Chris Rogers and Steve Smith helped Australia put their heavy first-Test defeat behind them in emphatic style on Day 1 of the second Ashes clash at Lord’s, carrying the tourists to 1/337 at stumps courtesy of an unbeaten 259-run partnership.
There was an early indication that it was going to be Australia’s day on just the third ball of the first over, when Rogers edged James Anderson over third slip to the boundary. The 36-year-old opener barely put a foot wrong thereafter as he crafted a career-best 158 not out.
David Warner hit seven boundaries in making 38 off 42 balls, before falling to Moeen Ali with Australia’s score on 78, throwing his wicket away with another rash shot that resulted in the ball skying to Anderson.
— Sky Sports Cricket (@SkyCricket) July 16, 2015
That brought Smith to the crease, however, and the No.3 responded to a disappointing first Test in typically positive fashion. He eventually overtook Rogers to bring up his 10th Test century off 161 balls.
Rogers reached triple figures – ending a long succession of being unable to convert 50s – soon afterwards and dominated the scoring until stumps, finishing 29 runs ahead of Smith as the pair smashed the record for an Australian second-wicket stand at Lord’s.
— Lord’s Ground (@HomeOfCricket) July 16, 2015
After going into tea at 1/191, Rogers and Smith picked up the pace in the final session, adding another 146 runs in 33 overs.
It was a frustrating day at the office for England, receiving few opportunities and unable to capitalise on any of the rare half-chances. Stuart Broad (0/47 off 16 overs) toiled hard for no reward, but was easily the most economical of the hosts’ attack.
Stud of the day
Smith was brilliant, but the day belonged to the veteran Rogers, who enjoyed his finest day at Test level at the most famous venue in world cricket – a ground he called home during four seasons with Middlesex. His fifth Test ton has so far featured 25 boundaries, playing the late cut with superb precision to consistently find the fence. Rogers will be pushing towards a maiden double-century early on Day 2 in what would be a crowning moment of an admirable career.
— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) July 16, 2015
If Rogers’ edge over third slip on ball three of the Test found the hands of an Englishman, the entire complex of the day changes. Rogers never looked back and England failed to recover.
It’s exceedingly rare to lose a Test after producing such a dominant first day, and Australia’s score could be anything. The timing of Michael Clarke’s declaration will be key, but there’s little doubt England will be batting for a significant portion of Day 2. Australia’s bowlers must apply early pressure to ram home their advantage, because if England are given the chance to settle in on this flat Lord’s wicket, a draw is inevitable.
- Rogers and Smith’s 259-run (and counting) partnership broke the 85-year-old record of legendary pair Bill Woodfull and Don Bradman for the biggest second-wicket stand at Lord’s by an Australian duo.
- Rogers became just the second Australian to score 1,000 Ashes runs after the age of 35.
- Smith atoned for his dismal record at Lord’s, where he had previously scored just 16 runs in four innings.
- Smith has scored 50-plus in the first innings of his last nine Tests, averaging 154.