The Ashes: How England took a commanding 2-0 lead with crushing win over Australia at Lord's
We look back on how England claimed a crushing win in the second Ashes Test at Lord's.
Last Updated: 22/07/13 12:47pm
Day one close - England 289/7
After all the tension at Trent Bridge, there was little time for the teams to recover before they arrived at Lord's for the second match of the series. The covers were on in the build-up, but only to try and keep the sun off the pitch. When the toss went the way of Alastair Cook the England dressing room must've rejoiced; the weather was set fair and the surface looked flat - it seemed set up as a day for the batsmen to fill their boots. Before they could do that there was a meeting with Her Majesty the Queen, delaying the start of play by 15 minutes. However, it took England about an hour to start playing, by which time they were 28-3.
Yet just as he had done in Nottingham, Ian Bell came up trumps just when his team needed him. A faultless century helped repair the damage and along with Jonny Bairstow, who cashed in after being bowled off a no ball by Peter Siddle, things looked rosy at 271-4. Instead both well-set batsmen were dismissed by the part-time leg-spin of Steve Smith, who also sent back Matt Prior to leave the balance of power seemingly with Australia at 289-7. Asked if he'd really tried to rip the ball that got Bell, who was caught off an outside edge at first slip to go for 109 for the second successive innings, Smith simply replied: "I was just trying to land it". Bell's ton saw him join a select group of Englishmen to make centuries in three successive Ashes Tests - the others being Jack Hobbs (twice), Wally Hammond and Chris Broad.
Day two close - England 361 and 31/3 lead Australia 128 by 264 runs
Another sweltering day at Lord's saw 16 wickets fall on a blameless pitch. The net result was that England, 1-0 up in the series after last week's 14-run win at Trent Bridge, moved into a commanding position in the game and series despite starting and finishing day two by losing three quick wickets. Ryan Harris started the carnage by having Tim Bresnan caught behind with the first ball of the day and it was only thanks to a last-wicket stand of 48 from 40 balls between Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann that England, on 289-7 overnight, were able to get up to 361. Harris finished with 5-72 to get his name on the Lord's honours board and Australia openers Shane Watson and Chris Rogers looked in little trouble while racing to 42-0 in reply.
The turning point came on the stroke of lunch when Bresnan trapped Shane Watson plumb lbw, a decision the Australian unsuccessfully reviewed amid open ridicule from England's fielders. Thereafter it was a horror show for Australia's batsmen, summed up by Rogers going lbw to a Swann full toss that hit him just below the waist and would have been overturned had he reviewed it. He didn't. Instead, a succession of reckless shots saw Australia all out for 128 in 53.3 overs with Swann bagging 5-44, the 16th five-wicket haul of his Test career and second at Lord's. England, with a first-innings lead of 233 in the bank, lost Cook, Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen in their second innings before the close with Siddle completing a wild day with a spell of 3-4 in five overs.
Day three close - England 361 and 333/5 lead Australia 128 by 566 runs
Bat finally started to dominate ball on the third day at Lord's, with England putting themselves in total control thanks to an fine unbeaten century from Joe Root. The 22-year-old, who had not registered a ton since being moved to the top of the order, produced an innings of the utmost composure to end the day unbeaten on 178. Nightwatchman Tim Bresnan was still with him at the crease at the start of the day and the seamer frustrated the tourists throughout the morning, reaching lunch not out on 32. Root, meanwhile, had no problems bringing up his half century as the Australia attack began to toil.
Bresnan eventually fell for 38 but Root and Ian Bell kept things ticking along with a fifth-wicket partnership of 153 which sapped the life out of any hope Australia may have had left. Root made it to three figures just after tea to score his second Test hundred and also become England's youngest Ashes centurion at Lord's. Bell also seemed set to bring up what would have been his third ton of the series, but he clubbed a long hop from Steve Smith straight into the hands of Chris Rogers at midwicket to depart for 74. With England already enjoying a huge lead, many believed that would have been a good time for a declaration, but they instead let Root edge on towards a double-century, with fellow Yorkshireman Jonny Bairstow finishing unbeaten on 11 at the other end.
Day four result - England beat Australia by 347 runs
Many wondered exactly how long Joe Root would be given to complete his double-century at the start of day four, with England still waiting to declare in their second innings. As it transpired, the decision made itself when Root's attempted ramp shot over his shoulder was caught by Steve Smith. Jonny Bairstow had already perished for 20 earlier in the morning and when Root's wicket fell the declaration was inevitable, leaving Australia needing 583 to win after England finished on 349-7. Every Australia batsman now had to protect their wicket with their life, but by the lunch interval three members of the top order - Shane Watson, Chris Rogers and Phil Hughes - had already been sent back to the pavilion.
Michael Clarke and Usman Khawaja did put up some resistance in the afternoon session, posting scores of 51 and 54 respectively in a fourth-wicket stand worth 98. But when the Aussie skipper was snapped up by Cook at leg slip off the bowling of part-time spinner Root, the writing was well and truly on the wall. Khawaja was also dismissed by Root shortly afterwards and wickets continued to fall at regular intervals for the rest of the day. The burning question was whether or not England could wrap things up before the close of play as James Pattinson and Ryan Harris continued the tourists' string of productive final-wicket partnerships. With nine wickets down, the extra 30 minutes was taken but it took until the last over for the 10th wicket to fall, Graeme Swann trapping Pattinson plumb lbw to finish things off with Australia on 235. England now have a 2-0 lead in the series and Australia need to win every one of the three remaining Tests to win back the urn.