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Australia hold the aces in Sydney

By Rob Barnett

Australia took control of the Sydney Test on day two, dismissing England for 155 and building their lead to 311 with six wickets left.

After 11 scalps were taken yesterday, the game continued apace as 13 went down on a pitch offering some assistance to bowlers but possible to score quickly on.

The tourists made a disastrous start today, shipping four wickets in the first hour. Resuming on eight for one in reply to 326, they lost captain Alastair Cook to the second delivery, plumb lbw to Ryan Harris while shouldering arms.

Chris Rogers shows his strength on the pull during his fourth 50-plus score in five innings as Australia built a sizeable leadWith nightwatchman James Anderson gone, Kevin Pietersen nicked Harris to first slip where Shane Watson atoned for shelling Ian Bell first ball. That drop mattered little when Bell feathered Peter Siddle behind.

From 23 for five, Gary Ballance and Ben Stokes dug in until Nathan Lyon’s stunning delivery saw Ballance caught behind.

A stand of 49 between Stokes and Jonny Bairstow was broken by Siddle deceiving both in an over, the former bowled playing no shot for 47.

Scott Borthwick fell to Harris shortly before England avoided the follow-on. Boyd Rankin was last out, leaving Stuart Broad unbeaten with 30. There were three wickets apiece for Mitchell Johnson, Harris and Siddle.

The spirited tourists then chipped away at their opponents. Anderson trapped David Warner in front and ousted Watson caught behind, the same fashion that Broad then accounted for Michael Clarke in. Stokes continued his good game to have first-innings centurion Steven Smith held at slip.

Amid the carnage, Chris Rogers, with his fourth 50-plus score in five knocks, closed on 73 of 140 for four alongside George Bailey.

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Evening Session

Watch highlights of the evening session from the SCG

Australia 2nd Innings

7.01am - STUMPS! Australia 140/4; Rogers 73, Bailey 20 - An uneventful over each from Borthwick and Anderson ends another fast-paced day, after which the hosts lead by 311.

6.53am - Leg-spinner Scott Borthwick is introduced prior to Anderson taking over from Rankin. Not long left today.

6.40am - After Bailey pulls Rankin to the rope, Rogers accelerates with fours either side of the wicket and down the ground off Stokes. In the next over Australia’s advantage extends to 300.

6.29am - George Bailey, who has looked vulnerable, off-drives Stokes down the ground to move Australia to three figures.

6.23am - FIFTY! Rogers (66b 6x4 0x6) - The left-hander cover-drives Broad for four just before a single to long-leg brings up his half-century.

6.17am - WICKET! Smith c Cook b Stokes 7; Aus 91/4 - Rogers aerially thick-edges Stokes to the rope before Smith nicks low to Alastair Cook at first slip.

6.10am - There is a delay when Broad slips in his delivery stride and asks for the take-off area to be repaired. Broad appears to be okay.

5.54am - First-innings centurion Steven Smith announces himself by pulling Ben Stokes, who has succeeded Anderson, to the square-leg boundary. Rogers then drives Broad for four past mid-off.

5.47am - WICKET! Clarke c Bairstow b Broad 6; Aus 72/3 - Clarke, perhaps unnerved by extra bounce from the previous ball, uncomfortably edges behind off Broad, who has replaced Rankin.

5.36am - Rogers cover-drives Rankin for four prior to adding four leg-byes. In the next over Clarke straight-drives Anderson to the rope before seven runs come from one ball due chiefly to Bairstow’s four overthrows.

5.26pm - Rogers’ single to third man off Rankin ushers Australia to 50 and, after Michael Clarke gets off the mark, Anderson delivers a maiden to the home captain.

5.20am - WICKET! Watson c Bairstow b Anderson 9; Aus 47/2 - Immediately after Watson clips four through midwicket, Anderson finds his outside edge and Jonny Bairstow dives across first slip to take a right-handed catch. It’s a good start to the innings for England.

