England collapse again as the home side storms towards 5-0.
Australia continues to close in on a 5-0 Ashes whitewash after completing another comprehensive day at the SCG, closing with an overall lead of 311 runs after finishing 140-4 at the end of play.
The day began disastrously for England as they fell to at one stage be 23-5, before a late fightback by Ben Stokes and Stuart Broad.
But the Three Lions were bundled out for 155, giving the Australian side a lead of 171, one they would grow to its final size despite Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad finding some success with the new ball.
Earlier in the evening session, David Warner and Chris Rogers began Australia’s second innings with all the freedom of opening batsman already with a massive lead.
In stark contrast to the first overs of day two, where the England batsmen looked likely to get out with every ball, Rogers and Warner looked comfortable at the crease as they punished a Three Lions’ attack that struggled to find the same probing length as the home side.
Jimmy Anderson got the breakthrough his side were desperate for, when a ball from around the wicket hit David Warner plumb in front.
The left-hander departed for 16 as Australia’s score became 26-1.
Shane Watson came and went quickly again, departing for just nine as Anderson earned a healthy edge with Jonny Bairstow taking a very nice catch in front of Alastair Cook at first slip.
The scoring rate did dip after the departure of Warner and Watson, but Rogers did enough to keep the scoreboard ticking over, as he captalised on any ball that was asking to be punched through a gap square of the wicket.
As if to sum up horror England’s summer, Rogers scored seven runs off one shot after he nicked a ball for three down to third-man, before a throw by Bairstow to the non-striker’s end went all the way to the boundary, with nobody backing up the unexpected throw.
And to rub salt into the England wounds following the debacle of scoring that many from one shot, Rogers made as many runs as any of the England top five from their first innings.
England continued to chip away at the Australian top-order with Michael Clarke out to Stuart Broad for just six, after wafting at a ball the skipper should have left alone.
The score moved on to 72-3, an overall lead of 243, which ordinarily would be a decent score to think about chasing in the fourth innings if it were not for the highest total ever chased successfully at the SCG being just 288.
Rogers continued to play a role only he can, with every scoring shot timed well but played with the minimum of fuss as he quickly loomed as the key man for the Australian second innings.
The game was held up for several minutes after Broad pulled up sore after he found a hole in his takeoff, with ground staff forced to perform emergency repairs.
Ben Stokes kept up his excellent Test with the ball as he dismissed in-form batsman Steve Smith for just seven, after he got a healthy edge to Cook at first slip.
Rogers continued his excellent series as he brought up his sixth half-century in his past 11 innings, as the score edged along to 98-4.
Despite his place being under threat, George Bailey started his innings in a positive fashion, thanks in part to England’s tactics of bowling short, which allowed the Tasmanian to pull through the on-side.
Australia, thanks largely to Rogers, cruised along at around five runs an over late on day two, making a mockery of the tricky batting conditions and the fact England were bowled out for just 155 earlier in the day.
The left-hander found the middle of his bat and the middle of gaps in the field with regularity, as he raced along at close to 90 runs per 100 balls.