Ashes catch-up: Rankin's pain is Stokes's gain in Sydney

Boyd Rankin with head in hand

The day in 50 words

New faces, same result.

England win toss and bowl. Three new caps. Root dropped.

Australia in trouble on 97-5. Haddin counters with bullish 75. Smith twists the knife with 115.

Rankin's hamstring goes ... twice. Stokes takes 6-99 in Australia's 326 all out.

Carberry out early to Johnson. England 8-1.

Full fifth Ashes Test day one report from Sydney

Match scorecard

Rankin pain ... Stokes gain

Boyd Rankin will have spent many hours dreaming about his Test debut, but even in his worst nightmares he will not have envisaged things panning out quite as they did.

The Warwickshire fast bowler, preferred to Tim Bresnan, got through eight mixed overs before pulling up with a hamstring injury one ball into his second spell after lunch.

After leaving the field for treatment, Rankin came back after tea and was reintroduced to the attack, but once again he lasted just a single ball before feeling his left hamstring and limping off the field.

England later insisted the 29-year-old merely had a case of cramp and should be fit to bowl in the second innings.

Rankin's troubles meant a more prominent role for Stokes, who was the pick of the England bowlers by some distance.

The Durham all-rounder bowled a consistent off stump line on a full length and reaped his rewards with six wickets including the prize scalp of Australia captain Michael Clarke.

Following his century in Perth, Stokes became only the second Test cricketer after Clarke to post a score of more than 120 and take a six-wicket haul in his first four matches.

Stokes's Durham team-mate Scott Borthwick struggled for a consistent length on his Test debut as he conceded 49 runs from seven overs.

He did, however, take his first Test wicket when Mitchell Johnson slog-swept him to long-on.

Brad Haddin

Haddin heroics

Once again, Brad Haddin was Australia's man for a crisis. Coming in at 97-5, he took advantage of some short-pitched bowling from England to crack 13 fours in his 90-ball 75. With Smith in tow, he changed the momentum of the innings.

Haddin became only the second wicketkeeper to score a half-century in each match of a five-Test series and the first player to do it an Ashes series since Australia's Keith Stackpole in 1972.

The wicketkeeper, who also scored a hundred at Adelaide, has made 465 runs in the series - second only to David Warner. His average of 66.42 is the best of any player on either side.

Stats of the day

  • Alastair Cook became only the fourth player to appear in 100 consecutive Tests, alongside Allan Border, Sunil Gavaskar and Mark Waugh.
  • Warner has passed 500 runs for the series, the first Australia opener to do so in the Ashes since Matthew Elliott in 1997.
  • When Smith cracked Borthwick over long-on, it was Australia's 38th six in the series, setting a new record for any single team in a Test series. Ryan Harris later pulled James Anderson over midwicket for Australia's 39th.
  • Borthwick's wicket was the first by an England leg-spinner since Ian Salisbury dismissed Inzamam-Ul-Haq in Faisalabad in 2000.
  • Australia's sixth and seventh wickets have averaged 68.9 runs in this series.

What they said

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.

Ben Stokes

"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."

Australia batsman Steve Smith: "Brad was great to bat with. I sort of just took a back seat and just watched him go - and the way he played his shots today was brilliant. In tough circumstances, he just comes in and tries to switch the momentum of the game - and he's done it on numerous occasions this series. He's played beautifully."

The expert view on Test Match Special

Former England batsman Geoffrey Boycott: "It's been good, exciting and dramatic cricket. We have seen a lot of players with character stand up to be counted. 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 who gave Australia the spark.

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The Analyst: England undone by Haddin

"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."

Former England captain Michael Vaughan: "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 Test Match Special highlights and commentary clips

And finally...

Crane in the sky with diners

Some spectators had a unique view of the action in Sydney - sitting at a table suspended from a crane.

About 20 people were strapped in to chairs around a table that was hoisted over and then dangled above the SCG.

Rumours that Mary Poppins was among the guests are yet to be confirmed.

Listen to Jonathan Agnew and Geoff Boycott's review of the day on the TMS podcast page.

Catch up with a two-minute summary of Test Match Special commentary in the Pint-Sized Ashes.

Check out the best photos from Sydney on the BBC Sport Facebook page

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