|Ground:||Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood|
|Scorecard:||England v Australia|
|Player:||DA Warner, CJL Rogers, SPD Smith, MM Ali|
|Event:||Australia in England and Ireland 2015|
DateLine: 16th July 2015
By Andy Jalil at Lord's
In association with INVESTEC
England struggle as Australia pile on the runs
London – With two top-order centuries of contrasting style, Australia made significant strides in taking early control of the second Investec Test. An imperious Steve Smith gave ample proof of why he is No. 1 in world rankings while Chris Rogers, staunch and resolute and equally determined piled on the runs along with his partner to end the first day’s play with the tourists comfortably placed on a colossal 337 for one.
Rogers remained unbeaten on a brilliant 158 from 282 balls, hitting 25 fours and Smith was superb with 129 not out from 217 balls 13 of which were struck for fours and one six, with their monumental unbroken second wicket stand of 259 beating Australia’s previous highest of 231 at Lord’s between Bill Woodfull and Donald Bradman in 1930.
England will need to get early wickets on the second day to get back into the game. The tourists will already have their thoughts set firmly on a massive first innings total and may want to bat just the once in the match in the hope of dismissing England for as low a score as possible in the first innings.
Australia intent on quickly drawing level in the series and putting England under pressure from the start dominated the day’s play with the England bowlers striving hard in search of wickets. Making full use of a fine batting wicket after winning the toss, Australia openers, Rogers and David Warner, who had begun well in the previous Test with 52 did better this time with 78 before Rogers and Smith carefully consolidated the innings
Alastair Cook’s decision to bring on his spinner after an hour’s play proved effective as Warner departed after a fairly brisk 38. Two of his seven fours were off the first two balls delivered by Moeen Ali and then in going down the pitch for another he lofted the shot for a catch at mid-off, needlessly giving his wicket away with a rush of blood.
The innings was steadily built with the 50 and the 100 coming in equal pace from 72 and 142 balls respectively. Australia were 104 for one at lunch and Rogers reached his 13th Test fifty and remarkably his eighth in nine consecutive innings soon after the break. Smith gradually began playing his shots, a crunching drive off James Anderson was followed by a shot steered to the third man boundary which took him to 45. His 12th Test fifty came from 111 balls and upon reaching it he was dropped at second slip off Ben Stokes.
Rogers, solid in his play, got to 73 cutting Stokes for four and that brought up the hundred of the partnership with Australia moving on to 191 for one at tea. Rogers was then on 81 and Smith on 62 with the 150 of their stand coming from 302 balls.
Smith overtook his partner in the rate of scoring and brought up his tenth Test century and the fourth against England when he drove Anderson firmly to mid-on. He had nine fours in his score and a six over long-on off Ali and he had faced 161 balls. He batted aggressively as his innings progressed and the second fifty of his hundred came at the rate of a run a ball.
Rogers wasn’t far behind and in Anderson’s next over, a drive to the long-on boundary his saw to his fifth Test century from 209 balls, hitting 17 of those for fours. England made rapid bowling changes, using seven bowlers but it made little impression on either batsman as they brought up the double century of their partnership. Rogers sped along reaching 150 from 269 balls and that was followed by the 250 of the stand.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2015 Andy Jalil)