Ashes - England on brink of whitewash after top order collapse

Fifth Ashes Test, day two - Sydney Cricket Ground - Stumps: England 155 (Stokes 47 / Harris 3-36, Siddle 3-23, Johnson 3-33) v Australia 1st innings 326 (Smith 115, Haddin 75 / Stokes 6-99). Australia 2nd innings 140-4 (Rogers 73*, Bailey 20* / Anderson 2-36) England trail by 311 runs. Australia lead the series 4-0.

Australia finished day two of the fifth and final Ashes Test with a commanding lead of 311 as they move closer to a series whitewash.

Ryan Harris, Mitchell Johnson and Peter Siddle each took three wickets as each as England were skittled for 155.

Ben Stokes, who took a six wicket haul in the first innings, top scored with a 47 after England had slumped to 5 for 23 as the tourists made a disastrous start to day two of the fifth and final Test.

Alastair Cook (7), nightwatchman Jimmy Anderson (7), Kevin Pietersen (3) and Ian Bell (2) fell in quick succession in a terrible opening session but England managed to avoid the follow on via some impressive resistance from their lower order with Stuart Broad adding an unbeaten 30 to Stoke's 47.

In reply, Anderson got the quick wickets of David Warner and Shane Watson before Broad added Michael Clarke as Australia had a mini-collapse of their own at 72 for 3.

However, they were to lose only one more wicket - that of Steven Smith - before stumps as they closed at 140 for with a lead of 311.

[Scorecard / stats / commentary]

[View from Down Under]

[Why England keep collapsing]

PRE-MATCH

England resumed on 8-1, with Alastair Cook and nightwatchman James Anderson at the crease after Michael Carberry had fallen late the evening before.

KEY MOMENTS

England 8-2 - Nightmare start for England as Cook is trapped lbw by Harris for 7 on just the second ball of the day.

The very next ball new bastman Bell is dropped by Watson in the slips.

Anderson gets hit on the thumb on his first ball from Johnson and requires some medical attention soon after.

England 14-3 - Anderson doesn't last much longer as he edges Johnson to Clarke in the slips and departs for 7.

England 17-4 - Harris gets another as Pietersen (3) edges and this time Watson holds onto the catch.

England 23-5 - Another England wicket falls as Bell (2) nicks one through to Brad Haddin and Siddle has his first wicket of the day.

[Full lunch report]

England 62-6 - Ballance snicks a Lyon delivery and the debutant heads back to the pavilion for 18, caught by Haddin.

England crawl to 100, for the loss of six wickets, mainly thanks to Stokes who has 40 of that total.

England 111-7 - The wickets keep falling with Bairstow (18) next, offering up a simple catch to Lyon at short mid-on off the bowling of Siddle.

England 112-8 - Australia heap misery on England as Siddle clean bowls Stokes, who leaves the delivery and departs for 47. England still need 15 to avoid the follow-on.

England 125-9 - Harris gets his third of the day as another England batsman, Borthwick this time, edges into the slips and is caught by Smith for 1. Still two runs required for England to avoid the follow-on.

England 155-10 - Johnson is brought on to mop up and he does just that, clean bowling Rankin for a respectable 13. Australia's lead is 171.

[Full tea report]

Australia 27-1 - Anderson gets the key wicket of Warner, leg before, for 16 after a rousing start to the opener's innings.

Australia 47-2 - Anderson strikes again as Watson edges to Bairstow behind the stumps. It's a great diving catch and Watson departs for 9.

Rogers scores a seven after Bairstow throws the ball at the stumps at the other end, where no one is ready to take it. The ball runs away to the boundary, Australia's batsmen laugh and we have a moment that rather neatly encapsulates England's calamitous 2013-14 Ashes tour.

Australia 72-3 - Clarke (6) edges Broad behind and Bairstow goes some way to making amends for his earlier error with the catch.

Australia 91-4 - Smith edges Stoke’s delivery and it is a straightforward chance to Cook at first slip.

Australia 97-4 - Rodgers clips this one down the leg side and picks up a single to bring up a half century. That’s a sixth Test fifty for Rodgers.

Australia 140-4 - Australia close without further loss with a lead of 311.

KEY STATS

With the wicket of Anderson, Johnson now has 33 wickets, the most by any left arm bowler in an Ashes series.

Only 10 players in Ashes history have taken more wickets in a series than Mitchell Johnson and only 5 in a five-Test series.

Australia have hit eight more tons than England in this Ashes. Biggest difference in a series is nine.

Australia's 1st innings 6th wicket partnerships in this Ashes have produced 494 runs (98.8 average). England: 22 runs.

England last used 18 players in a series in 2001 (19 v Aus). 18 have been used once before by a touring team.

Ian Bell took 42 minutes to get off the mark after being dropped first ball.

Gary Ballance is the third Zimbabwe-born player to play Tests for England. Graeme Hick and Paul Parker the other two.

David Warner finishes the Ashes series with 523 runs to his name, at an average of 58.11, Michael Clarke with 363 runs at an average of 40.33

QUOTE OF THE DAY

Geoffrey Boycott after Shane Watson dropped Ian Bell on his first ball: "My mum could have caught that in her pinny."

TWEETS OF THE DAY