Australia in command at Lord's

2015-07-17 21:25
Mitchell Johnson (AP Photo)

London - Mitchell Johnson returned to haunt England as they suffered a top-order collapse on the second day of the second Ashes Test against Australia at Lord's on Friday.

At stumps, England were 85 for four in reply to Australia's first innings total of 566 for eight declared - a huge deficit of 481 and still needing a further 282 runs to avoid the follow-on.

Australia had piled up 337 for one on Thursday before Steven Smith (215) and Chris Rogers (173) extended their overnight hundreds into Test-best scores.

Smith's innings, the seventh highest individual Test score at Lord's, was also Australia's second highest at the ground behind cricket great Don Bradman's 254 in 1930.

But his hopes of breaking that 85-year-old Australia record ended in very modern fashion when he was lbw trying to reverse-sweep part-time spinner Joe Root.

The sheer extra speed of Australia's fast bowlers made talk of a 'docile' surface all but redundant as England slumped to 30 for four inside 11 overs.

Mitchell Starc needed just two balls to remove Adam Lyth for a duck as the left-hander played at a delivery he could have let go and was caught behind.

Wicket-keeper Peter Nevill, making his debut after Brad Haddin withdrew for "family reasons", could not have wished for an easier first dismissal in Test cricket.

Johnson, like Starc a left-arm fast bowler, needed just three balls to uproot Gary Ballance's off-stump as he fell for 23.

Then 28 for two became 29 for three when Ian Bell (one) was bowled by a Josh Hazlewood delivery that held its line.

Root, dropped on nought before making 134 in England's 169-run win in the first Test in Cardiff last week, also went for one when, trying to force the ball of the back foot, he was caught behind off Johnson to leave England 30 for four.

England fans had mocked Johnson during his first-innings return of none for 111 in Cardiff.

But there were few jeers now that Johnson had taken two wickets for one run in seven balls.

This was a graphic reminder that Johnson, who took 37 wickets at under 14 apiece during Australia's 5-0 Ashes whitewash of England in 2013/14, remained a potent force.

"We came here, won the toss and were able to put the runs on the board and put England under pressure straightaway," Johnson told Sky Sports.

"We knew the wicket would have a bit more bounce than Cardiff."

As for Smith's innings, Johnson said: "I've seen him since he's first started...I'm really proud of what he did."

England captain Alastair Cook, who had watched all four wickets tumble, got through to stumps on 21 not out in the company of hard-hitting all-rounder Ben Stokes, 38 not out.

The two left-handed batsmen had prevented further collapse with an unbroken stand of 55

"They bowled really well tonight," said England paceman Stuart Broad of Australia's attack.

"When you've got a lot of scoreboard pressure and 30 overs to bowl, you can fly in for one spell," added Broad, who in the midst of Australia's run spree took four for 83 in 27 overs.

Australia resumed with Rogers 158 not out and Smith, dropped in the slips on 50 by Bell on Thursday, unbeaten on 129.

There was drama with Friday's first ball when Rogers was struck on the side of the helmet by James Anderson.

Rogers, who missed Australia's preceding Test series win in the Caribbean after suffering concussion while batting in the nets, needed several minutes' on-field treatment.

Two balls later, however, the 37-year-old left-hander square-drove Anderson for four.

Broad eventually pierced Rogers's defence with a nip-back ball.

Rogers, who has said he will retire at the end of this series, batted for over six-and-a-half hours, faced 300 balls and struck 28 fours.

His stand of 284 with Smith topped the previous Australia record Test partnership at Lord's of 260 shared by openers Mark Taylor and Michael Slater in 1993.

Smith, out for 199 against the West Indies in Kingston last month, completed a maiden Test double century when he whipped off-spinner Moeen Ali legside for a 24th four in 336 balls.

Read more on:    england  |  australia  |  mitchell johnson  |  cricket

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