)

    Scott Borthwick's action bears a canny resemblance to Shane Warne as he flicks out his left arm, ambles into the delivery crease and delivers the ball with a high, loopy action and a flick of the hand. He's not having the results of the Australian great just yet, though, as both Brad Haddin, with three down to third man, and Steve Smith, courtesy of a slap back down the ground for four, get stuck into the rookie leggie.


    From Chris in Cambridge: At least one boundary in every one of the last 7 overs. Haddin now with his eye in. Stayed up beyond my normal first session after indulging myself in some optimism. Off to bed now and just know I'm going to wake up with Aus on 350+.

  141. 0339: 
    Aus 163-5 (Smith 31*, Haddin 42*)

    Suddenly, it all looks to be going against England again as their debutant fast bowler goes off with an ugly-looking injury and both Brad Haddin and Steve Smith edge towards another half-century each. If England do lose Rankin to injury, do you think they should be allowed to replace him for the rest of the match? Stuart Broad completes the over and goes for three runs.

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

    "This is the problem when you pick players who haven't done anything for six weeks. You can do plenty in the nets, but you're not much fit. It would have been very difficult for whoever they picked out of Rankin, Finn and Tremlett."

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

  143. 0335: 
    Aus 160-5 (run-rate 3.71)

    Bad news for England as Boyd Rankin pulls up injured and, one ball into his ninth over, is led from the pitch by the physio. It looks like the big man's hamstring has gone.

    Boyd Rankin
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Rob Greenwood: Haddin looks so incredibly calm and unaffected by the situation. He sees the ball and hits it. Easy game when you know how.

    Paul Drinkwater: They are getting away again, story of the winter in Australia.

  145. 0332: 
    Aus 160-5 (Smith 31*, Haddin 39*)

    Time for England's debutant leg-spinner Scott Borthwick to be given his head, and the Durham youngster gets a little turn and grip from the pitch against two Australian batsmen who are looking to get after him - Steve Smith ending a decent first over by flicking a full toss through the leg side for four.

  146. 0328: 
    Aus 155-5 (Stokes 10-1-54-2)

    The Australian physio is forced to put down his brew and have a look at Steve Smith's digits as Ben Stokes crashes one into the batsman's bottom hand. If the Durham all-rounder is pinning top-order batters, what will Mitchell Johnson be able to do with this tennis-ball like bounce? Smith shows his mettle by putting the pain to the back of his mind and playing an extravagant back-foot shot through to the backward point boundary.

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

    "You have to feel for Boyd Rankin. He's come in to an England side where the wheels are off and he hasn't bowled in a match for six weeks. He can't be in any sort of rhythm. These huge men are horrible to face in the nets, where bowlers look better. Batting is easier in the middle."

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

    Boyd Rankin
  148. 0323: 
    Aus 151-5 (Smith 23*, Haddin 38*)

    Brad Haddin gorges himself on a Boyd Rankin long hop and brings up the fifty partnership with a boundary. England are suddenly on the back foot once again, with Steve Smith proving equally as obdurate. Seven from another expensive over.

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "Ed Cowan, on ABC, says the Brad Haddin rumours are rubbish. He says he'll carry on to the World Cup."

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

    "England must think they have to bowl Australia out in the next 25 overs because they are scoring at this rate. The England players that aren't in great form will be looking at the pitch and thinking how tricky it will be on days three and four."

  151. 0319: 
    Aus 144-5 (Smith 21*, Haddin 33*)

    If this is going to be Brad Haddin's final Test match, surely he will want to grind England into the dirt one last time? Tidy and compact at the crease, he goes through his repertoire of strokes between deliveries while also fiddling with his batting gear.

    He is completely at home out in the middle, showing Ben Stokes the sponsor's logo before pouncing on some width and flaying the young all-rounder through to the cover boundary. The frustration is beginning to show on the youngster's face as he hits the stumps in his delivery stride for a third time and is whipped for four. A miserable over ends with Haddin hooking another short ball and dispatching his third boundary.

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

    "It's all happening. Test cricket is not boring any more. If Australia were five down for 60 or 70, things would be a lot worse for them, but they have scored quickly."

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

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at the SCG
    Brad Haddin

    "Strong rumours doing the rounds that Brad Haddin may be planning to retire from Test cricket after this match, which raises two questions: after a series in which he has scored more runs than any other stumper in Ashes cricket, how soon is too soon; and secondly, is that the only way England are going to shift him?"

  154. 0311: 
    Aus 131-5 (39 overs)

    Boyd Rankin can't catch a break - he pitches it up and Brad Haddin eases him for a single. He drags it back and he is edged over the slip cordon for four by Steve Smith. Time for drinks.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Ciaran McGreal: About time England showed up..... And showing that this Aussie team aren't that good and we've obviously just been really poor.

    Professor Evil: How would a more experience and quite simply better Finn not have been a better option over Rankin?

    Ujjwal: Looks like England have finally turned up. But knowing them, I wouldn't bet against them to be 111 all out when they bat.

  156. 0306: 
    Aus 126-5 (Smith 17, Haddin 20)

    Ben Stokes is quickly becoming England's go-to man as he is recalled to the attack and gets Brad Haddin hopping about with some lively stuff from back-of-a-length. The Aussie keeper loves the thrill of the chase though and pulls the very next ball to the boundary before knocking into the gaps for a single. That four-man slip cordon is a body light now. A slight momentum shift perhaps?

  157. 0303: 
    Aus 121-5 (Rankin 6-0-22-0)

    Boyd Rankin - a brute of a man who has grown into every inch of his 6ft 8ins frame in his 29 years - charges into the delivery crease and tests out the centre of the pitch. Brad Haddin responds by pulling the ball through midwicket for three, James Anderson making a decent stop on the rope to prevent a boundary. The Warwickshire man sends the next one down the leg side and Haddin climbs into the subsequent extra delivery and crashes it through the off side for four. A disappointing over.

