End is nigh for England as Australia revel in Sydney heat

Home side look like making it a 4-0 series win without even needing a second innings

Nathan Lyon of Australia celebrates taking the wicket of Dawid Malan of England during day four of the fifth Ashes Test match at Sydney Cricket Ground. Photo: Matt King/Getty Images

Nathan Lyon of Australia celebrates taking the wicket of Dawid Malan of England during day four of the fifth Ashes Test match at Sydney Cricket Ground. Photo: Matt King/Getty Images

 

England 346 & 93-4; Australia 649-7 declared

Joe Root stood on the burning deck, whence all but he had fled. England’s beleaguered captain was defiant and the deck really was close to burning, for this was a day of record-breaking temperatures in Sydney.

The end of an arduous tour was in sight and while Root battled nobly, after doing his best to marshal his men during the 193 overs that they spent in the field he was short of allies. The situation was almost hopeless so perhaps there was less to worry about. Next week Eoin Morgan will be in charge and Root can revert to being the imp in the back of the bus once he has recovered from the exertions of the last two months.

Australia had a first innings lead of 303 when Steve Smith declared midway through a stifling afternoon. Both the Marsh brothers had registered centuries and the Australian bowlers had relaxed for two days in the dressing room. They were honed for the final assault and until Root bedded in they met with little resistance as Cook and the three new boys, who had surely never batted after so many hours frazzling in the sun, were sent packing for the last time in this Test series.

Mark Stoneman, who has promised so much in this series – rather like Michael Carberry four years ago – was stuck on the back foot and lbw to the long-striding Mitchell Starc. Then Nathan Lyon was introduced for the sixth over. His first ball fizzed past Alastair Cook’s outside edge; his fifth one spun just as viciously and clipped the top of off-stump. So this pitch was turning, after all. As predicted, facing Lyon was a rather more serious proposition than the three spinners used by England (not for the first time the desperate question – “Where’s Malan?” was provoked during Australia’s marathon first innings).

Vince settled and departed in time-honoured fashion, edging wearily to first slip off Pat Cummins. With his head bowed he meandered back to the old pavilion wondering when his next knock for England would be. Dawid Malan, being a left-hander, was also dismissed by Lyon. He was lbw on the back foot and reviewed just in case the ball had hit his bat just before his pad. It hadn’t. The next innovation for the modern cricketer – and they like innovating and practising all year round – has to be the ambidextrous batsman. Lyon’s record against left-handers in this series is remarkable; they average under 20 against him. By contrast right-handers average over 80. There being no Ted Dexters, England need ambidexters.

Out came Jonny Bairstow, less pumped up than in the first innings, and the two Yorkshiremen took England to 93-4 at the close. Root was unbeaten on 42 from 124 balls, none of which had been hit for six or four. He has never faced so many in Test cricket without a boundary. The captain was patient yet never passive. And he was quietly resolute, whatever the state of the series. No doubt he was tired as well, for he had spent the first half of the day in the torture chamber that was the SCG.

No doubt the television pictures revealed another lovely sunny day in Sydney. But, as we know, they can distort. It was reckoned to be 57 degrees in the middle of the pitch when the players were taking lunch, while in the suburb of Penrith, where Trevor Bayliss played his cricket, it was officially 47 degrees in the shade, the hottest on record and hotter than his current seat.

It was in these conditions after 157 overs in the field that Stuart Broad sought his 400th wicket and Mason Crane his second. Both sweated in vain as the Marsh brothers piled on the agony. Shaun soon posted his second century of the series and in the second hour Mitchell followed suit.

Mitchell’s century required 71 balls fewer than Shaun’s. It was brimful of powerful drives and capped a wonderfully productive summer for the Australian selectors. Three of their four debatable picks – the Marsh brothers and Tim Paine – have prospered and they stuck with Usman Khawaja and were justified. Only Cameron Bancroft has struggled after his hilarious start. The rest were automatic selections.

