|Ground:||Lord's Cricket Ground, St John's Wood|
|Scorecard:||England v Australia|
|Player:||DA Warner, CJL Rogers, SPD Smith, PM Nevill, MG Johnson, MA Starc|
|Event:||Australia in England and Ireland 2015|
DateLine: 18th July 2015
By Andy Jalil at Lord's
In association with INVESTEC
Australia in complete command of second Test
London – Steve Smith continued to demonstrate his prodigious appetite for run-scoring for the second day as he led Australia to a mammoth total of 566 for eight declared and hitting his highest Test score of 215, spanning a shade over eight hours, on the ground on which he had made his Test debut four years ago in the unusual circumstance of a Test at the HQ which did not involve England. Pakistan were the hosts as they were unable to stage international cricket at home for security reasons.
Facing such a daunting total, England began their response almost straight after tea after Australia decided to bring England out on to the field for just one over from which they scored four runs and declared at the fall of Mitchell Johnson’s wicket which gave Stuart Broad figures for four for 83.
Australia were quick to claim the first wicket as Mitchell Starc, with the second ball of the innings finding the edge of Adam Lyth’s bat to give wicketkeeper Peter Nevill his first catch on his Test debut. It also happened to be the quickest catch by a wicketkeeper on a Test debut. England had hardly had the chance to recover from that early loss when Mitchell Johnson was brought on and with his third ball he had Gary Ballance playing the wrong line with no feet movement as the ball went on to the stumps.
A run later England were 29 for three with Ian Bell, attempting to play to leg a ball from Josh Hazelwood which straightened and bowled him on one. Johnson had worked up a very lively pace which was clearly causing the batsmen difficulties. Joe Root faced four balls, the third of which came to him at 91.7mph and the next one at 89.1mph dismissed him. It was short and Root went on the back foot to give a thin edge behind the stumps.
Alastair Cook unbeaten on 21 and Ben Stokes on 38 steadied the innings cautiously. The fifty of their stand came from 93 balls. They saw England to 85 for four at stumps, as they trailed by 481.
Australia had resumed the first innings on 337 for one, Chris Rogers, 158 overnight, was hit behind the right ear from the first ball of the day. It was a short one from James Anderson and Rogers took his eye off the ball and turned trying to avoid it. It possibly had an effect on his batting as he added 15 to his overnight score – including three fours – in just under half-an-hour but not in particularly fluent strokes.
The second wicket stand of 284 ended with Rogers playing-on to a ball from Stuart Broad as he attempted to drive from the crease. It mattered little as the tourists had already been put firmly on the path of a monumental total by the Smith and Rogers highly commendable stand. Australia lost the next three wickets relatively fast as they were reduced to five for 442 in fifteen overs.
Michael Clarke pulled Mark Wood into the hands of square leg. Broad had Adam Voges held behind for 25 and Mitchell Marsh, brought into the team in place of Shane Watson after his excellent form in the tour matches against Kent and Essex, played-on to Broad on 12 and that was 442 for four. With that Broad had taken three for nine in 36 balls.
A stand of 91 between Smith and Nevill stopped the rapid fall of wickets before Smith was judged lbw to Root in attempting a reverse sweep. He had faced 346 balls, hitting 25 fours and a six. Root then took his second wicket in a spell of six balls having Nevill held for 45 and that was 536 for seven.
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
Copyright © 2015 Andy Jalil)