|Ground:||Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood|
|Scorecard:||England v Australia|
|Player:||CJL Rogers, DA Warner, AN Cook, BA Stokes, JR Hazlewood, MG Johnson|
|Event:||Australia in England and Ireland 2015|
DateLine: 18th July 2015
By Andy Jalil at Lord's
In association with INVESTEC
Australia strengthen their hold on second Test
London – There seems an inevitability about England’s defeat in the second Test with Australia having extended their overall lead to 362 after taking their second innings score to 108 without loss on the third day. Having put on 78 in their opening stand in the first innings, Chris Rogers on 44 and David Warner with 60 from 84 balls, once again looked set on a pitch which had little in it for the bowlers.
In the 26 overs bowled in Australia’s innings, England used six bowlers but none seemed to cause much problem to either batsman as they scored at a rate better than a-run-a-minute. Warner was particularly fluent with 40 of his runs coming from boundaries. Regardless of what Australia’s final lead will be, England will need to bat exceptionally well the second time around to save the Test.
Earlier, resuming on 85 for four and trailing by a daunting 481, Alastair Cook and Ben Stokes, who had batted for nearly an hour and a half on the previous evening, began a fightback which was to last until a quarter of an hour before lunch. It was back-to-the-wall effort from both batsmen realising the enormous task that lay ahead to save the match from that stage. Stokes slowly added ten runs to his overnight score and remained on 48 for four overs before bringing up his fourth Test half century with a crisp drive to mid-off for four off Mitchell Johnson.
Cook too progressed to a half-century, his 42nd in Tests, taking three runs from a drive to mid-wicket off Nathan Lyon. Stokes moved into the eighties with a flick off Mark Hazelwood to the long leg boundary and then two consecutive fours off Mitchell Marsh were his last scoring shots, the first a streaky edge followed by a powerful cut which took him to 87.
With three overs to go before lunch Australia finally broke the 145-run stand with Stokes getting a thick edge on to his stumps off Marsh. It had been an excellent defiant effort from him lasting a bit over three hours and England were 175 for five. Cook who was on 78 at that point played two lovely shots, one took him to 87 with a stylish cut off Johnson and then to 96 with a drive to square leg off Marsh.
He had meanwhile lost Jos Buttler – caught behind off Nathan Lyon – with whom he added 35 and then having had a 56-run stand with Moeen Ali he dragged a ball from Marsh on to his stumps in similar fashion to Stokes’ earlier. At tea England were 285 for seven with Ali on 38. Josh Hazelwood struck with the next two wickets in eight balls. He trapped Ali for a fine 39 from 57 balls, with five fours and a straight six and then bowled Wood in his next over.
Stuart Broad was the last man out, caught by substitute Sean Marsh off Johnson which gave the bowler three for 53. England were dismissed for 312 and trailed by 254 runs. Considering they had lost their first four wickets for 30 in just 50 minutes the previous day, England’s innings surprisingly lasted nearly seven hours. It left Australia all but half-an-hour of the final session to bat as they had decided not to enforce the follow-on.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2015 Andy Jalil)