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

    "When has Brad Haddin come in when Australia have been comfortable? Each time they have been under the pump. On the reverse side, Australia have dominated in the second innings. Is that conditions? Have England been negative? It's quite a contrast."

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

  159. 0257: 
    Aus 112-5 (Smith 12* Haddin 12*)

    Brad Haddin, Ryan Harris, Stuart Broad - just three players who can claim to have been player of the series if we take in all 10 matches between these two great rivals in the last six months. Who gets your vote? Another tidy over from James Anderson costs him just a single.

  160. 0253: 
    Aus 111-5 (run-rate 3.17)

    Time for big, bad Boyd Rankin to try and smash his way into the Australian tail. Will Brad Haddin tuck into him with the same relish as he did Steven Finn at Trent Bridge back in June? Nope, after helping himself to two more runs, the keeper is cut in half by a brute of a delivery which tickles his tummy. Don't rub it, Brad.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Cliff Pike: England MUST get Haddin out cheaply for once. Great starts have been delivered before and then thrown away!

    Phil Head: Regardless of how Haddin performs now, decision by Cook to bowl has been a good one. Good finally to see England fighting.

  162. 0249: 
    Aus 109-5

    Brad Haddin marks his reprieve with a single which takes him to 400 runs for the series. James Anderson takes out his frustration by getting one to rise and pin Steve Smith on the hand. England on top.

  163. 0247: 

    Glenn was right - Brad Haddin survives as replays show he didn't get an edge and the ball was going over the top.

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

    "I think he might be too high and he hasn't hit it."

  165. 0246: 

    A big moment in this match. James Anderson bowls another inducker which catches Brad Haddin on the back foot. England appeal for leg-before and hedge their bets for a caught behind as Jonny Bairstow gathers behind the stumps. Not out says the ump, but the tourists review.

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

    "Five wickets down is not ideal for Australia. When Alastair Cook won the toss, this is exactly what he wanted. England are bowling well on what is a fairly good wicket to bowl on. I think Michael Clarke would have bowled too. There's a lot more grass on this wicket than I have seen for a long time."

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

  167. 0243: 
    Aus 108-5 (Smith 11*, Haddin 9*)

    Having grown up watching Ian Healy, Adam Gilchrist and now Brad Haddin, I genuinely can't remember a time when Australia were truly vulnerable at five down. I'd wager that between them, those three have swung the momentum back into their side's favour dozens of times over the years. Stuart Broad continues to probe away for an opening and he is left frustrated as Haddin cuts a short one over the four-man slip cordon for four.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Pat O'Hara: Frustrating thing about this series is England have had windows in every test and not climbed in. Let's hope they do today.

    The Pete: Key to replacing Swann is to not try to replace him. Eng must adjust their approach with a spinner, Borthwick does that.

    David Flood: Does that count as a brilliant catch...or a brilliant bit of luck? I'll go for brilliant.

  169. 0239: 
    Aus 103-5 (32 overs)

    James Anderson skips in to bowl sporting a few days' worth of facial hair and a pink stain on the front of his trousers where he has been shining the ball. The Burnley Express is enjoying himself again as he nips one back into Steve Smith but, despite it hitting the batsman on the back foot, it did not move back in enough. A couple of singles punctuate another inswinger which hits Smith on the roll just outside off stump. Getting closer.


    Nicholas Henderson-Williams: I've been in Australia all Christmas and now I'm on the layover on the way home in Korea and see we are doing well, typical England!

  171. 0234: 
    Aus 101-5 (Smith 10, Haddin 4)

    The lush, green SCG outfield is a tremendous sight with its Wembley-like squares providing the perfect contrast to the brown wicket with its scattering of grass. Brad Haddin decides to counter-attack with a straight drive for four, but he's soon given the hurry-up as Stuart Broad surprises the keeper with a vicious, rising delivery which the batsman does well to avoid.

    Text 81111

    From Paul: The whole aggregating it to an England win over 2 series is both pathetic and embarrassing for the country. Is that what we have come to when trying to justify being battered?

  173. 0230: 
    Aus 97-5 (Smith 10*, Haddin 0*)

    James Anderson is racing back to his mark now, he's no longer looking weary and fed up. There's plenty of respect being shown by Steve Smith as the belligerent youngster reins in the attacking shots for now and plays out a maiden.

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

    "Haddin can't keep getting them out of jail. They are not a good batting side, but we have been worse than them. There will come a time when he gets a low score."

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

  175. 0226: 
    Aus 97-5 (Broad 2-31)

    Get Brad Haddin and England will surely believe they can skittle the Australians before tea. The slip cordon is growing in numbers and volume as the tourists go in for the kill. Braddin will enjoy silencing the visiting lambs.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    James: Time to turn the screw England. With our batting on this tour it's almost essential that we do. Spirits high here in the SCG.

    Daniel Grieg: The retiree's team looks strong this year! Some absolute greats leaving the game!

    Jeremy Tang: Praying Scott Borthwick isn't going to be the next Ashton Agar.

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

    "It bounced on Bailey and went to Cook's left. It bounced out of his hands and he caught it on the rebound. It was a lovely line and length. The batsman wants to get forward, but he can't."

  178. 0220: 
    WICKET- Bailey c Cook b Broad 1 (Aus 97-5)

    This is the England we all know and love. Stuart Broad bowls the perfect line and length and George Bailey nicks off to first slip where Alastair Cook takes a juggling catch. That would have gone down at the MCG. Not at the SCG. Enter Brad Haddin.

    Fall of wickets: 22-1 (Warner 16), 51-2 (Rogers 11), 78-3 (Clarke 10), 94-4 (Watson 43), 97-5 (Bailey 1)


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

    "There's some awkward, springy bounce and England are not getting carried away. They are bowling fuller, which is the right thing to do."

