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Live Commentary: The Ashes - First Test, Day Two - as it happened

Relive all of the action from day two of the first Ashes Test as England finish with a 166-run lead over Australia in Cardiff.

Day two of the opening Ashes Test saw England take a slight advantage over Australia in Cardiff as they go into Friday with a lead of 166.

Moeen Ali led the charge for the tail in the morning session, firing 77 to help the hosts to a total of 430 all out.

Ali was effective with the ball too, claiming the key wickets of Steve Smith and Michael Clarke as Australia ended the second day on 264-5.

Chris Rogers was the pick of the batsmen for the visitors, claiming a record-equalling seventh consecutive half-century before going on to be caught for 95.

Find out how all of the action unfolded courtesy of Sports Mole's live coverage below.

Good morning! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for the second day of Ashes action in Cardiff. The opening day of the series was packed with action and both sides will be relatively happy with their respective performances on the whole. Hopefully we are in for another exciting day of cricket today!

It is hard to say who has got the edge after that first day of action. England will be pretty happy with their 343 runs, particularly as Joe Root looked dangerous, but Australia were able to make inroads into their order with seven wickets. The Baggy Greens will want to get through the England tail before lunch today in order to get some good time at the crease themselves.

Australia were able to get three wickets in the morning session yesterday, and the match looked like it was very much in their favour when England were stuck on 43-3. However, Root and Ballance did brilliantly to recover the innings with a 153-run partnership - a higher partnership than any England managed in the 2013-14 series.

Root was undoubtedly the star of the show, and Australia will be worried that his fantastic knock is a sign of things to come in the rest of the series. His 100 came off just 118 balls - the fastest ever century in an opening Ashes Test, while it was his seventh Test century before the age of 25 - only Alastair Cook (9) has had more for England.

Root has quickly established himself as one of the most dangerous Test batsmen in the world, and he could well prove to be the difference in this series. Since his debut in December 2012, he has been involved in 16 of England's 37 century partnerships, while he also has the highest home average of an England batsman to have batted at least 20 times.

The Yorkshireman certainly embodied the 'new England' that is supposed to be coming into this series. A dismal World Cup campaign was followed by a disappointing drawn series against West Indies, but changes in personnel in the ECB have raised optimism in the England set-up. Not many people would have given England much of a chance of regaining the urn after that West Indies series, but now they seem to be very much in with a chance.

A thrilling series with New Zealand is a big reason behind that renewed optimism, despite the two sides sharing those Tests. England did win the ODI series, however, with both sides combining to hit a record number of runs for a five-day series.

It just so happens that Trevor Bayliss is the first Australian coach in England history, and his first series in charge is an Ashes one. His home nation will be relatively pleased with their work yesterday considering they didn't actually bowl too well on what is a slow pitch.

It could have been even better for Australia too. They could have got to the crease themselves last night had Brad Haddin held on to a catch that would have seen Joe Root return to the pavilion on just his second ball. Haddin seemed to misjudge the inside edge, however, and was unable to grasp it with one hand. Root made the most of that reprieve, and that let-off could prove to be a pivotal moment in this match.

The pick of the Aussie bowlers yesterday was Josh Hazlewood, who picked up three wickets for 70 runs, while Mitchell Starc also looked dangerous as he claimed three scalps for himself. As mentioned, it was a slow pitch, but Starc in particular managed to get some swing that could interest some of the England bowlers should they get in.

One player who didn't have his best day with the ball yesterday was Mitchell Johnson. The Aussie talisman was the difference in the 2013-14 series, taking 37 wickets, but he failed to get a single one yesterday, conceding 87 runs in the process. The bowling from Australia on the whole was fairly inconsistent - another reason why they will be happy to have knocked over seven wickets - but Johnson was the worst offender.

The momentum of this match could well rely on the morning session today. If England's tail is able to add a few more runs and keep Australia from getting in before lunch then you'd have to give the advantage to the hosts, but three quick wickets and a solid start to their batting would put the game in the Aussie's favour. It is on a knife edge after that entertaining opening day.

Gary Ballance, who made 61 yesterday, has had his say on this pitch in Cardiff. Speaking to Sky Sports News, the England batsman said: "It was quite a good wicket to bat on but it depends on who you are - Rooty made it look easy - but I didn't really feel in. It is a bit two-paced, some people will play it differently than others, you've got to be mentally strong and for myself it was great having Rooty getting me through it and scoring runs.

"I love batting with Rooty especially when he is in that kind of form. You try not to judge the wicket too early, you try to give it a few overs. It is quite difficult to judge which balls to play and which to let go but it was important we stood up to Mitchell Johnson and be positive. We're pretty happy."