5.09am - Boyd Rankin, who managed less than nine first-innings overs due to cramp, replaces Broad and, having started by conceding four leg-byes, bowls a tidy over. In the next Shane Watson gets going by cutting to the point boundary.

5.01am - WICKET! Warner lbw Anderson 16; Aus 27/1 - Anderson comes round the wicket to left-handed Warner and traps him in front on the back pad with a full ball. It was fairly plumb so Australia don’t review.

4.47am - Warner and Rogers each score another boundary, the former punching Anderson through mid-on and the latter pulling Broad to midwicket.

4.33am - Chris Rogers spoils an otherwise runless opening over from James Anderson by cutting behind square for four. David Warner ends Stuart Broad’s set of six with two fours, the first via a pull and the second from an inside edge.

Afternoon Session

Watch highlights from the afternoon session at the SCG

England 1st Innings

4.09am - WICKET & TEA! Rankin b Johnson 13; ENGLAND 155 ALL OUT - Johnson returns and a full ball into the pads does for Rankin, albeit for a creditable score in the tailender’s first Test innings. Broad was unbeaten on 30 while Johnson, Harris and Siddle each snared three scalps. Australia lead by 171 on first innings.

4.05am - Broad clubs Lyon for fours to midwicket and down the ground, the former moving England to 150.

3.51am - Following Broad’s single to long-off, Boyd Rankin drives Lyon down the ground for four for his first Test runs. More importantly, it means England avoid the follow-on, although Michael Clarke may well not have enforced it. Broad then swings Harris to the midwicket rope and sweeps Lyon for another four.

3.46am - WICKET! Borthwick c Smith b Harris 1; Eng 125/9 - Perhaps the previous comment about avoiding the follow-on was premature? England, who are 201 behind, lose Borthwick edging to Steven Smith at third slip.

3.41am - Stuart Broad launches Lyon for a straight six and, next ball, four over midwicket to all but wipe out the threat of the follow-on.

3.31am - WICKET! Stokes b Siddle 47; Eng 112/8 - An over that starts with Bairstow’s scalp ends with Stokes’ demise. The left-hander pays for shouldering arms as Siddle clips the top of off stump. With Stokes and Bairstow’s 49-run stand broken and both now back in the hutch, Australia are right on top again.

3.25am - WICKET! Bairstow c Bailey b Siddle 18; Eng 111/7 - In the over after Stokes powerfully slog-sweeps Lyon for four, advancing to 47, Bairstow falls to a trap set by Australia. He miscues a length ball aerially to the hands of George Bailey at silly mid-on. Later in the over Scott Borthwick opens his Test account with a single into the covers.

3.18am - Lyon keeps it tight either side of a Siddle maiden to Bairstow, who along with Stokes is hanging in there gamely.

3.05am - Stokes turns Lyon to deep square-leg for a single that takes England to three figures.

2.57am - REVIEW! - Marais Erasmus turns down Lyon’s lbw appeal against Stokes but, by giving a leg-bye, encourages Australia to review. The ball hit Stokes’ front pad just outside off stump so he survives and Australia have no reviews left until 80 overs. Later in the over Lyon spits one out of the rough at Bairstow.

2.51am - Stokes and Bairstow rotate the strike against Lyon and Siddle, who has taken over from Johnson. Stokes thick-edges Siddle to the third-man rope.

2.35am - Peter Siddle’s introduction to the attack is brief as, after a Johnson maiden to Jonny Bairstow, Lyon returns. In the next over Bairstow slashes an aerial cut off Johnson safely for four.

2.21am - Johnson strikes Ben Stokes painfully on the boot with a slower delivery that was still pretty fast but going down leg. The next ball is dug in and goes for five wides.

2.15am - WICKET! Ballance c Haddin b Lyon 18; Eng 62/6 - Nathan Lyon somewhat surprisingly partners Johnson and produces a stunning delivery that turns sharply away from the left-hander and takes the edge en route to Brad Haddin’s gloves in a wicket-maiden.

2.13am - Mitchell Johnson starts the afternoon session with a tight over from which Gary Ballance gets a single to leg.