  180. 0219: 
    Aus 97-4 (run rate 3.46)

    Now he's got Shane Watson's wicket in his sky rocket, James Anderson looks re-energised - appearing to have the ball on a string as he nips one back into Steve Smith who doesn't know whether to stay back or get on the front foot. Just two from a probing over.

  181. 0216: 
    Aus 95-4 (Broad 1-31)

    All series, the grinning George Bailey strikes me as a man who has won a raffle to play for Australia. He's loved every minute of his belated crack at Test cricket, yet only Ryan Harris, Peter Siddle and Nathan Lyon are averaging less with the bat in the Australian team. The number six is given an early working over by Stuart Broad as the England bowler nips the ball about off the seam - beating Bailey on the inside and outside edge.

  182. 0211: 
    Aus 95-4 (Smith 8*, Bailey 1*)

    George Bailey is off the mark straight away as he tucks a single behind square before Steve Smith shoulders arms to the final delivery of James Anderson's over.

  183. 0209: 

    It's time to see what Steve Smith and George Bailey have got in their SCG locker. James Anderson has the ball in hand, ready to complete his over which started before lunch.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Dave Foot: If England win this Test match we can claim a win for the series plural. 4-4 with one away win to their none? I'll take that!

  185. 0205: 

    Corned beef butties? The lunch of champions!

    How are we all? Marc Higginson checking in for duty with the Aussies 94-4. Can England finally ram home their advantage? James Anderson certainly let out a lot of frustration when he sent Shane Watson packing just before lunch.


    Alex, TMS inbox: Been hopping to and fro from the ironing board to my lab top. Exciting stuff! The shirts are now done, it's 2.50 am here in Munich and I'm off to bed. Just hope I don't wake up to another nightmare in the morning.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Ian Mahoney: Getting four wickets is great but the bowlers do need to slow the Aussie run rate.

  188. 0148: 

    I'm off for my corned beef butties, but fear not - Marc Higginson will guide you through the afternoon session.

  189. 0143:  
    BBC Radio Test Match Special

    During the break on TMS, Aggers and co are reflecting on some of the big retirements in 2013. This week, Jacques Kallis followed the likes of Mike Hussey, Ricky Ponting, Graeme Swann and Sachin Tendulkar into the sunset.

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

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match Special

    "The pitch has changed colour since this morning. The green has gone under the sunshine."


    Simon Morgan in Handley, TMS inbox: Have a good feeling about this Test match. Australia are yet to win in 2014, England are unbeaten so far this year and three of England's players have never been on the losing side in a Test match.

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at the SCG

    "Those wickets have made it England's morning, justifying for now Alastair Cook's decision to bowl first. Once again England have an opening; once again they must take it, rather than let Australia wriggle away to run free."

    Text 81111

    Soumen: Need to keep this tight and eventually that man Haddin under control! We've started well before and then he's ruined it. Come on England- stop leaking runs and nail this!

  194. 0135: 
    Aus 94-4

    That Watson wicket sparked England celebrations that haven't been seen for what seems like a lifetime. Alastair Cook had both fists in the sky, every face was painted with a smile, the England fans in Sydney were roaring. Can the tourists build on this this? They'll have to find a way of getting rid of Brad Haddin.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Pete Naylor: The summer's Watson returns! Jimmy strikes again...

    Richard Powell: Shane Watson LBW for forty something! A bit of normality creeping back into Ashes cricket?

    Will Cadbury: How many gingers are there in the England team these days? I really should have stuck at keeping and batting 11 after school.

  196. 0133: 
    LUNCH INTERVAL- Aus 94-4

    That's the last act of the session, Watson trudging off followed by a delighted England. For a while it looked like they were wasting the opportunity to bowl first, the gifts of the Aussie openers masking some poor lengths. But, Ben Stokes got Michael Clarke with a good 'un, then Watson kicked Anderson off middle.

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

    "That was out - you don't need any replays for that. Well done, Jimmy - he nipped it back a little bit, drew him forward and Shane Watson just missed it."

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

  198. 0130: 
    WICKET- Watson lbw Anderson 43 (Aus 94-4)

    Ooowwwzzzaaattt! It's gone, Shane Watson stone-dead plumb lbw to James Anderson. The ball after surviving an appeal, Watson is playing all around a full, straight one, just as he did so many times last summer. It's hitting him on the shin, missing off, missing leg and obliterating middle. A wonderful time for England to snare their first lbw of the series, they go to lunch well on top and vindicated for fielding first.

    Fall of wickets: 22-1 (Warner 16), 51-2 (Rogers 11), 78-3 (Clarke 10), 94-4 (Watson 43)


    James Anderson

    Ben from Calgary: Ben Stokes's actual delivery is quite like that of Bob Willis, although his run-up is very different.

  200. 0128: 
    Aus 94-3 (25 overs)

    It's been a frantic morning, every ball an event. Australia have lost three wickets but have still bullocked along at nearly four an over. This pair will continue to play shots, Smith nicely driving Stokes through the covers for four. One to go before lunch.

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

    "Alastair Cook is a silly boy. Only now, on the first day of a Test match for his premier bowler, is he bringing in a third slip."

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

  202. 0126: 
    Aus 94-3 (Watson 43, Smith 4)

    James Anderson to return for a blast before the interval - one more wicket and England will be in dreamland. Shane Watson poking, just past the dive of second slip. No third, only brought in after Watson blazes a cur for four. Horse bolted.

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

    "Durham, our county champions, need to get used to life without Ben Stokes. They won't be seeing much of him next summer - just one game to get him into some form and then that's it."

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

  204. 0121: 
    Aus 82-3 (Stokes 2-28 from 6)

    England perhaps haven't bowled well enough to take three wickets - they got some help from Warner and Rogers - but Stokes got Clarke out there, rather than the skipper contributing to his own downfall. Stokes had twice been no-balled for disturbing the non-striker's stumps, but from wide of the crease he got the ball to hold its line, enough to find the edge. Steve Smith the new man, just before lunch. He's away with for through the covers.

