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

Follow the action from day two of the second Ashes Test at Lord's with Sports Mole's live text commentary.

Australia took a big step towards setting up a potential victory in the second Ashes Test as England finished day two 481 runs behind at Lord's.

Resuming on 337-1, Australia were given a tougher time as the hosts picked up wickets regularly, but Steve Smith (215) continued an excellent innings to record his first double century in Test cricket.

Michael Clarke declared on 566-7 just after tea, and his bowlers made the perfect start as England slipped to 30-4 in reply before Alastair Cook (21*) and Ben Stokes (38*) guided their side to 85-4 at the close of play.

Find out how the action unfolded below.

Good morning everyone. After a miserable four days in Cardiff it was a day for the Australians yesterday as the tourists took control after winning a vital toss. Chris Rogers (158*) and Steve Smith (128*) were the stars of the show as Australia reached 337-1. A huge first innings score looks inevitable, but can England fight back today?

The pitch has been the subject of many debates over the past 24 hours. England were believed to have asked for slower pitches this summer to help their batsmen handle Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc, but I'd be stunned if they wanted a surface like this. Quite simply, it's just not a great pitch for Test cricket. However, Australia were lucky enough to win the toss and so far they've taken full advantage of the flat conditions. That's all they can do.

No change. It's flat and there is certainly going to be a lot of runs scored again today. You've got to feel for the bowlers.

Smith was left in no doubt about how important that performance was for Australia yesterday. They've received plenty of criticism since Cardiff, but it's still too early to make any predictions. There's a lot of twists to come.

Chris Rogers of Australia celebrates his century with teammate Steven Smith during day one of the second Ashes Test at Lord's on July 16, 2015© Getty Images

"That was very important after Cardiff," Smith told reporters. "The pitch was a little bit slow and if you got in you needed to go big."

The fact is that Australia look well set for a big score which should hand them control of this Test match, but Smith and Rogers will need to play themselves in once again, so the morning session won't be straightforward. If England can take two or three early wickets, the pressure will be on the likes of Mitchell Marsh and debutant Peter Nevill. Alastair Cook needs his bowlers to deliver with a ball which is just nine overs old.

"The hunger pleased me most, driving the game, scoring at a decent rate and the way they wanted to keep batting," Australia coach Darren Lehmann said while reflecting on yesterday's play on Sky Sports a few moments ago.

Australia coach Darren Lehmann oversees an official team training session ahead of the fourth Ashes cricket Test match between England and Australia at the Riverside stadium in Chester-le-Street, north-east England on August 8, 2013© Getty Images

"Today, we have to get through the new ball, then push on as quickly as we can. You can get 20 wickets on any surface, that's something we've done well over the past seven or eight Test matches."

In truth, there was very little for the bowlers to work with yesterday. A few deliveries nipped around for Stuart Broad in the final session, but perhaps the most important note to take away was Moeen Ali getting a few balls to turn slightly late on. Australia will be hoping that they only have to bat once in this match, so Nathan Lyon could be key. If the tourists remain in control the spinner will be expected to set up a victory.

Jack Russell is certainly confident that it won't be one-way traffic at Lord's.

It's another packed house at Lord's. The weather should not be a problem today and we're almost ready for play to resume. Rogers (158*) and Smith (128*) are on the way out with the England players already in place on the field. England need to produce a response this morning.

Here we go then. James Anderson will have the first go with the ball. Rogers on strike. Two slips, a gully and a short cover in place. Play!

Oh my word. It's an interesting start to the morning as Anderson surprises Rogers with a bouncer which strikes the veteran bouncer on the side of his helmet. He just didn't seem to pick it. Smith and the England players check on Rogers, who takes his time and receives some treatment on his ear from the physio. There's applause when he's given the green light to continue. It's not a great follow up from Anderson as he sprays one slightly too wide outside off-stump before seeing Rogers send a couple of balls to the rope. Eight from the over.

