By Shrikant Shankar
Jan 4, 2014
England were bowled out for 155 in their first innings of the fifth Ashes 2013-14 Test against Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) on January 4, 2014. A top-order collapse seemed like England would have to follow-on, but stiff resistance from the lower-order, ensured Australia would bat again starting with a lead of 171 runs.
Ben Stokes top-scored with 47 and Stuart Broad scored an unbeaten 30. The afternoon session began with England in all sorts of trouble at 61 for five. Nathan Lyon was getting some spin and he found a thin edge off Gary Ballance’s (18) bat and Brad Haddin took the catch behind the wickets.
Peter Siddle bowled an in-swinging full delivery and Jonny Bairstow clipped it to deep mid-wicket for two runs to get off the mark. Mitchell Johnson bowled a short delivery and Stokes played a good back-foot drive through covers for three runs.
Johnson then bowled one wide of off-stump and Bairstow slashed hard and got a thick edge over the gully region for a four. Stokes was using the sweep to Lyon as he got a few runs playing the shot. Siddle offered width and Stokes slashed hard and got it over gully for a four.
Lyon bowled one from round the wicket and hit Stokes on the pads as he tried to offer a shot. The Australians appealed and umpire Marais Erasmus said not out. After some deliberation, Michael Clarke asked for the review. Replays showed that the ball hit the pads outside the line of off-stump. So, it is not out. Australia had lost both their reviews for the innings.
Bairstow was trying to go on the offensive against Lyon as he attempted to slog-sweep him a few times. He got a thick under-edge while slog-sweeping towards square-leg. Stokes got two runs through mid-wicket off Siddle. Lyon then tossed one up and Stokes swept through mid-wicket for a four.
Siddle then bowled a length delivery and it bounced slightly more and hit high on Bairstow’s bat. The ball went straight to George Bailey at short mid-on and he took a low catch. Scott Borthwick was the new batsman in and he took a single towards covers to get off the mark. Stokes then left a length delivery from Siddle and got bowled. England were struggling to avoid the follow-on.
But a late order surge ensured that there was no possibility of a follow-on. Lyon floated one and Broad hit a lofted on-drive for a massive six over long-on. Next ball was on a good length and Broad slog-swept it over deep mid-wicket for a four.
Ryan Harris then found the outside edge off Borthwick’s bat and Steven Smith took the catch at third slip. Lyon bowled to debutant Boyd Rankin and he hit one straight past the bowler for a four to get his first Test runs. Harris bowled a length delivery and Broad hit a flat-batted shot as the ball went for a four towards deep mid-wicket. Broad then swept Lyon for a four.
Rankin too got in on the act and both the batsmen targeted Lyon and hit a few boundaries off the off-spinner. But this was to end soon as Johnson came back and bowled Rankin for 13. Broad remained unbeaten on 30. Harris, Johnson and Siddle took three wickets each.
Australia 326 (Shane Watson 43, Steven Smith 115, Brad Haddin 75; Ben Stokes 6 for 99) lead England 155 (Ben Stokes 47, Stuart Broad 30*; Peter Siddle 3 for 23, Mitchell Johnson 3 for 33, Ryan Harris 3 for 36) by 171 runs.
(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)
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