|Ground:||Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood|
|Scorecard:||England v Australia|
|Player:||AN Cook, MG Johnson, BA Stokes, JR Hazlewood, MJ Clarke|
|Event:||Australia in England and Ireland 2015|
DateLine: 20th July 2015
By Andy Jalil at Lord's
In association with INVESTEC
England outplayed as Ashes series levelled
London – Tides turn and bubbles burst and England find after the euphoria following the victory at Cardiff the reality of what is required in facing a side as talented and spirited as Australia has sunk in as they went down by an overwhelming margin of 405 runs in the second Test. England needed an exceptional performance in response to Australia’s marvellous effort and that was lacking throughout the match.
With an unlikely winning target of 509 set for them, England embarked on their mammoth task three overs before lunch. With a total lack of resistance, the fall of wickets began from the second over into the second session. Following his second-ball duck in the first innings, Adam Lyth could only manage 7 when he edged a ball behind from Mitchell Starc which straightened near the off stump.
The first bowling change brought another wicket for Australia as Alastair Cook, on 11, chased a ball well outside off stump from Mitchell Johnson and paid the price with the catch behind. Gary Balance and Ian Bell departed within six runs of each other reducing England to 48 for four. Mitchell Marsh and Nathan Lyon accounted for those two wickets respectively.
Ben Stokes was run out, not grounding his foot behind the crease – a schoolboy error – and the next two went on the score of 64, both to Johnson who had three for 11 at that stage. Stuart Broad swung his bat for 25 to bring up the 100 of the innings and Joe Root went on the same total of 101 before the innings was wound up two runs later. Hazelwood had taken those two wickets in ten balls without conceding a run.
A delighted Australia captain Michael Clarke said: “I couldn’t have asked for a better performance from our players. Firstly the way the boys batted, Steve Smith (the man-of- the-match) and Chris Rogers and Dave Warner in the second innings. The batting in the second innings was also outstanding. I think we were outplayed in the first Test and we stuck pretty well in this Test and we are ready to go for the third Test.”
Earlier, resuming on 108 without loss and ahead overall by 362, Australia went about scoring at a fast rate to extend the lead. Chris Rogers had added just five runs to his overnight score of 44 when he retired hurt at the end of the second over. He had not been struck by the ball, as in the first innings when James Anderson had struck him behind the right ear but this time he had a dizzy spell and after receiving attention on the field he walked off slowly.
David Warner and Steve Smith looked for quick runs with Warner playing fluently for his 83. The finest shot of his innings was the beautiful cover drive for four off Stuart Broad. He fell to Moeen Ali, when he drove a flighted ball to cover for Cook to take an overhead catch.
Michael Clarke and Smith too attacked the bowling with 45 runs coming from 39 balls. In one over from Broad, Smith hit three fours off consecutive balls, which took him to 57 from 45 balls. The over cost Broad 17 runs. A run later Smith came down the wicket to Ali for a big hit to the off and missed the ball. Clarke with 32 not out from 34 balls and Marsh with 27 from 19, added 44 to take the total to 254 for two before declaring 20 minutes before lunch.
A disappointed England captain Cook said: “It’s incredibly frustrating after Cardiff (the first Test win) but hats off to Australia the way they bounced back when they were under pressure. In Cardiff we did a lot of things very well, here we didn’t bowl to the same discipline and the same control, we didn’t take our catches, in all three aspects of the game we didn’t do well and Australia got ahead and never let us back in.”
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2015 Andy Jalil)