    Jim Maxwell, BBC Test Match Special

    "Australia won't be worried. They can afford to lose a few wickets until Brad Haddin comes in. Then it's game over for England."

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

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

    "Perfect. Three wickets before lunch. It was lovely line and length and he bowled in the corridor of uncertainty. It just bounced a bit more and even good players like Michael Clarke struggle with such deliveries."

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

  207. 0116: 
    WICKET- Clarke c Bell b Stokes 10 (Aus 78-3)

    Brilliance from Ben Stokes to remove Michael Clarke. We talked about the Durham all-rounder making things happen, and he has produced a beauty to remove the Aussie skipper. A good length, just nibbling away, Clarke poking to get a thick edge to second slip. Ian Bell does the rest. That third wicket definitely makes it England's morning. It's looking a good decision to bowl first now, isn't it?

    Fall of wickets: 22-1 (Warner 16), 51-2 (Rogers 11), 78-3 (Clarke 10)


    Ben Stokes and Michael Clarke
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Philip Sparrow: If Alastair Cook has a plan, he's doing a great job of hiding it. Great pity that there's no obvious choice for new captain.

    Simon Saunders: Ballance, Borthwick, Broad, Bell, Bairstow. Had Bresnan not been dropped I would have been suspicious. #wheresboycott

    Hamza A. Khan: Wait for it England fans. The ball starts doing funny things after around 35-40 overs here. New ball wickets rare all series.

  209. 0114: 
    Aus 74-2 (over-rate 12.5)

    Broad is bouncing towards Clarke and a new, three-tiered stand at the SCG. On top of the stand is a very sinister looking spaceship-style structure, a bit like the one in Independence Day. It's good from Broad, keeping Clarke honest of off stump. The ball thuds towards Bairstow at 84mph, the keeper taking the ball and revealing a patch of pink on the back of his whites. That's come from the paint on the outfield. A maiden.

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

    "Ben Stokes has got a bit of something - he just needs a bit more discipline and discretion, as he showed when he started trying to hit the spinner back over his head in the last Test when he got out."

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

  211. 0110: 
    Aus 74-2 (Stokes 1-20 from 5)

    What on earth is going on here? There is a crane behind the stand at third man as Stokes stalks in to Clarke. Suspended from that crane is an all-in-one table and chairs that is sitting about 20 people. It's like the scene from Mary Poppins when they have tea on the ceiling. What sort of daredevil do you to be to sit up there? If you drop your folk, it could be curtains for you and the poor person below. Madness.

    Text 81111

    Ray in Southampton: Throughout the series, how many Australian batsmen have we actually got out? Most of the time they played a loose shot but didn't make the same mistake again so we never took 20 wickets. That's Lehman's big thing - you make a mistake once but not again. England, well it's groundhog day.

  213. 0104: 
    Aus 68-2 (20 overs)

    Another wicket is this half-hour before lunch would make it England's session. Two down and it would be pretty even. The grey cloud is lifting, some fluffy white clouds on a background of blue as the sun pokes through. Broad to Clarke, short leg in, expect some short stuff. Back of a length, defend, then too short, pounce to hook for four.



    Jordan from Eastleigh: What happened to the days where England had four seamers bowling 90+mph? Broad and Anderson barely get 85mph. Seems to be the difference between the two sides.

  215. 0100: 
    Aus 63-2 (Watson 28, Clarke 4)

    Rankin has what can only be described as a good fast-bowler's backside. It juts behind him as he pumps his knees in. His height and bounce brings something different to England's pitch-it-up-and-hope-for-some-movement attack, with the ball coming out in the mid-80s. For every ball that climbs, there's a loose one, with Watson tucking in to a leggy half-volley.

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

    "Alastair Cook made the right call at the time but the ball has not done as much as we all thought it would do and, if he had his time again, I'm sure he would have had a bat."

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

    James Anderson
  217. 0056: 
    Aus 58-2 (Broad 1-26 from 5)

    The entrance of Clarke signals the return of Stuart Broad - just two slips and a gully with the leg side slightly reinforced. Ooohhh, Clarke would have been gone had Carberry's throw from point hit. Short single, Carberry swooping, but the throw just wide of the non-striker's stumps. Then a waft from Watson, getting nothing but fresh air. Plenty happening.

    HOW'S STAT?!

    BBC TMS: England still haven't had a successful lbw appeal in series. Only time this has happened before in series of 5 or more Tests was England in 1970/71.

  219. 0051: 
    Aus 57-2 (run-rate 3.35)

    Rogers threw his head to the sky as that ball cannoned into his stumps. The delivery was about waistband height, but the bat was swung around the belly button, hence the bottom edge. Clarke, troubled by the short ball in Brisbane (how long ago does that seem?), gets in a bit of a tangle when skyscraper Rankin goes back of a length, but is then comfy enough to tuck off his hips.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    AG Ford: England's debutants - Ballance, Borthwick & Rankin - sound like a firm of Gloucestershire small town solicitors.

    John Pierce: Anyone realised that England did not want to bat first? England more confident about bowling Australia out, than they are setting a score.

    A C Andrews: I was caught at cover by Rankin in the 2001 N.Ireland Schools Cup final. Nobody else would have got close to it. We still won...

  221. 0048: 
    Aus 56-2 (Watson 24, Clarke 1)

    A huge ovation greets Michael Clarke. Three years ago he was a stand-in skipper that was not wanted by the public, according to a newspaper poll. Now, he is a home-town hero, captaining an Ashes-winning side on his home ground. He's away with an immediate single, with Watson pulling for four.

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

    "That's a gift for England. The Australian batsmen had just started to look comfortable. This pitch is playing well so they need all the help they can get. The Australian skipper is in now - it'll be interesting to see how they approach this. Looking at their reaction to the wicket, England are a bit flat. They need to get themselves up for it somehow."