It will be interesting to see if Mitchell Starc is involved much this morning. He is suffering from a sore ankle after yesterday and may be held back from the England tail despite his three wickets yesterday. It would be a big blow to the Aussies if that injury proved to be serious.

Mitchell Starc of Australia celebrates dismissing Ian Bell of England during day one of the 1st Investec Ashes Test match between England and Australia at SWALEC Stadium on July 8, 2015© Getty Images

There were intermittent showers in Cardiff throughout the day yesterday, but the forecast is looking a little better today. The sun is currently out, and it doesn't look like it will be going away much over the course of the day.

The players are out, and we're just about ready to go in Cardiff! Moeen Ali (26*) and Stuart Broad (0*) are at the crease, and Mitchell Johnson will bowl first on day two.

Mitchell Starc is out there, by the way, but it remains to be seen whether he will get a bowl this morning. Johnson's first two deliveries stay low and are left by Ali, while the third is punched straight to a fielder. Another dot ball follows before Ali picks up a single with a cover drive for the first run of the second day to put Broad on strike. Broad plays and misses at the delivery to make it just the one run from the over.

Hazlewood, as expected, comes into the attack and gets some swing on his first ball, but Ali flicks it away for a quick two runs. Another single follows on the next ball to put Broad back on strike, and the all-rounder gets off the mark with a four through mid-on to bring up the 350. Broad misjudges the next one, however, expecting a bouncer only to be struck on the helmet by a fuller delivery. He responds to that, however, by pulling a shorter ball away for a SIX! to finish the over.

A few dot balls from Johnson includes a bouncer that Ali tries to pull out of, only to catch it with the bottom of his bat. Fortunately it bounces to safety, but the lack of pace on this pitch was evident again there. Johnson keeps toiling away in search of that first wicket, but Ali squeezes a decent delivery through the gully for a four. The final ball of the over just whizzes past the bat, and it is another wicketless one for Johnson despite some good deliveries.

Mitchell Starc is brought into the attack despite that ankle injury he is currently carrying, and Broad knocks his first ball away for a single. Starc doesn't seem to be lacking any of his usual pace, which is a good sign for the Aussies. Some good fielding prevents Ali from picking up a couple of runs on the off side, before a swing and a miss from the England man following a loose wider ball from Starc. Just the one from the over.

Johnson hammers in two short ones followed by a fuller delivery that Broad deals with well, prompting the bowler to switch to around the wicket.

Drama in Cardiff as Broad takes his eye off the ball, which hits the bat and pops up to Adam Voges, who dives in at Broad's feet to seemingly make the catch. The umpire initially gives Broad out, but the video umpire deems that the ball did actually touch the ground, so Broad is brought back to the crease. The fans boo Voges for claiming the catch, but there didn't appear to be any intentional unsportsmanship there.

It's always Broad isn't it? This one wasn't quite as controversial as his failure to walk a couple of years ago, but it is still a talking point. Anyway, Ali is back facing Starc and survives the smallest of appeals before punching one through the covers for four. He hits a wilder shot next time up, but still gets a single off it.

That minor appeal in the last over looks like it could have actually been a genuine dismissal, much like the one that Haddin dropped from Root yesterday. Ali begins the next over with a flick down to fine leg for four to move into the 40s, before pulling one to square leg for a single. Broad is again in the thick of the action as a shot just fails to carry to a fielder, before another one pops up in the air but goes all the way to the boundary for a four. Johnson has now gone for a ton without claiming a wicket.

HALF-CENTURY! England are starting to pick the run-rate up now. Ali sends a cover drive for four to start the over, and Starc is then indebted to Haddin for making a good stop from a wild delivery down the leg side. Luck is certainly on England's side at the moment, though, as Ali catches a good delivery with an inside edge that races away for four to bring up his 50 - the fourth England batsman to pass that landmark in this match. A single off the last ball makes it another expensive over as England continue to move towards 400.

Moeen Ali is feeling this now. He is just denied a four by some decent fielding (eventually) on the boundary, instead running for three. Broad misjudges one from Johnson and catches a blow to the body as a result, before lifting a shot over and away for another three runs. Ali is back in and gets another slice of luck to claim another boundary, which brings up the 50 partnership between these two.

This morning has belonged to England so far, who have scored quick runs without losing any wickets. Clarke turns to Nathan Lyon...