Perhaps the most entertaining element of Mitchell Marsh’s innings was when he was on 99 and cover drove the runs to reach his century. Having completed the first one the brothers turned for the second, but were so overcome by emotion that they embraced mid-wicket before remembering it was a good idea to complete that second run before celebrating further. They duly did so but next ball Marsh junior was bowled by Tom Curran; perhaps the delivery kept a little low, perhaps in his mind he was still celebrating his landmark.

Two more wickets fell before Australia declared on 649-7. Shaun Marsh was run out by a direct hit from Stoneman and Mitchell Starc holed out to give Moeen his fifth wicket of the tour. There were soon some ugly stats around. Moeen’s bowling average of 115 is the highest in any Test series for a bowler taking five wickets or more. No debutant has conceded more runs (193) than Mason Crane, and this was the third highest figure of runs conceded in an innings among Englishmen after Ian Botham and Ian Peebles. And the general consensus was that he did not bowl too badly, which is one of the advantages of making one’s debut as a 20-year-old. – Guardian service

England second innings

Bowler O M R W

M A Starc 9 2 17 1

J R Hazlewood 9 1 26 0

N M Lyon 19 5 31 2

P J Cummins 7 1 12 1

S P D Smith 2 0 6 0

Fall of wickets Order Name Runs

1 M D Stoneman 5

2 A N Cook 15

3 J M Vince 43

4 D J Malan 68

Australia first innings

Batsman Runs Balls 4s 6s

C T Bancroft b Broad 0 7 0 0

D A Warner c Bairstow b Anderson 56 104 6 0

U T Khawaja st Bairstow b Crane 171 381 18 1

S P D Smith c & b Ali 83 158 5 0

S E Marsh Run Out Stoneman 156 291 18 0

M R Marsh b Curran 101 141 15 2

T D Paine 38 52 2 0

M A Starc c Vince b Ali 11 10 0 1

P J Cummins 24 16 4 0

Extras 2b 4lb 0 1w 2nb 9

Total for 7 649 193.0 overs

Bowler O M R W

J M Anderson 34 14 56 1

S C J Broad 30 2 121 1

M M Ali 48 10 170 2

T K Curran 25 3 82 1

M S Crane 48 3 193 1

J E Root 8 3 21 0

Fall of wickets Order Name Runs

1 C T Bancroft 1

2 D A Warner 86

3 S P D Smith 274

4 U T Khawaja 375

5 M R Marsh 544

6 S E Marsh 596

7 M A Starc 613

England first innings

Batsman Runs Balls 4s 6s

A N Cook lbw b Hazlewood 39 104 3 0

M D Stoneman c Paine b Cummins 24 24 4 0

J M Vince c Paine b Cummins 25 54 4 0

J E Root c Marsh b Starc 83 141 8 0

D J Malan c Smith b Starc 62 180 6 0

J M Bairstow c Paine b Hazlewood 5 7 1 0

M M Ali c Paine b Cummins 30 58 2 0

T K Curran c Bancroft b Cummins 39 65 6 0

S C J Broad c Smith b Lyon 31 32 1 2

M S Crane Run Out Marsh 4 7 0 0

J M Anderson 0 3 0 0

Extras 2lb 0 2w 4

Total for 10 346 112.3 overs

Bowler O M R W

M A Starc 21 6 80 2

J R Hazlewood 23 4 65 2

P J Cummins 24 5 80 4

N M Lyon 37 5 86 1

M R Marsh 7 0 33 0

Fall of wickets Order Name Runs

1 M D Stoneman 28

2 J M Vince 88

3 A N Cook 95

4 J E Root 228

5 J M Bairstow 233

6 D J Malan 251

7 M M Ali 294

8 T K Curran 335

9 S C J Broad 346

10 M S Crane 346

Umpires: H D P K Dharmasena, J S Wilson, R S Madugalle, S Ravi

Australia: C T Bancroft, D A Warner, U T Khawaja, S P D Smith, S E Marsh, M R Marsh, T D Paine, M A Starc, P J Cummins, J R Hazlewood, N M Lyon

England: A N Cook, M D Stoneman, J M Vince, J E Root, D J Malan, J M Bairstow, M M Ali, T K Curran, S C J Broad, M S Crane, J M Anderson, S Sub

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