Warner piles on the agony for England

2015-07-18 20:00
David Warner (AFP)

London - David Warner made England pay for missing him on nought with a brisk fifty as Australia strengthened their iron grip on the second Ashes Test at Lord's on Saturday.

At the close of the third day, Australia were 108 without loss in their second innings, a lead of 362 runs.

England now needed to set a new ground record if they were to go 2-0 up in the series, with the highest fourth-innings total to win a Test at Lord's the West Indies' 344 for one in 1984.

Chris Rogers, who in the first innings of this match scored a Test-best 173, was 44 not out on his adopted home ground, having spent several seasons with Lord's-based county Middlesex.

Fellow left-hander Warner was 60 not out, his fifty coming in 71 balls with eight fours.

He might have been out for nought when he edged James Anderson only for Adam Lyth, himself out for a duck in England's first innings, to make a mess of the chance at gully.

Earlier, England were dismissed for 312, 55 runs shy of avoiding the follow-on.

But Australia captain Michael Clarke, with two days left in the match, opted against making England bat again on Saturday.

England's final total represented something of a major recovery after they had slumped to 30 for four on Friday in the face of hostile fast bowling led by Mitchell Johnson.

They were indebted to a fifth-wicket stand of 145 between captain Alastair Cook (96) and Ben Stokes (87), who each came close to scoring hundreds in successive Lord's Tests after their centuries on the ground against New Zealand in May.

The most England have made to win in the fourth innings of a Test was their 332 for seven against Australia at Melbourne way back in 1928/29, and Stokes effectively conceded a draw was the best they could hope for in this match.

"We're under the pump and tomorrow (Sunday) is a big day for us," Stokes told Sky Sports.

"We've got to get our heads round the fact that we're going to have to bat 150 overs to save this match."

Both Stokes and fellow left-hander Cook were bowled playing on to Mitchell Marsh.

The medium-pacer took two for 23 after being recalled in place of Shane Watson following England's 169-run win in the first Test in Cardiff last week.

"It was really nice to contribute to the team today," Marsh told BBC Radio's Test Match Special.

"The boys bowled really well and were able to put England under pressure," he added.

"We've talked about being patient and setting the right fields and making England make the mistake, so hopefully we can do that again in the second innings."

Left-armer Johnson, who took just the one wicket on Saturday, finished with three for 53 in 20.1 overs.

England resumed on their overnight 85 for four, with opener Cook 21 not and all-rounder Stokes 38 not out.

Stokes, whose 85-ball century against New Zealand in May was the quickest Test hundred ever seen at Lord's, showed good judgement during a 67-ball fifty that featured eight fours and a six.

But, having survived against Australia's quicks, it was Marsh's lesser pace which proved Stokes's undoing when he played on to leave England 175 for five.

Cook, dropped on 63 by Steven Smith - who himself made a Test-best 215 in Australia's first innings 566 for eight declared after being missed on 50 - fell in similar fashion when just a four away from adding to his England record of 27 Test hundreds.

He batted for nearly six hours and faced 233 balls including 13 fours.

The lower order did not offer much resistance as England conceded a first-innings lead of 254 - the same figure as Australia's highest individual Test score at Lord's made by cricket great Don Bradman in 1930.

Read more on:    england  |  australia  |  ashes  |  david warner  |  cricket

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