Australia finally get their first breakthrough of the morning, and it is an immediate impact from Lyon. Broad looks to slog the spinner on his first ball, but he gets a bottom edge and Haddin holds on to a very good catch - very similar to his one to dismiss Cook yesterday. In comes Mark Wood for England.

Lyon makes a big appeal for lbw on his second ball, but the umpire correctly shakes his head and Wood gets off the mark with a single next ball. Ali immediately attacks Lyon and hits him to four to bring up England's 400, which they will be very happy with. Another single follows, before the final ball of the over sneaks through for four byes.

Ali is playing a mixture of lovely shots and messy shots in this innings, but it has been a very important knock from him. He sends a cover drive through for another boundary off Starc before stealing a quick single that requires him to dive in, although Johnson missed the stumps anyway - as he has done all match so far! Another single completes the over.

Wood wastes no time in getting Ali back on strike with a single off the first ball of the over, and he dances down the wicket to loft a shot inches over the arm of Johnson for four. Poor old Mitch can't do anything right for the Aussies today! There is a problem with Ali's bat, however, and the umpires call for drinks while the issue is being sorted.

Ali hits a reverse sweep for two when play resumes to make it 76 off just 84 deliveries for England number eight. He finishes the over with another single to get back on strike.


Big wicket for Australia as Ali plays one risky shot too many, edging it to Watson in the slips. It was a good take from Watson, while Starc picks up his fourth wicket of the innings. Ali departs having made 77 - a crucial knock for his side.

Moeen Ali in action for England on day two of the first Test of The Ashes on July 9, 2015© Getty Images

Starc tests the new man Jimmy Anderson out with a bouncer first ball, and it is close to catching his glove on the way through. The Aussies' appeal is rejected, but they review the decision and it is mighty close. There is the slightest of noises on the snicko, but the result is not conclusive enough for the video umpire's liking. NOT OUT!

This tail keeps on wagging for England as Wood drives Starc away for yet another four. Starc looks to fire a warning shot into Wood for that, but his next delivery bounces up and over Haddin for four, plus an extra run for a wide.

Anderson, still without a run to his name, tries a reverse sweep off Lyon but completely misses the ball. He then piles a little more misery on Johnson, however, by lifting one high in the air towards the beleaguered Aussie bowler, who can't even get a hand on it over his shoulder. The final ball of the over sees Haddin stump Wood, but the England man had his foot down, so after another look from the third umpire it is deemed not out.



A successful morning for England comes to an end as Starc picks up his fifth wicket of the match by clean bowling Anderson. It was a wild attempt from the England tail-ender, but all in all the hosts will be delighted with adding so many runs to their overnight total in a short space of time.

Australia would have wanted to get the tail out quicker than they managed, but a fine knock from Moeen Ali in particular saw England reach 400 and beyond to set the tourists a big target on this pitch. Ali ended his innings on 77 having also made a 50 partnership with Stuart Broad, who weighed in with 18 runs of his own. Right now, it appears that England have the upper hand in this match.

To have got 430 runs on this pitch, particularly from a position of 43-3, makes for a very good opening day-and-a-bit for England. If they can make a decent start with the ball as well then they will very much be in control of this Test match.

So 430 runs, three half-centurions and one centurion makes for a very satisfying opening innings - but the home fans seem to have taken just as much joy from Mitchell Johnson's struggles. The Aussie recorded 0-111 with the ball and misjudged two potential catches that dropped just over his head this morning.

It was Mitchell Starc who was the pick of the bowlers for the tourists with his five wickets, albeit for 114 runs. Now the Aussies need to do the business with the bat. Warner and Rogers are first up, while Anderson will open the bowling for England.

Not the best start for Jimmy. His first delivery comes off the pad and races away for four leg byes to get the Aussies off to a quick opening. Rogers gets off the mark with a single that brings Warner onto strike, but the final delivery of the over is a dot ball that Warner leaves.

Broad begins the bowling for England from the other end, and it will be interesting to see how much seam movement he can get off this pitch. Rogers turns one away down fine leg for a single before Broad sends a full delivery at Warner that strikes the pad. England have their first appeal of the day, but the umpire is having none of it. Warner responds to that with a cover drive that just falls short of the boundary as the batsmen run for three. A wide ball then means the over is extended, and the extra ball draws another appeal that again the umpire shakes his head at. This time, though, England opt for a review...

The third umpire deems that it hit the bat before it hit the pad, so the decision of not out is upheld. Broad hammered a few deliveries in at a really good length there, though.

Encouraging bowling from Anderson as he sends a few zipping through to the keeper, before seeing another hit the pad of Rogers and go for another leg bye. Rogers then flicks one away for a single to square leg to finish the over.

