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Australia fight back on the first day, full coverage of today’s cricket


Dear English cricket fans, never let the Aussies deceive you.

The first test in Cardiff proved that England are back on the mend and can challenge Australia at this thrilling Ashes series. But today, in the first day at Lords Australia have proven why you should never smile at a crocodile.

England today have tried everything to fight against an onslaught brought on by Chris Rogers and Steve Smith, with the two not only breaking batting records but also breaking spirits within the England camp.

Not all credit needs to be given to the Aussie batsmen though, most cricket fans will know that Lords is a batting wicket that starts off in the batsmen’s favour and then turns on a knife edge when the wicket has had some weathering.

It could have almost been decided when Michael Clarke won the toss and obviously decided to bat first, in order to give his side a fighting chance in this Ashes series. That fighting chance has now turned into an opportunity to challenge the heads of Cook and co, who will be geared up for a massive battle tomorrow on day 2.

England started well, with some fantastic bowling from Stuart Broad keeping on his stellar line and length bowling from the last test. England had a chance to take an early wicket on the third ball when Joe Root’s trusty hands just missed out on a flash drive from the high scoring Rogers.

The game then flashed England’s way, with Australian talisman David Warner trying hard to break the spirit of Moeen Ali, smashing the spinner for 10 before losing his focus and volleying the ball straight in the air for Jimmy Anderson to swoop under and happily receive. Warner left the pitch on 38 from 42 balls and if he’d have kept his wicket, would have been looking at a momentous score with the bat.

Ali’s spin has been the only wicket for England in the first day and soon after the inform Steve Smith entered the crease, the onslaught began. It was clear that Smith’s erratic defending of wide balls in the first test would not be his undoing in this second test, as England begged for an edge.

As the players returned from lunch at 104-1, England were still looking to catch that edge off Smith and were given two glorious occasions when Smith first edged to a vacant second slip on 45 at 153-1 and then again when the unlucky Ben Stokes saw a golden opportunity dropped by the trusty hands of Ian Bell with Smith just reaching his 50.

As England walked in for tea at 191-1, the evidence was clear that the pitch was giving no swing, no pace, no seam and no luck for England’s barrage of bowlers.

As the score crept to 247-1, Steve Smith picked up his 10th century in 30 tests. With the century coming from 161 balls, with 9 4’s and one glorious 6.

It didn’t take long for Rogers to catch up with his compatriot after picking up his century where he spent four years with Middlesex and what will be a moment to remember with his impending retirement at the end of this series and his last test at Lords. This was Rogers’ fourth century against England and his 5th century in 22 tests for Australia.

Agony then ensued for Stokes again as an edge flew past the missing third slip as Australia crept towards the 300 mark and England took the new ball as Australia hit 300-1.

History was made as Rogers and Smith broke Don Goodman’s record partnership at 231 runs as the batsmen tore into the weary England bowlers. Rogers then made his maiden test 150 in 22 tests, facing 269 balls and hitting 24 fours.

England’s agony turned worse as Rogers edged the ball just in front of Ian Bell at slip to Stuart Broad and England’s last over of the day.

The day ended on Australia finishing with 337-1 at stumps, with Rogers and Smith on a respected 158 off 282 balls and 129 off 217 balls with a partnership of 259 runs.

Although a horrible day for the England cricket team, Cook and co cannot be blamed for result so far as a fantastic batting wicket has helped Australia take a grip on this second test.

Cook tried every trick in the book to help England grab that second wicket and was unlucky to see these batsmen perform so well. His improvisation and use of 7 different bowlers showed that he does have that illustrious plan B that England fans have called for.

As England look to the second day, the bowlers will hope for four quick wickets in the first session tomorrow to force Australia’s hand to take changes, otherwise a declaration above 550-600 is a possibility for the Aussies and an opportunity to keep the series will loom over England in the second day.

ashes chris rogers steve smith test matvh

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