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

  223. 0043: 
    WICKET- Rogers b Stokes 11 (Aus 51-2)

    Gone. Ben Stokes, a man who has a knack of taking wickets, gets Chris Rogers out of nowhere. It's an uncharacteristically poor shot from the opener, looking to pull a ball that isn't short enough. He gets a bottom edge through his legs and on to the stumps. From not really bowling too well, England have two wickets and might be satisfied with the position they find themselves in.

    Fall of wickets: 22-1 (Warner 16), 51-2 (Rogers 11)


    Ben Stokes
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Joseph Burns: That looks like a brilliant batting wicket so naturally England chose to bowl. Sums up the series, really.

    David: I have the same sense of slow impending doom here, have a feeling I will awaken to 250-4 or so.

  225. 0041: 
    Aus 50-1 (partnership 28)

    Boyd Rankin, perhaps a little nervous, is still serving up some allsorts. Leggy, both to leftie Rogers then right-hander Watson, the latter evading the Superman dive of keeper Bairstow and running for four byes. A pinched single brings up the Aussie fifty, bumping along at more than three an over.

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

    "Stuart Broad has had no back-up all series. If he bowls well, England have a chance. Otherwise, they badly struggle. Now Boyd Rankin's got his chance you want him to bowl back off a length, you don't want him to be floating it up outside off stump. James Anderson, Ben Stokes and Broad do that already."

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

  227. 0038: 
    Aus 45-1 (14 overs)

    Better from Stokes, a good length beats Watson, then a touch of extra bounce has the blond misery in some leading-edge trouble. The SCG, midway through a renovation that will make the two pavilions the only bit of the ground not a three-tiered stand, hums its morning song, the one that is the soundtrack to every Test match.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jon Mason‏: Jimmy had his day? You won't be saying that when it's going round corners in the summer. #stillaclassact.

    Si Lomas: Panesar great on friendly surface where he can dig the ball in and spin the ball at pace, lacks guile and variation otherwise.

  229. 0034: 
    Aus 44-1

    England have been a touch too short in the first hour. The one man to bowl full, Stuart Broad, has been driven, but also has had the only success. He has 1-25 from four overs. Alastair Cook, as if wondering what the weather is going to do, looks to the skies as the break ends. He wants those clouds to remain.

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

    "If I was captain, I would find it difficult to drop my opening partner if he has scored more runs than me. I don't think it's a disaster for Joe Root to be dropped, he will still have a long career for England."

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


    Richard in Wimbledon: Are people actually that surprised that Root has been dropped? Not really a poor decision, he's only scored 192 runs this series which is lower than all other batsman to have played four matches with an average of just over 27. Think it's for the best. Just because he smiled at Johnson doesn't mean he's actually performed well. He's living off one innings. Agree 100% with the decision, nice to see a bold selection, easy thing would have been to make Carberry a scapegoat!

  232. 0032: 
    Aus 44-1

    Australia 44-1 after the first hour. If I'd lost the toss and been told to bat, I think I'd have taken that. If the sun comes out this afternoon, you'll want to be batting.

    Text 81111

    Julian, Surrey: The real mistake was not putting Bell at number three in Adelaide. He was ready. Root has suffered the consequences. Bell to be a great number three for us for next three years.

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

    "I played with Boyd Rankin when he was younger and in the nets he was very lively - he enjoyed bowling balls around the ears of the senior players in the indoor nets. He was young and wild."

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

  235. 0031: 
    DRINKS BREAK- Aus 44-1

    Now then, a big moment for Boyd Rankin. The towering pacer from Londonderry via Derbyshire, Warwickshire and plenty of ODIs for Ireland gets his first bowl in a Test match for England. Straight run-up, sweatband on the right wrist, arms pumping towards an action that uses most of his 6ft 7in frame. Mixed start, a little bounce, full for Watson to drive for three, down the leg side to Rogers. Time for a drink.


    Dave Gladstone: Again Cook shows he is a bad captain. Anderson consistently bowling the wrong length would have been taken off by any decent captain after two or at most three overs. Cook rigidly sticking to plans he has been given.

  237. 0026: 
    Aus 41-1 (Rogers 10, Watson 15)

    Stokes, the omnipresent bandage on his right arm and tattoo on his left, starts again with three slips and a gully for Watson. Again its full, again Watson drives, leaving Michael Carberry to chase from point and athletically stop the bal short of the boundary. Without banging on about it, the Aussie wicket came from something of a loose shot. So far this morning, England have barely beaten the bat or hit the pads.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Menton: I always think Rob Key bares a striking resemblance to Mr Tumble.

    Nick Weetch: Hate to say it but I think Jimmy might have had his day. Especially now his best mates are out of the team.

    AADZ: Wasn't Solanki dropped after making a ton? Root can't be picked just because he is talented. Ramprakash was talented!

  239. 0021: 
    Aus 37-1 (Rogers 9, Watson 12)

    Anderson around the wicket to leftie Rogers, who shuffles so far across his stumps that leg peg is visible when he defends. Rogers bends over to fiddle with his bat grip, an act that might look a little sinister from behind, then works a single on the leg side. When Anderson comes over the wicket to Watson, the narrow sightscreen has to be shuffled back into the right place. I suspect that might be a regular eater of time throughout this match.

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

    "This is the sixth Sydney Test the McGrath Foundation has been involved in and day three is so special, it's a sight to see when everyone is in pink and the support is incredible."

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

  241. 0018: 
    Aus 36-1 (Rogers 8, Watson 12)

    Ben Stokes introduced as the first bowling change of the day, a straight run-up into a spider-like action to Watson. Decent pace, but a touch too full. Watson, happier driving than Sebastian Vettel, goes through the covers for four. Since the Warner wicket, the ball has been as well behaved as a small child on Christmas Eve.

