The Ashes: Dominant Australia on course for series sweep

Chris RogersEngland's Stuart Broad (L) reacts as Australia's Chris Rogers celebrates reaching fifty runs during the second day of their fifth Ashes cricket test at the Sydney cricket ground January 4, 2014. REUTERS

A dominant Australia looked firmly on course for a 5-0 Ashes series sweep when they reached 140 for four, a lead of 311, at the close of play after skittling England for 155 on a dramatic second Day of the fifth Test on Saturday.

Chris Rogers, who had made 73 not out, and George Bailey, unbeaten on 20, will resume on Day three looking to further inflate the lead before Australia unleash their pace attack on the hapless tourists.

England's bowlers made inroads into the Australian batting order in the final session to contribute to the 13 wickets to fall at the Sydney Cricket Ground but the day was defined by a first hour that left the tourists reeling at 23-5.

While a dispirited England had once again contributed to their own batting downfall, Mitchell Johnson (3-33), Ryan Harris (3-36) and Peter Siddle (3-23) played decisive roles with another display of top quality pace bowling.

"It's obviously not a done thing yet, we've got to make sure we bat well in the morning and get some more and bowl like we did today to bowl them out again," Harris told reporters.

"We sort of figure they are going to fire at some stage, we hope they don't but... I don't think the wicket's getting any easier. If we bowl like we did today, I think we'll go alright."

Australia had made 326 in their first innings before reducing England to 8-1 overnight and drove home their advantage by ripping through England's top order in the early blitz.

It was Harris who started the carnage with the second ball of the day, when England captain Alastair Cook inexplicably padded up to an inswinger and was trapped leg before for seven.

Harris could have had a second wicket with his next delivery when Ian Bell edged the ball behind, only for Shane Watson to fluff a reasonably simple catch in the slips.

... contd.

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