Ashes: England suffer top-order collapse after Steve Smith's 215

Posted By: PTI

London, July 17: 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 today.

Match Scorecard

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's Steve Smith celebrates getting 200 runs on the second day of the second Ashes Test

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

Smith's score, 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 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 as they started their reply.

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.

Joe 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.

England captain Alastair Cook, who had watched all four wickets tumble, then saw Ben Stokes hit back with some well-struck fours before and a soaring straight six off spinner Nathan Lyon.

Cook was 21 not out and fellow left-handed batsman Stokes 38 not out at stumps, the fifth-wicket pair having prevented further collapse with an unbroken stand of 55.

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


Story first published: Saturday, July 18, 2015, 1:35 [IST]
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