Broad will be very encouraged by his start too. He has already had two close appeals and now has Rogers playing at a wide ball that he misses by an inch. Rogers does finally get runs off the over with Australia's first boundary of the match, sending one through backward point for four.

Anderson is getting plenty of zip off this pitch, more so than the Australian bowlers managed. Warner flicks a couple off his hip on the penultimate ball of the over, before another dot ball leave Australia 18 without loss after five overs.

Good fielding from Ali as he prevents a Rogers shot from rolling for four, instead limiting the Aussies to three. Warner moves on strike as a result, but can't add to the total as the final ball flies narrowly past the edge.

Rogers flicks one off the pads down to the leg side for a couple of runs on the opening ball of the over, before ducking out the way of a bouncer that just clipped his helmet. He then sends another down to backward square leg and manages to come back for three with some good running. This has been a solid start from Rogers, who is on 15 off 23 balls.

Alastair Cook chooses to switch his bowling attack up just before the lunch break, with Mark Wood coming in for Broad. He is in the upper 80mph throughout his opening over and begins with a maiden - the first of the morning from either side. We will have one more over before lunch.

For that over, Cook turns to spin and Moeen Ali, who made such an impression with the bat earlier. Stokes does really well to save a four with a diving block at cover, and Ali sees out the maiden over to take us into lunch with Australia trailing by 404.

LUNCH: Australia reach 26 without loss before lunch then, following a morning session that England would have enjoyed. They managed to make 430 before being bowled all out, thanks largely to a quickfire 77 from Moeen Ali. It was a positive approach from England as they piled the runs on quickly, and they will be very happy with the total that they have set Australia on this pitch.

Australia have made a solid start at the crease themselves and will be pleased to have reached lunch without loss. They currently trail by 404 runs and, having already survived a couple of appeals and one review off the bowling of Stuart Broad, will be looking to get their chase off to a strong start after lunch. As things stand, Rogers is on 15 off 29, while Warner is on five off 25.

We'll take a break during this lunch period, but be sure to join us again in around half an hour, when Australia will be looking to wrestle back control of this match. The rest of day two could well prove to be pivotal as to who draws first blood in this Ashes series.

Welcome back to everyone! The afternoon session is just minutes from getting underway now following a good morning for England. Australia reached lunch without loss, however, and currently have Rogers and Warner at the crease. Can England transfer their form with the bat to the ball, or will the Aussies work their way back into the contest?

Stuart Broad appeals for the wicket of Australia's Chris Rogers on day two of the First Test of The Ashes on July 9, 2015© Getty Images

They have certainly made a solid start to their innings, although the likes of Anderson and Broad will be fairly encouraged by some of the movement they have got with the ball so far. In case you missed it earlier, Australia are chasing a total of 430, which they currently trail by 404.

The hosts will be eager to make early inroads into the Australian lineup, but a certain Steve Smith is waiting to come in at number three. He has improved immeasurably in recent years and is now ranked as the number one batsman in the world. It would be a huge boost for England if they are to get rid of him and a couple of other Aussies in the upcoming session.

The players are back out, and we're ready to resume in Cardiff. It looks as if Cook might be returning to his opening bowling duo of Anderson and Broad, the latter of whom will kick the afternoon session off...

Rogers begin the session with a gentle push down the ground for two, before scampering for another single off the next ball. They have run positively during their time at the crease so far. Warner's first ball of the afternoon sees him clip it away through the off side for four - his first boundary of the innings - before following that up with another four down the ground. Expensive opening over to the session from Broad, 11 from it.

It is indeed Anderson who returns at the other end following a solitary maiden over from Ali before lunch. Rogers begins with a single, but Anderson's next ball scoots narrowly past the edge of Warner's bat.

Escape for Warner! Anderson appears to get the batsman lbw, and the umpire raises his finger. Warner takes a while over his decision to review it, but it proves to be a good call in the end as Hawkeye shows that it was pitching outside. NOT OUT! Warner immediately makes the most of his reprieve with a four.

Just the one run off the next over as Broad keeps it tight and Australia move to 43 without loss. The gap is now 387 as Australia continue to build this opening partnership.

Very nearly a breakthrough for Jimmy Anderson, but the ball just doesn't carry to Root in the slips. It was a genuine edge from Rogers, but the lack of pace in this pitch means that it actually fell a few yards short of the slips. Jimmy is denied a maiden on the final ball of the over as Rogers clips it to the boundary for four.

Warner flicks the ball away off his hip for a single, which brings Rogers back onto strike against Broad. He quickly brings up the 50 for Australia and the partnership by sending a four down to fine leg.


