Bowled Over – England destroy Australia for 2-0 lead – By Luqman Liaqat

England hammered Australia by 347 runs at Lord’s to take a 2-0 lead and tighten their grip on the Ashes urn.

Australia were skittled out for 235 late on day four, having to chase 583 to win after England declared on 349-7 when Joe Root was dismissed for an incredible 180.

After winning the toss and batting first England fell to 28-3, Alistair Cook was brought across his stumps and trapped leg before by Shane Watson. In the next over, Root fell lbw to the recalled Ryan Harris (5-72) and Kevin Pietersen edged him behind to the keeper leaving England in trouble during Her Majesty the Queen’s presence.

As the Australian bowling attack looked a little lack lustre after the lunch interval, England hit eight boundaries in seven overs. Jonathon Trott was fluent, bringing up his fifty in 77 balls, his attacking commitment turned out to be his demise when he flicked Harris off his hips straight to Usman Khawaja at deep square leg.

Peter Siddle bowled out Jonny Bairstow earlier in his innings however it was judged a no-ball by the umpire. The pair then put another 46 runs in a fifth-wicket partnership of 144 with Ian Bell which looked to have put England in control.

Bell brought up his hard worked century of 200 balls to take England within the close of play, only for Michael Clarke to gamble throwing the ball to Steve Smith (3-18) as he removed Bell (109), Bairstrow (67) and Matt Prior as the hosts slipped from 271-4 to 289-7 at stumps.

On day two, Tim Bresnan hit six boundaries to reach 30 runs before being dismissed by Watson. A last wicket partnership of 48 between Stuart Broad (33) and Graeme Swann (22) helped England reach a fighting first innings total of 361.

Before lunch in Australia’s reply Watson was sent back to the pavilion by Bresnan for 30 as the tourists reached 42-1.

After the interval, Chris Rogers fell for 15 when he attempted to lash a high Swann full toss which struck him on the box. Roger’s didn’t ask for DRS (Decision Review System) but replays showed the ball was missing the stumps.

Phil Hughes (1) took a wild swipe at Bresnan and was taken by Prior and Khawaja spooned Swann straight to Pietersen. Smith was Swann’s third victim and Stuart Broad had the prize wicket of the Aussie skipper Clarke (28) with a full delivery that hit him in front of the leg stump as Australia slumped to 96-7 at tea.

In the final session, the tourists didn’t last long as Haddin edged the Nottinghamshire spin wizard Swann to slip and James Anderson dismissed Siddle. Australia’s last wicket added 28 before Swann (5-44) had another to complete his five-wicket haul as a horrendous innings came to an end on 128-all out.

England began the second innings already a huge 233 runs ahead, however the Aussies came out hitting the pitch hard especially Siddle (3-65) as Cook (8) and Trott (0) played successive deliveries back onto their stumps. Pietersen also fell before the close for five when he smashed a wide delivery to point closing day two on 31-3 with a lead of 264.

Day three was all about one man, the Yorkshire youngster Root who scored an unbeaten masterclass of 178 to put England in control of the Second test.
Root and Bresnan took on the morning session rather calmly as the pair scored 81 runs in the 30 overs.

It was mainly about occupying the crease and increasing the lead as much as they could, moving the score to 114-3.

The fourth-wicket partnership was worth 99, before Bresnan (38) fell quickly after lunch to James Pattinson when he pulled a short ball to Rogers in front of square.

Bell appeared to have been caught out early in his innings when he fended off a short-ball from Harris to the gully fielder Smith after checking replays the third umpire Tony Hill gave the batsman the benefit of the doubt.

Early in the evening session Root competed his century from 125 balls, Bell and Root scored 109 run in 17 overs either side of tea as England gained advantage of some poor Aussie bowling display with a stand of 153.

After reaching his 36th Test century, Bell looked to up the scoring, hitting another quick 24 runs as he cut, drove and swept before hammering Smith to mid-wicket.

Root played only 64 balls to get from 100 to 150, and at one point he launched Smith out of the ground twice off three balls. Bairstrow joined Root in the middle as the Yorkshire duo saw out the day to 344-5 with a massive lead of 566 runs.

Root was out for 180, he tried dinking Siddle over the wicket-keeper’s head which meant Cook and England declared immediately on 349-7, setting the tourists an improbable victory target of 583.

The chase began disastrously for Australia, in the seventh over Anderson struck removing Watson for 20 on the back of three fours from successive balls.

Swann’s variations completely fooled Rogers as the opener left a straight delivery which turned and clipped his off stump. Two-down soon became three for Australia as Hughes was given lbw and his decision to review fell in vain as tourists were in trouble on 36-3 at lunch.

Only Clarke (51) and Khawaja (54) showed some resist putting on a stand of 98 together, but before tea they were both on their way as first Clarke glanced Root (2-9) to leg slip and then Khawaja thick edged him to Anderson at second slip. In this game the Yorkshire man just couldn’t be kept out of the action with bat and then with the ball.

When Bresnan removed Smith and Ashton Agar the Aussies were all but dead and buried as an obvious conclusion drew ever so closer.

Swann (78-4) had an eighth victim of the match, when Haddin was given lbw for padding up with no Australian reviews remaining the wicket-keeper was powerless to have the decision overturned which looked to be missing the stumps.

Anderson (2-54) ripped through Siddle to break a partnership of 30 with Pattinson, as the score read a terrible 192-9. Seven more overs came and went, with plenty of close calls before Swann got one to fizz past Pattinson ending the last-wicket resistance of 43 from the tourist as they were finally bowled out for 235.

It gave England a massive 347 runs win and a 2-0 lead in the five-match Ashes series. After a 10-day break the two oldest foes go head-to-head on 1st August at the Emirates Old Trafford in a game without Pietersen after he took no part on day four with an injured calf and is ruled out for the third test.

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