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at the SCG

    "Almost forgotten in all the brouhaha about England's new caps is the demise of Monty Panesar. We've had it confirmed that he was definitely dropped, rather than being unavailable with the calf strain that was bothering him in the build-up to this Test. Is the selection of Scott Borthwick merely succession planning, or - after almost seven years and 167 Test wickets, is this the England end for the Sikh of Tweak?"

  243. 0013: 
    Aus 32-1 (Rogers 8, Watson 8)

    Now then, Anderson to Watson, a battle that the bowler won simply by looking at the batsman in the summer. Not so much down under, but these are the conditions where Jimmy gets more help. A good length, Watson honest on off stump, then taking a single to fine leg. TV picks up Steven Finn, sitting on the England bench. He is the only member of the original touring party not to have played in a Test. When will we see him again?

    Shane Watson
    HOW'S STAT?!

    England's 3-1 victory in Australia in 2010-11 seems a long time ago now and, with Australia 4-0 up in this current series, it can be said that normal service is being resumed. In 2006-07, the Aussies famously won 5-0, they won 4-1 in 2002-03, 3-1 in 1998-99, 3-1 in 1994-95 and 3-0 in 1990-91.

  245. 0008: 
    APPEAL - NOT OUT- Aus 31-1

    Replays of the Warner wicket show just how little he moved that moustache of his. The feet were in cement as Broad arced the ball back to the top of the pink off peg. Watson away with a nice drive for a couple, then surviving an appeal for leg before as he gets that front dog outside the line. Half a thought of a review, but it's Broad who seems to be the one suggesting against. New year, new Broad.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Jack Nithavrianakis: Both teams won at home. Wonder what the score would be if the Ashes was held in India?

    Aaron Gilbert: I used to know a girl who looked like a young Rob Key.

    Andrew Sneddon: Why doesn't Rashid get a look in for England? Scored over 800 runs at a better average than Borthwick and took one more wicket.

  247. 0004: 
    Aus 28-1 (Anderson 0-6 off 4)

    Shane Watson the new man - his big front pad is likely to be tested, especially as Anderson is now getting the ball to wobble in the air. That wicket has also persuaded the Burnley Express to re-employ his short leg, with Ballance (not portly, but chubby of cheek) crouching under the lid. Chris Rogers, now without his sleeveless sweater, gets a couple of his pads via a rebound off Ballance.

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

    "Stuart Broad pitched it up and he has done David Warner fair and square. It came back a fraction but the footwork wasn't there - he did him for length. That was the perfect delivery to Warner. Broad has been England's best bowler by far on this tour. Warner getting out couldn't have happened to a nicer person. He's only been in the game five minutes and he talks like a superstar."

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

  249. 2356: 
    WICKET- Warner b Broad 16 (Aus 22-1)

    Bowled him! Stuart Broad does for David Warner with a beauty. Despite twice being driven in the previous over, Broad keeps it full to Warner and is through the leftie to take off stump. A hint of swing back in, Warner flat-footed and perhaps slightly done for pace with a loose drive. England, who chose to field first, have their first portion of vindication.

    Fall of wickets: 22-1 (Warner 16)


    David Warner
    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Abdullah Mahmood: Talented young batsman. Early success followed by trouble in Ashes. Shunted up and down order. Dropped. Joe Root=Phil Hughes.

    Rubyshakes: When you say Ballance is 'a young Rob Key' does that mean you're suggesting he's 'portly'?

  251. 2353: 
    Aus 19-0 (Rogers 4, Warner 15)

    Australia have started well, prompting England to dispense with Anderson's short leg. Right to defend? You've won the toss and bowled, Alastair Cook. Warner, chewing gum, tape on his bat, waits and is beaten by one that bites away. Then back in, swing as it passes the bat. Surely it's worth keeping that short leg for a little longer?

    HOW'S STAT?!

    David Warner has now passed 500 runs for the series, the first Australia opener to do so in the Ashes since Matthew Elliott in 1997.

  253. 2349: 
    CLOSE!- Aus 19-0

    Ooohhh, maybe a quarter of a chance for England. Bounce for Broad, getting big on Warner, who can only dangle the fishing rod. The ball hangs, hangs in the air as point fielder Michael Carberry dives to his left, but he just can't get those huge biceps to the ball. It's a wonderful effort, Carberry first horizontal to, then travelling head first towards the ground. Either side, Warner drives full balls down the ground for two boundaries.

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

    "England have put Australia in and the ball has not done a single thing. It's straight up and down."

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

  255. 2345: 
    Aus 6-0

    Just a hint of nibble for Anderson, but it's only a smidge and he's a touch short. Three slips and a gully, but Rogers finds the gap between the two with a half-edge/half open-face that goes to third man for four. If I was the skipper that had won the toss and bowled, I'd like to see the ball doing a bit more.


    Alastair Cook becomes only the fourth player to appear in 100th consecutive Tests, alongside Allan Border, Sunil Gavaskar and Mark Waugh.

  257. 2341: 
    Aus 2-0

    Stuart Broad to share the new ball, booed as he gallops towards Warner. A delay while we put down some sawdust, a stifled appeal for leg before for one that would have missed leg, then Warner away with a push through the covers for a couple. Remember how experienced England looked when Jonathan Trott, Graeme Swann and Matt Prior were in the side? Now, five players only have 13 caps between them.

    Text 81111

    Andy in Shropshire: Great to see some new blood. My only concern is what have England done to Finn? He came on the tour as our third seamer, has the best strike rate of all our bowlers, bowls 90mph and has the knack of taking wickets. He can be too expensive, but I cannot see why he is behind Bresnan or Rankin.