England make their breakthrough! Anderson gets the delivery right and Warner edges it through to the slips. This time it comfortably carries, and Cook pulls off a fine catch to send the batsman back to pavilion for 17. That is a big wicket for the hosts, but the danger man Steve Smith is next in.

Anderson sees out the over without giving up any runs, and it almost gets even better for him as Smith edges the final ball of the over. It doesn't carry into the hands, but bounces up into a place a lot more painful than that for Cook. Root can't help but laugh at his captain's misfortune, with Cook writhing about in agony on the floor. Fantastic over from Anderson, though.

Cook is up and about after being caught plum in the plums, and he gives Wood the nod to come into the attack in place of Broad. The skipper is still in some serious discomfort, though, and has to make way for the 12th man temporarily. Rogers passes the 30 mark with a textbook cover drive that supplies the only four runs of the over.

Anderson has sent a few wider deliveries to Smith in an attempt to get him across his stumps, and he won't be too disheartened to see the batsman get off the mark with a four from one such delivery. The inswinger eventually comes on the final ball of the over, but it is too short and Smith clips it away for a single to keep strike.

Wood's first delivery at Smith fizzes just past the edge, which will encourage the bowler. Smith does manage to hook one away for a single to put Rogers on strike, however, and he returns the favour with a single down the leg side to move onto 33.

Rogers is moving towards yet another half-century as he drives Anderson to the boundary for four, putting him on 37 off 55 deliveries. Anderson won't be too unhappy to see Rogers attempting that shot, however, as that was exactly how he got Warner for the only wicket of the session so far. He will be unhappy with this mis-field from Stokes, however, as Rogers sneaks another single.

Rogers has survived a couple of close calls during his innings so far, and Wood again sends one fizzing narrowly past an edge that had been left out by the batsman. He responds with a quick three to move into his 40s.

Another boundary for Rodgers and again it comes through the covers, although that one was in the air for some time. It was nowhere near any fielders, however, so it was a safe shot from the Aussie, who is now just five away from his 50. Anderson shakes things up with a short ball that causes Rogers problems, but he deals with it relatively well in the end. He ends the over with a single to keep the strike.

A single off the first ball of the over takes Rogers onto 47 off 69 deliveries, and Smith is then caught by one right in the stomach from Wood. The world's number one batsman has not looked too comfortable at the crease so far, it must be said. He fails to make any runs off the remainder of the over, and that takes us through to drinks.

This match is very nicely poised as we go into the drinks break. It has been a day for the batsmen so far, with England's tail reaching 430 this morning and Australia currently on 77-1. Rogers is closing in on his half-century, but his partner Smith is yet to really get settled.

HALF-CENTURY! Despite Alastair Cook still being off the field, another change has been made to the bowling attack from England as Moeen Ali comes in to provide a bit of spin. His first ball draws an appeal, but the umpire correctly shakes his head. Rogers earns a couple on the leg side to move onto 49, and picks up another smart two to bring up his seventh consecutive Test half-century - just the fifth man to ever achieve that feat.

Wood sents a wider one towards Smith, and he cuts it away for two. England then gift Australia a couple of byes as Buttler fails to take an awkward bounce, although Broad does well to prevent it from going all the way to the boundary. Another two runs follow when Smith pulls a short ball away to deep square leg, but the batsman gets a slice of luck on the final ball of the over as a thick bottom edge scurries narrowly past his own stumps and away for four.

Almost another breakthrough for England as Rogers reaches out for an Ali delivery and just about gets enough on his shot to get it wide of the slips and away for four. That wasn't too far away from being caught.

Cook is back out there now for England after his wince-inducing injury. His presence doesn't prevent Rogers from racking up another four, though, as he sends a drive through cover to the boundary. That brings the 100 up for Australia, and they now trail by just 330. That is soon followed by the 50 partnership as Rogers picks up another couple, with that mini landmark coming off just 68 balls.

Smith looks like he is starting to settle for Australia now - which is bad news for England. He begins the over by driving Ali straight down the ground for four, and then finds the same piece of the boundary for a second consecutive boundary. A dot ball follows, but Smith then resumes his assault on Ali with a fine drive through the cover for another four. A single puts Rogers on strike, and he sees out an expensive over.

Smith is posed with a different threat now as Stokes comes into the attack, but he tucks the first ball away for a single to give the strike back to Rogers. Rogers nudges one away for a couple more runs, before another cover drive yields three. This is a good spell for Australia right now.