Morning Session

Watch highlights from the morning session at the SCG

1.30am - LUNCH! England 61/5; Ballance 17, Stokes 25 - Stokes plays out a maiden to Lyon, ending an impressive hour from him and Ballance.

1.18am - Johnson was in fact swapping ends and, on his return, strikes Ballance on the helmet with a bouncer that the batsman misjudges. Ballance needs a new lid, leading to a seven-minute delay.

1.10am - Ballance and Stokes start to rotate the strike regularly, the latter whipping Harris for three through midwicket to raise England’s fifty. Spinner Nathan Lyon succeeds Johnson, and Stokes drives off the back foot for four.

1.02am - Ballance, who is showing impressive calmness, beautifully cover-drives Harris for the batsman’s first Test four. He then cuts Johnson, who has taken over from Siddle, for four more.

12.55am - After Siddle’s maiden to Bell, Harris replaces Watson and is immediately driven strongly down the ground for four by Stokes. At the start of the next over Siddle has a muted appeal for caught behind when Stokes inside edges. Umpire Marais Erasmus refers, and replays suggest the ball didn’t quite carry to Haddin.

12.39am - Siddle has a caught-behind shout against Ben Stokes, who is yet to score, during a maiden but it was bat on pad rather than ball. In the next over Stokes gets off the mark by flicking Watson for two through midwicket.

12.27am - WICKET! Bell c Haddin b Siddle 2; Eng 23/5 - Bell’s habit of slightly opening the face leads his downfall as he feathers Siddle through to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin. England are is deep trouble now.

12.25am - Michael Clarke makes a double bowling change, Peter Siddle and Shane Watson each starting with a maiden.

12.13am - Following a Johnson maiden to Bell, Ballance scores his first Test runs by pushing Harris down the ground for three. Bell gets off the mark next ball with two to leg.

12.03am - WICKET! Pietersen c Watson b Harris 1; Eng 17/4 - Pietersen nibbles at a ball just outside off stump and nicks to Watson, who holds on this time at chest height. Debutant Gary Ballance survives four balls to see out a wicket-maiden.

12am - Kevin Pietersen opens his account in typical fashion with a quick single. David Warner races in from point but his shy misses the non-striker’s stumps.

11.54pm - REVIEW! - Australia review Harris’ lbw shout against Bell, but replays show the ball would have slid past leg stump.

11.49pm - WICKET! Anderson lbw Johnson 7; Eng 14/3 - Having fended off Harris for another set of six, Anderson gets a lucky four over the wicketkeeper and slips before edging to second slip where Michael Clarke makes no mistake.

11.39pm - Nightwatchman James Anderson survives the majority of Mitchell Johnson’s opening over, including a brute of a short ball that he gloves into the off side. At the end of the over Anderson requires treatment on his left hand.

11.33pm - CHANCE! - Ian Bell edges the next delivery for a regulation opportunity at first slip where Shane Watson shells it. ‘It’s all happening’, as the Australian commentators say.

11.30pm - WICKET! Cook lbw Harris 7; Eng 8/2 - Alastair Cook fatefully shoulders arms to the day’s second ball and is plumb lbw to Ryan Harris. Cook does not bother to review.

Pre-Play News

11.20pm - Stokes spoke exclusively to ecb.co.uk about his maiden Test five-for, describing it as “special”. Australia centurion Steven Smith said the SCG “is my favourite place to play”.

11.10pm - It is a gloriously sunning day already in Sydney, by contrast to yesterday’s overcast start that aided England’s bowlers in the morning session. Hopefully this morning is a good one for batting.

11pm - Hello and welcome to ecb.co.uk’s live blog coverage on day two of the last Ashes Test. England will be looking to respond strongly to Australia’s 326 all out, a total kept down by Ben Stokes’ 6-99. The tourists are set to resume on eight for one with Alastair Cook and nightwatchman James Anderson at the crease after Michael Carberry fell to Mitchell Johnson.

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