England crumble as Oz level Ashes

2015-07-19 18:27
Mitchell Johnson (AP)

London - Mitchell Johnson led Australia's attack as they thrashed England by 405 runs to win the second Ashes Test at Lord's on Sunday to level the five-match series at 1-1.

England, set what would have been a new fourth-innings record of 509 for victory, collapsed to 103 all out after tea on the fourth day.

Left-arm fast bowler Johnson took three for 27 as England were dismissed in a mere 37 overs.

It was only the ninth time in the 138-year history of Test cricket a side had won by more than 400 runs.

Australia's fast bowlers are appreciably quicker than their England counterparts and sheer pace was responsible for several wickets as the home side suffered the latest in a long line of top-order slumps.

After Australia declared their second innings on 254 for two, it meant England had to top the highest fourth innings total to win a Test - the West Indies' 418 for seven against Australia at St John's in 2002/03 - if they were to go 2-0 up.

The more realistic if still difficult task for England, 1-0 ahead in the five-match series after their 169-run win in the first Test in Cardiff, was to bat out the remaining 155 overs left in the match to secure a draw.

Only eight sides, however, have survived for more than the equivalent of 150 six-ball overs to draw a Test match.

But just seeing out Sunday's play proved far beyond England.

Opener Adam Lyth, out for a duck in the first innings, could only manage seven on Sunday before pushing at a lifting ball from Mitchell Starc he was caught behind by debutant wicket-keeper Peter Nevill.

England captain Alastair Cook, who batted for nearly six hours in making 96 during the first innings, certainly had the temperament required for the tricky situation.

But his technique deserted him when he tried to cut Johnson's fourth ball of the innings without moving his feet and was caught behind for 11.

Mitchell Marsh, who replaced the dropped Shane Watson for this match, struck first ball Sunday when he had the struggling Gary Ballance caught behind.

Ian Bell could have been out twice before, on 11, he gave a bat pad catch to substitute Shaun Marsh at short leg off spinner Nathan Lyon.

England were now in dire straits at 48 for four.

The last thing England needed Sunday was a run out but that is what they got when Ben Stokes, who made 87 in the first innings, failed to beat Johnson's powerful throw from mid-wicket.

England, 64 for five at tea, lost their sixth wicket to the first ball after the break when Jos Buttler was caught behind off Johnson.

Four balls later they were 64 for seven when Moeen Ali fell for a duck when he fended a lifting Johnson ball to short leg.

Stuart Broad hit out in an innings top score of 25 before falling to Lyon and the match ended when paceman Josh Hazlewood ripped through James Anderson's defence to bowl England's last man for a duck.

Earlier, Australia took their overnight 108 without loss to 254 for two before captain Michael Clarke declared shortly before lunch.

The only concern for Australia was when opener Chris Rogers, who made a Test-best 173 in the first innings, retired hurt following a dizzy spell just two overs into the day's play.

However, he was later seen watching the match from Australia's dressing room balcony.

Steven Smith was named man-of-the-match for his Test-best 215 in Australia's first innings 566 for eight declared.

Read more on:    england  |  australia  |  ashes  |  cricket

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