Rogers cuts the opening ball of the over away for two, but Ali manages to keep things a little tighter for the remainder following that expensive one last time, limiting Australia to just those couple of runs.

A timely maiden over from Stokes against Smith, who is a lot less keen to attack the seamers than he is Ali. Ominously for England, though, he is looking comfortable at the crease now after a relatively shaky start.

Ali continues in the attack and Rogers nudges him away for one to put Smith on strike. It doesn't take long for him to come down the wicket at the spinner, but he doesn't catch his shot cleanly and can only manage a single.

Big shout for a wicket as Smith appears to nick it to the slips. The umpires aren't sure, and they'll go to the video review...

...but it is NOT OUT! Smith caught the ball with the toe end of his bat, but it hammered into the ground before bouncing up into the hands of the slips. It is clear to see on the replay, but in normal time it looked like England might have got their second wicket of the day.

Another less than convincing piece of play from Smith. This time he misses the ball having got himself in a very strange position for the shot he was trying, and it strikes his leg. On the next ball he finds a single to put him onto 31 off 50 deliveries.

Again Smith looks to come down the wicket at Ali, but the spinner has been a lot tighter since that opening over of his after lunch.


Huge wicket for England as Ali gets his man! Smith once more looks to attack Ali on the final ball of the over, but he gets his shot all wrong and it pops up nicely for Cook at short mid-wicket to take his second catch of the session. Michael Clarke in next for Australia.

Broad is brought into the attack to target Clarke, who has had some difficulties against the Englishman in recent times. The switch almost pays immediate dividends as Clarke edges one towards the slips, but it finds a gap and races through for four. A single puts Rogers back on strike, and he drives Broad straight down the ground for four. He really has driven the ball well so far today.

Clarke flicks a quick couple off Ali before also trying to come down the wicket against the spinner, but he can't get anything from it. On the final ball of the over he stays in his crease and picks off a slightly short ball, hooking it away for four.

TEA: Maiden for Broad, and it could have been even better. Rogers did not know much about the final ball of that over and was slightly fortunate to see it avoid his own stumps after it came off his inside edge... and that takes us through to tea!

Australia go into tea on day two at 145-2, and they will be feeling a lot better about themselves now than they were at the start of their innings. They have been scoring well at the crease so far having seen Ali and co help England up to 430 in the morning session.

The gap between the teams is still 285, but Australia have already made a decent dent in the England total with some quick scoring. Rogers has been the standout batsman for the tourists so far, going into tea at 74 not out off 110 deliveries. Clarke is currently out there with him, with the Aussie skipper having racked up 11 runs for just eight balls so far.

Warner and Smith are the two Australian batsmen to have fallen so far. The former went for 17 relatively early in the afternoon session when he edged an Anderson delivery to Cook, and the England captain also took the catch to dismiss Smith. The Australia danger man got his shot all wrong when trying to attack Moeen Ali, allowing Cook to make a relatively easy catch.

Steve Smith leaves the field after being dismissed during during day two of the First Test of The Ashes on July 9, 2015© Getty Images

I've already said this a couple of times today, but what happens in this evening session could be pivotal to the match. Australia will be happy with their total right now, but a few quick wickets would swing things firmly back into England's favour.

The wicket of Rogers looks to be particularly important right now. The opener has had one or two pieces of fortune during his innings so far, but on the whole it has been a composed and controlled knock. He will certainly be eyeing a century now having failed to reach triple figures despite recording a record-equalling seven straight Test half-centuries.

If you missed any of that afternoon session then you can have a quick catch-up with our Ashes update. It has so far been a successful day for the batsmen in lovely conditions for cricket, but now it is up to the England bowlers to make some inroads before the close of play.

Mark Wood will get this evening session underway, bowling to Clarke...

Clarke starts the session off with a couple of runs nudged to the off side, before an inside edge goes down to fine leg for one more. Rogers survives one that Buttler can't quite hold on to before picking up a single of his own to keep on ticking along. The final ball of the over is edged to slip, but safely as it bounces in front of Root.

Broad is the man joining Wood in the attack, and he almost gets a big early wicket with a surprise short ball to Rogers. However, it is a short boundary and Rogers does enough to get it over Ali for a SIX! That is his first ever Test six, but he didn't know too much about it. Broad can be encouraged by that, though, and with the final ball of the over he sends another just past the edge.

Clarke pulls a Wood delivery away for a single before the England bowler chooses to test Rogers with another bouncer. This time it goes well over the batsman's head, however. Just the one from the over.

