Sunday 25 February 2018 / 06:30 AM

The Ashes: 2nd Test – Day 2 wrap

Australia put their foot firmly on England’s throat in another commanding performance on Day 2 of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s. Resuming on 1/347, the tourists amassed 8/566 before captain Michael Clarke declared, then decimated England’s top order to leave the hosts precariously placed at 4/85 at stumps.

Chris Rogers’ stellar innings came to an end in the sixth over of the day’s play, bowled by Stuart Broad for 173. Clarke’s ordinary Ashes run continued when he was brought undone by Mark Wood for 7, while Adam Voges (25) and Mitchell Marsh (12) also fell to Broad as Steve Smith held down the other end.

But debutant wicketkeeper Peter Nevill provided some stability and put on 91 with Smith, who posted the first double-century of his remarkable 30-Test career.

Smith’s watershed innings ended at 215, trapped lbw by Joe Root – ironically, the player Smith overtook as 2015’s leading run-scorer with his monster knock.

Root also dismissed Nevill, who made a spirited 45 off 59 balls, and Australia declared when Mitchell Johnson became Broad’s fourth victim – just six balls after the tea break.

Mitchell Starc finished on 15 not out before doing the damage with the ball, removing Adam Lyth caught-behind with the second ball of England’s innings.

Gary Ballance (23) and Ian Bell (1) had their stumps rocked by Johnson and Josh Hazlewood respectively, and Johnson provided Nevill with his second debut-match catch as Root departed for 1, England in all-sorts at 4-30.

Alistair Cook (21 not out) locked down one end and Ben Stokes’ unbeaten 38 from 50 balls – including five boundaries and a six – saw England through to stumps without any further damage, but at 481 runs in arrears, the hosts are at long odds to avoid a heavy series-levelling defeat.

Stud of the day

Steve Smith answered the critics – including outspoken former England spinner Graeme Swann – with a spellbinding double-century after a disappointing showing in Cardiff. He is drawing ‘best since Bradman’ plaudits, and it’s not difficult to see why; the 26-year-old New South Welshman is on a steep ascent to greatness.

Key moment

Lyth’s second-ball departure was almost comically reminiscent of England’s disastrous tour Down Under in 2013/14, prodding at a Starc delivery outside off-stump. A top-order collapse followed, before Cook and Stokes valiantly dug in.

Looking ahead

Australia appear to be on an irresistible march to a resounding victory. There’s still plenty of work to be done, but with three days left, a 481-run lead and 16 wickets to take, the result feels inevitable. Cook and Stokes are nicely set and England has a bit of batting to come in the form of Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali, but avoiding the follow-on would be a minor miracle given the hopeless position they currently find themselves in.

Fun facts

  • For the first time in 160 home Ashes Tests, three of England’s top five were dismissed for 1 or less – Lyth, Bell and Root.
  • Nevill fell just five runs short of becoming the second Australian keeper after Adam Gilchrist to make 50 on debut.
  • Smith’s 215 was the first double-ton by an Australian overseas since Jason Gillespie’s 201 not out against Bangladesh in 2006, while it was the second-highest score ever by an Australian at Lord’s – and the first 200 by an Aussie at the hallowed venue in 77 years.
  • Rogers is the first Australian opener to score five centuries after turning 35.
  • For just the second time since 1968, Australia had two of their top three batsmen score 150-plus.
  • Michael Clarke has failed to notch a 50 in his last 10 Ashes innings, boasting a high-score of just 38.

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About the author

Will Evans

CBS’s Editor-in-Chief and lead rugby league, union and cricket writer, Will is a Christchurch-based freelancer, also writing for Big League and Rugby League Review magazines, and The New Daily website. Will has written four rugby league books.

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