  259. 2334: 
    Aus 0-0

    Anderson sprints in towards a pitch that carries more than a hint of green as Rogers, defending pink stumps, leaves on off stump. Not much movement yet, but good carry to keeper Jonny Bairstow, who holds his place ahead of Matt Prior. Gary Ballance - a young Rob Key - is at short leg, while Borthwick is at third slip. We start with a maiden.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Steven F. Galloway: Why should Prior's career be over at 31? Haddin's been giving us stick all series and he's older than the Mary Rose.

    Glen James: What nonsense is this? If Root is a future opener they should pick him over Carberry and let him settle. Unfathomable selection.

    Hugo Dowlen: If only we had an English-qualified Aussie with 1000 runs under his belt last season. Oh wait... Sam Robson.

  261. 2332: 

    Here we go, the Unchangeables versus the Unwinnables. James Anderson has the ball, Chris Rogers is on strike. Can England make the most of this bowling morning?

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

    "This is one of my favourite cricket grounds - it's lovely to play on. It's not about the team now - it's about how individuals play. They need to start taking their catches first of all. It's not that we've got bad cricketers, we've just been mentally disintegrated. Once that happens you lose your form and them everyone rolls downhill like a stone."

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

  263. 2331: 

    The anthems are done, England are huddling and Aussie openers David Warner and Chris Rogers are skipping to the middle.

    Pink, by the way, will be a recurring theme of this match. The Sydney Test turns pink each year in support of the McGrath Foundation.

    Text 81111

    Tony Coco, London: So we're 4-3 down with one Test to play. Come on! We can still get out of this with a draw!

  265. 2328: 

    Can you remember that last leggie to play for England? Any guesses?

    Chris Schofield? Alas, no. It was Ian Salisbury, against Pakistan in Karachi in late 2000. Salisbury's bowling average in 15 Tests? 76.95.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Philip Sparrow: Alex Hales not worth a punt? Only English batsman to score any runs in Australia recently.

    Benjamin Edmonds: Given that Borthwick is a gamble as a frontline Test spinner, surely having Root's off-spin would have been useful?

  267. 2324: 

    The players are heading out for the anthems, with Brad Haddin carrying a small child. A son/daughter?

    The flags are fluttering slightly on top of the magnificent old pavilion, with grey clouds hovering over the Sydney skyline. A great sight, but one that would be made all the more impressive by a touch of sunshine.

  268. 2322: 

    You need to summon up all the happy memories you can as an England fan at the moment. The Sydney Cricket Ground gives us a chance to revive another.

    Back in 1999, it was the scene of Darren Gough's enthusiastically celebrated hat-trick as he dismissed Ian Healy, Stuart MacGill and Colin Miller in successive deliveries. England had already lost the series and went on to lose the match though.

    The full lowdown on the SCG's Ashes history in right here in BBC Sport's venue guide.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Albert Freeman: If we can agree that away Tests count double, England will win these two Ashes series on aggregate with victory in Sydney.

    Liam Garratt: So Joe Root is paying the price for repeatedly being moved around the order and not being able to settle? Ridiculous.

    Sam Mead: Bold move by selectors to drop Root especially if he's seen as future opener. Good to see one the tall quickies getting a chance.

  270. 2321: 
    Boyd Rankin

    Tall fast bowler Boyd Rankin initially made his impact in international cricket with Ireland but, since switching allegiances to England, he has made five ODI appearances for the Three Lions - taking five wickets in four matches against Australia at the end of last summer. The Warwickshire bowler, 29, also has a decent first-class record, picking up 213 wickets at 27.47. Quick and capable of generating steep bounce, he could cause problems on what looks likely to be a seamer-friendly SCG pitch.

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at the SCG

    On Twitter: If this Australian team is being dubbed the Unchangeables, what does that make England - the Unrecognisables?

  272. 2320: 

    For me, Borthwick is the most interesting selection of the three debutants. At the start of last season, he seemed a decent way away from the England side, but 1,000 runs in the season have got him a belated call-up. Is he a batsman who bowls, a bowler who bats, or an all-rounder? It certainly seems that his batting has got him in as a bowler, if you know what I mean. I wonder what Simon Kerrigan is thinking. Second spinner at The Oval, he's fifth choice now.

  273. 2317: 

    Scott Borthwick is a rare breed in English cricket - he's a leg-spinner. The 23-year-old from Sunderland becomes the first bowler of his type to be selected by England since Ian Salisbury in 2000. He has 110 wickets at 31.29 in his brief first-class career, but it was with the bat that he impressed last season as he scored more than 1,000 runs after being promoted to number three by Durham. His runs, and 28 wickets at 38, helped Durham win the County Championship.

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

    "Gary Ballance and Joe Root are both Yorkshire players and housemates. They are best pals. Root will shake his hand and say 'good luck'. We've not spoken about Monty Panesar. Is the end of him? I think they have to realise that they now move on. They have lost faith in him as a player and a person."

    Tom Fordyce, Chief sports writer at the SCG

    "The last two occasions England have given three men their Test debuts, one has ended in the unwanted role of stooge: Ian Blackwell in Nagpur in 2006, Gavin Hamilton in South Africa in 1999. Gary Ballance, Scott Borthwick and Boyd Rankin will all be hoping that their Test career does not end before it has truly begun, forgotten by most and remembered only by pub-quizzers and family members."


    From Tom: Really concerned about Joe Root. He's been asked to bat at three different positions for England, with some success, and now could find himself dropped. Poor lad doesn't know where he stands, or what he needs to do to improve. Horrendous decision to retain Carberry in favour of a potential lynch pin for England's next 10 years.

    From Dick: Good call on Carberry. We know Root is one for the future, but we don't know if Carberry can really be the county player he is at Test level. It's last chance saloon for him though. Free yours arms Michael, Carpe diem!!

  277. 2312: 
    Gary Ballance

    Gary Ballance will be hoping his Test debut goes much better than his one and only ODI appearance for England - when he was dismissed for a two-ball duck against Ireland. But don't be fooled by that - Zimbabwean-born Ballance is a player of real talent who averages more than 53 in first-class cricket, catching the eye of the England selectors with more than 1,000 runs for Yorkshire last summer.