Clarke catches the first ball with a thick inside edge that bounces between his own legs, but he plays the second better with a punch down the ground that earns him three runs. Rogers adds another single with a flick to fine leg to get Clarke back on strike, but the skipper lets the final ball of the over run through.

Another four for Rogers down the ground takes the opener onto 86, and he follows that up with a quick three to move him one away from the nervous 90s. Wood then sends one just past the edge of Clarke's bat before the over ends with another dot ball.

Rogers wastes no time in moving into the 90s with a quick couple off Broad, but he then just about escapes another short ball. He looks like he is trying to get out of the way, but also manages to get his bat to the ball, sending it over Buttler and away for four. Uncomfortable for Rogers again, but he actually dealt with that well in the end. Broad tries exactly the same a couple of balls later, but this time Rogers leaves it alone as it goes through to the keeper. The Aussie opener ends the over on 95.

Clarke just helps a Wood delivery around the corner for a boundary, and then pulls the next one away for three, with Ali preventing a second consecutive four. That brings up the 50 partnership between the skipper and Rogers.


What a moment to get your first Ashes wicket! Wood gets the crucial scalp of Rogers, who once again fails to reach triple figures despite recording seven consecutive half-centuries. Having been unsettled by a few recent deliveries from Broad, he edges a Wood delivery through to Buttler, and it is a simple catch for the keeper. That is a big, big wicket.

First ball, and Voges bounces it up and over the slips for a four, although I'm not sure he meant to do exactly that. He lets the next one go to end a successful over for England with the removal of Rogers.

Broad has actually bowled quite well in this innings, despite being 0-55 so far. His shorter balls laid the foundations for that Rogers dismissal, and he gives away just a single to Clarke in this over. Australia trail by 245.

Swing and a miss from Clarke as he looks to get at Wood with a drive through the covers, only for the ball to skid through to Buttler. Later in the over Wood sends one into the pad of Clarke, but the umpire correctly turns down the appeal as it was going down leg side. A maiden over nonetheless for Wood.

England opt for a change in the attack now as Broad is given a rest and Anderson comes back in to bowl. He begins his latest spell with a maiden to make it two in a row for England, with Australia still trailing by 245. Clarke is currently on 26, while Voges is on four.

That run of maidens comes to an emphatic end on Stokes's first ball back in the attack as he is driven for four by Clarke, and the skipper makes it consecutive boundaries on the very next ball, albeit with a miscued shot. That is the end of the scoring for the over, however.

Voges catches the opening delivery of the over with an inside edge that allows him to scamper for a couple of runs before again flicking one off to the leg side for one more. Anderson won't mind seeing that, though, as any sort of miscue from Voges there would have raised the question of lbw.

A nice drive down the ground from Voges goes for four and brings up the 200 for Australia, leaving the deficit at 230, and he helps another on his way for two more shortly afterwards. Stokes zips the final ball close to both the inside edge and the stumps, however, to give him some encouragement at the end of the over.

Good bowling from Anderson as he gets movement off the seam to leave Clarke stranded with an attempted drive. Once again it just misses the edge, but that is a good sign for Anderson. Maiden over too.

Ali comes back into the attack and is cut away for a single off his first ball, while Clarke then drives him through the covers for a four to move up to 38. Ali responds well with a couple of dots to see out the over, however.

Another tight over from Anderson as he picks up a second consecutive maiden. He has been a lot more economical than the other English bowlers so far today.


Another important wicket from Ali, and this time he does all of the work himself. Clarke looks to dance down the wicket and drive the spinner down the ground, but he can't get the elevation he needs and Ali is able to make a sharp catch. The Aussie skipper has gone!

Watson comes to the crease for Australia, and he gets off the mark with the penultimate delivery of the over. Ali sends one a little too far wide, and Watson takes full advantage to hit it for four.

Another frugal over from Anderson as he again avoids any runs being scored off his bowling. Yet another maiden for him, dropping his economy to just 2.40 now. All of the other English bowlers are going at more than four.

Cook's made two catches today, and he pulls off another fine piece of fielding to prevent runs here. The next shot goes to Anderson, but the Englishman can't hit the stumps when there was an opportunity for a run-out.

Jimmy Anderson continues in the attack, which can mean only one thing - maiden over! Once again he bowls six dot balls, all to Watson this time, to keep Australia 218 behind. They just can't score off him at the moment.

The run-rate has certainly slowed in recent overs, but Voges gets a boundary on the second ball of Ali's over by just tickling it down the leg side. He follows that up with two to move into the 20s before adding another round the corner. Watson is on strike, and he takes full advantage of a loose ball to pull it away for four.

