By Stephen Giles
- Steve Smith (129 not out) and Chris Rogers (158 not out) dominate on opening day at Lord’s.
- England manage just one wicket all day.
- Partnership of 259 from Smith and Rogers leaves Australia in total command.
LONDON, UK – Steve Smith and Chris Rogers both hit tons as Australia reached 337-1 against England on day one of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s.
Rogers (158*) and Smith (129*) put on an unbeaten 258 second-wicket partnership to frustrate the hosts on a lifeless pitch offering nothing for the bowlers.
Stuart Broad continued where he left off in Cardiff as he constantly probed on a full length and regularly beat the bat without ever really looking like picking up a wicket. Mark Wood took some time to acclimatise to the Lord’s slope before fashioning some unplayable deliveries. However, James Anderson and Ben Stokes were less consistent, and were often punished.
England toiled hard and commendably maintained their disciplined approach throughout without ever really creating a noteworthy chance, and with no help from the pitch; they failed to reap any such rewards.
The day began with the tourists – who replaced out-of-form all-rounder Shane Watson with Mitchell Marsh and wicket-keeper Brad Haddin with Peter Nevill – winning the toss and made the simple call by deciding to bat first – but soon lost flamboyant opener David Warner needlessly for 38 as he bid to hit Moeen Ali for six towards the long-off boundary, but in doing so Anderson, running back, took the catch on the boundary.
Aside from the Warner departure, the tourists reached lunch with the utmost simplicity at 104 for one, and added a further 87 more runs during the afternoon as Rogers and Smith remained unruffled to reach tea at 191 for one, despite the best attempts of the England bowlers.
Smith had laboured to his half-century but wasted little time in reaching those magical three figures, nonchalantly hitting Joe Root for a straight six and pulling Anderson with consummate ease through midwicket for another boundary, taking him passed 1000 career runs against England in the process.
Rogers, playing county cricket at Middlesex, reached his fifth Test 100 for the Baggy Greens after so many near misses, as he guided trademark late cuts and back foot punches through the covers to give him his first ton since the Australian tour of South Africa last year.
England’s only real sniff of a wicket during a tiresome afternoon session arrived when Smith edged to second slip shortly after reaching his 50 off the bowling of Ben Stokes, however Ian Bell was unable to take the catch, as the ball scarcely carried off the unresponsive Lord’s surface to compound a thoroughly frustrating day for the hosts.
By the end of a day in which England barely made the ball do anything, only two results seem plausible. Barring a late appearance of Harry Potter to help out the hosts with some wizardly antics, it will certainly not be 2-0 going into the third test at Edgbaston.
Day two continues tomorrow starting at 11:00am BST. Follow the action with Britwatch Live Scores