England's Alastair Cook leaves the ground after being dismissed by Ryan Harris of Australia on Day 2 of the fifth Ashes Test at the SCG in Sydney, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014.
England's Alastair Cook leaves the ground after being dismissed by Ryan Harris of Australia on Day 2 of the fifth Ashes Test at the SCG in Sydney, Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014. AAP Image - Paul Miller

England hanging on as top order collapses

ENGLAND is hanging on for dear life at lunch on day two of the fifth Ashes Test, sitting at 5-61 after a horror opening session.

Debutant Gary Balance (17 n.o.) and all-rounder Ben Stokes (23 n.o.) launched a mini-fightback at the SCG, combining for a 44-run partnership to help England avoid complete catastrophe.

The tourists are still in dire trouble though after losing four wickets early on Saturday.

First to go was captain Alastair Cook, given out lbw on just the second delivery of the day after shouldering arms to a straight ball from Ryan Harris that thumped into his pad.

Next up was nightwatchman James Anderson, who faced a brutal barrage of short balls from Aussie pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson before eventually succumbing, edging to Michael Clarke at second slip.

Read more at News.com.au

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