After that spell of maidens from Anderson, there is a change in the bowling attack for England as Stokes returns for another go at the Aussies. It looks like going the way of another maiden, but Voges clips one away off the hip for four from the final ball of the over.

Half a chance for Cook to claim a third catch off the bowling of Ali, but it would have been a superb piece of fielding if he had even been able to stop it. Watson responds with back-to-back attacking shots that both go for fours, while a third only yields a single. Voges picks up a single of his own to get Watson back on strike, and he ensures that he will still be on strike in the next over by picking up another one on the final ball.

Watson and Voges both seem fairly settled at the crease right now, and in fairness to Australia, all of their batsmen have made decent starts in this innings. No-one has failed to reach double figures so far, while Watson - who has just got out there - is the only player to have been in for less than an hour. Anyway, Stokes bowls a maiden and finishes on a dangerous ball towards that front leg of Watson.

Voges grabs a couple off Ali on the first ball of the over, but is unable to add to his total on the next five deliveries. We have just 12 overs remaining today, with Australia still trailing by 190.

Big shout from Stokes as he catches the pad of Watson, but the umpire says no and makes no signal that the subsequent run will go down as a leg bye. That suggests that the umpire thought it caught an inside edge, but there was certainly no bat involved. The ball was going too high, however, so a review would have given not out too.

Voges gets one more off that over, while Watson swings and misses at one with the final ball. Very close for Stokes again, who is yet to get a reward for his work so far. He has figures of 0-24 today.

Wood comes back into the attack but is hit for five off the first two balls, seeing a single followed up by a four from Watson. Australia can't add any more runs to that, however, leaving them 183 behind as we edge towards the end of the second day.

Stokes attempts a slower ball in this over, which is not something we have seen much of in this match so far. It is dealt with comfortably, though, while he needs an acrobatic stop from Buttler to spare his blushes later in the over. It's another maiden from him.

Watson gets an outside edge to a ball from Wood that squirms away for an increasingly rare boundary. The rate has really slowed for Australia in the last hour or so, so that will be a welcome four to bring up the 250. Australia now trail by 179, with Voges on 26 and Watson on 28.

This is turning into a good spell from Stokes, who has picked up where Anderson left off. He begins with four dots, but a short ball with the fifth delivery is given as a wide by the umpire. The next one goes for four, but again it is a slice of fortune for Voges as his shot goes in the air towards the slips. It wasn't exactly a missed chance, but it wasn't convincing from Voges either.

Miscue from Watson as he gets a bottom edge when looking for a pull shot, but the ball dies and rolls towards Buttler. It is a tough one for the keeper to stop, and Australia get a run off it, but again it wasn't entirely convincing from the Aussie batsman.


Yet another Aussie is unable to build on their solid start as Voges falls for 31 off the bowling of Stoke. He planted his shot straight at Anderson in short extra cover, and he was never dropping that one. That is a big blow for Australia considering we are so close to the end of play on day two.

In comes Nathan Lyon as the night watchman, and his first ball sees him edge one to the slips, but it doesn't carry. Another wicket before the end of play would be huge for England, and the crowd are starting to do their part in willing it to happen.

Wood tries a shorter ball towards Watson and again it dies on the field, meaning that Watson gets nowhere near it. It scurries through to Buttler, who has had to deal with a few tough ones around his ankles due to this pitch. Maiden over for Wood, who finishes with three consecutive bouncers.

END OF PLAY: Very nearly another late wicket for Stokes, and again it is the slow pitch that costs England a potential catch. Root has come in closer in second slip, but the ball still doesn't carry from the edge. Lyon gets an inside edge to send another towards a boundary, and Ali makes just about his first mistake of the day by slipping when trying to prevent it going for four. The final ball of the day is pushed away for a couple from Lyon, to leave Australia on 264-5.

Day two of the first Test comes to an end, then, and Australia will resume tomorrow trailing England by 166. They lost five wickets throughout the day, with all of their batsmen making good starts but only Rogers really pushing on from that. He was the top scorer with 95, while three other players gave up their wicket in the 30s.

That is where we will leave you this evening! Thank you very much for joining Sports Mole for the second day of this opening Ashes Test in Cardiff, with England just about having the advantage going into day three. Shane Watson (29*) and Lyon (4*) will resume at the crease in the morning, and be sure to stick with us for coverage of the whole day once again. From me, though, it is goodbye for now!

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Josh Hazlewood of Australia celebrates taking the wicket of Cheteshwar Pujara of India during day four of the 2nd Test match between Australia and India at The Gabba on December 20, 2014
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