  278. 2311: 

    I think the Joe Root decision has taken plenty by surprise, but here's a few reasons why Carberry has retained his place.

    Firstly, Carberry is England's second highest runscorer in the series - could England really drop him with that in mind?

    Secondly, Root's omission might simply to take a young player out of the firing line. He has a big future, and being spared another Ashes thumping could be no bad thing.

  279. 2308: 

    This, by the way, is this first time that Australia have played the same XI through a five-match Ashes series. England have selected 18 different men.

  280. 2307: 

    Australia captain Michael Clarke: "It doesn't matter what I would have done, now we have to bat and I'm positive abut that. Runs on the board will be crucial.

    "I don't think we have picked the same team for romantic reasons, this is just the best XI the selectors thought would win this match."

  281. 2306: 

    England captain Alastair Cook: "There's a lot of hope for the future. Gary has scored a lot of runs in county cricket, Scotty played in a Championship-winning team at Durham, and big Boyd Rankin has done well for us in one-day cricket.

    "Every game starts at 0-0. It's irrelevant what has gone on in the past."

    Alastair Cook
  282. 2304: 

    Australia: Rogers, Warner, Watson, Clarke (c), Smith, Bailey, Haddin (wkt), Johnson, Harris, Siddle, Lyon.

    England: Cook (c), Carberry, Bell, KP, Ballance, Stokes, Bairstow (wk), Borthwick, Broad, Anderson, Rankin.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Stuart la Croix: Run out of vocabulary to describe the decisions been made in the England team over the last few months.

  284. 2301: 

    After four successive toss losses, Alastair Cook finally calls correctly. He says it's a morning to bowl and confirms those three changes. We expected the debuts for Ballance, Borthwick and Rankin, but we did not expect Joe Root to be dropped. That is exactly what has happened.

    Michael Clarke and Alastair Cook
  285. 2301: 

    Skippers are on the way for the toss. Grey overhead, grass on the wicket. Seems like a bowling day. Would be a brave decision, though. Might be a good one to lose...

  286. 2258: 

    Australia, by the way, look likely to stick with the same XI that has won the first four Tests. The Unchangeables.

    Text 81111

    From Andrew: Great decision to hand out new caps to Ballance, Borthwick and Rankin. They have the potential to play for England in the next Ashes series, so by giving them the experience of an Ashes test match now, it will stand them in good stead for the future. Now is the time to clear out the dead wood from this failing English team. It's great to see some forward thinking at last from the selectors.

    Join the debate at #bbccricket

    Matthew Ball: Bit of a strange one to leave out Root, a 23 year old, and keep Carberry, a 33 year old. Look to the future.

    Ben Hayes: Madness to drop Joe Root considering he has been one of the few batters to show any fight at all in Oz.

    Fi: Root dropped? Bonkers decision.

  289. 2253:  
    Alec Stewart, Ex-England captain on BBC Test Match Special

    If Carberry does keep his place, it will be a big show of faith by the England selectors, according to former captain Alec Stewart.

    "In the second innings in Melbourne, Carberry batted for two hours to score 12 runs, with one four. That isn't Michael Carberry batting with the freedom I'd associate with him," writes Alec in his latest BBC column.

    "The selectors have to decide whether Carberry is still going to be in their plans for the summer or whether they've already decided he hasn't got what it takes to be a Test opener."

    Jonathan Agnew, BBC Test Match SpecialJoin the debate at #bbccricket

    "No definite team news but word is Carberry preferred to Root. On air in 10 mins."

  291. 2250: 

    So what do you make of all this? Panic selection, or right to change it around? The right men brought in? What would you have done? Tweet using the hashtag #bbccricket, text 81111 or email

  292. 2248: 

    We're hearing rumours that it might actually be Joe Root, rather than Carberry, who misses out to make way for Ballance.

    We'll know at the toss, which is about 12 minutes away.

  293. 2245: 

    The last time England gave Test debuts to three players in one match? Against India in Nagpur in 2006.

    The three men in question? Monty Panesar, Alastair Cook and Ian Blackwell.

    One of those men got a debut ton, has played 100 Tests and captains his country. One man played 50 Tests and the other played only one.

    I'll let you figure out which is which.

  294. 2242: 

    And before you mention it, 24-year-old Ballance was born in Zimbabwe, Rankin played 37 one-dayers for Ireland and Borthwick is from, erm, Sunderland.

  295. 2240: 

    We'll wait for Alastair Cook to tell us exactly how England will line-up when the coin is flicked on a grey morning in Sydney, but it seems likely that Joe Root will move up to open and Ian Bell will go to three to allow leftie Ballance in at five.

    Borthwick - who batted three for county champions Durham last season - will be at eight, while Rankin isn't sure which end of the bat to hold.

  296. 2238: 

    As suspected, England are to give Test debuts to Yorkshire batsman Gary Ballance, Durham leggie-all-rounder Scott Borthwick and Warwickshire pacer Boyd Rankin. All three have been handed caps this morning.

    We we're waiting for confirmation, but it seems likely that Michael Carberry, Tim Bresnan and Monty Panesar are the men to sit out.

    Scott Borthwick
  297. 2236: 

    For England, the only goal is to avoid a Pomwash, a potential third in history and second in seven years.

    Who could have predicted this after that riotous Sunday at Trent Bridge in July?

    And who could have guessed the 11 men that would represent England in Sydney...

    England celebrate at Trent Bridge
  298. 2235: 

    But that is the prospect that we face today.

    On England's first Test outing of 2014, they are dealing with the wreckage of the worst possible end to 2013.

    For six weeks, they have been thrashed, blasted and beaten all around Australia.

    Michael Clarke's men arrive in Sydney with the Ashes in their back pocket and on the cusp of history.

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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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