Broad starts with a couple of loose deliveries which is far too wide to trouble Smith. England need to get on the front foot early. They can't afford to let these two play themselves back in easily. Smith blocks one before being beaten on the outside edge at the end of the over. More of those balls needed.

It's a surprising early plan from Anderson and Cook, with seven fielders on the off-side for Rogers, who shuffles across to find an easy single to deep square-leg. Anderson pitches it up to Smith to invite the drive. Smith obliges, but it's perfect to watch as he sends the ball through the covers for four. An optimistic lbw appeal follows but there was some bat involved. This is the highest partnership Australia have recorded at Lord's. Impressive.

Umpire Kumar Dharmasena is quick to shake his head when Broad appeals for lbw following a ball which pitches outside leg-stump to Rogers, who then picks up a couple with a flick to deep square-leg. The carry through to Jos Buttler has looked better this morning, with Broad beating the inside edge when he finds a great spot. We're only four overs in, but it could be another long day for the hosts.

Shot, Mr Smith. A shuffle across the crease is followed by a superb on-drive as he beats the man at mid-on to collect four runs. It's still incredible to think that he started his international career as a pretty average spinner who could bat a bit down the order. He's one of the best around now. Not much movement in the air for Anderson.

Better from Broad as he goes slightly fuller to bring a miscued drive from Smith, who is frustrated with his footwork at the crease. Rogers already looks as comfortable as he did at 5pm yesterday as he leans forward to drive the ball to the cover boundary.


Just as I mention how good Rogers was looking, he's gone! England finally take their second wicket as Broad goes full again to catch an inside edge which sends the ball against the stumps. Good reward for sticking to the plan of full bowling. A wonderful innings comes to an end as Rogers walks off to a standing ovation.

The captain Michael Clarke arrives at the crease, but England are certain to go on the attack. Broad has removed Clarke 10 times in test cricket and he always seems to cause him problems with the short ball. The first two are full and the Aussie skipper survives the over. Good bowling from Broad.

England go back to the plan they used briefly yesterday as Anderson comes round the wicket to Smith in an attempt to cramp him for room. The yorker at leg-stump could be an option from this angle, too. A shorter ball is easily avoided, and in truth, Anderson doesn't quite get it right in a maiden over.

Broad settles on the perfect length to Clarke, who struggles to find the middle of the bat in defence before watching the ball nip just past his outside edge. The skipper gets off the mark with a couple of runs through square-leg. Cook will be happy to see Broad stay full, but the bouncer could be coming in the next over.

England have a man on the boundary in front of square-leg and at fine-leg, but Smith is good enough to find the gap when he hooks the short ball to pick up four runs. Just the boundary in the over as Smith continues to looks comfortable against Anderson from round the wicket.

Broad has been bowling since the start of play but Cook must feel it is imperative to keep him going. Clarke is dragged wider and wider outside off-stump before finally biting to play a loose drive which sees him come agonisingly close to getting an edge on the ball. Broad beats the bat again, and you have to wonder whether the trouble is being caused by Clarke expecting a bouncer which doesn't arrive. Maiden.

Cook makes the first change of the morning as Mark Wood, who looked to be struggling in the warm up this morning, replaces Anderson. It's a good start to his spell, though, as he sticks with the theme of bowling fuller on a pitch which could be just slightly quicker than it was yesterday. Don't mistake that for me saying it isn't flat anymore. The conditions certainly still favour the batting side.

England won't mind seeing Smith take a single early in Broad's over, but the bowler is left disappointed when he drags one onto the pads to allow Clarke to get off strike. A hint of movement then takes the ball past Smith's edge as Broad continues to ask questions.

Easy runs on offer early in the Wood over as Clarke clips a couple into the leg-side before opening the bat to push one to point. Smith must be eyeing a double century at the moment as he moves across again to open up the leg-side and earn a couple with a flick off the pad. Ali does the work at fine-leg to prevent a boundary as Wood concedes three leg-byes off the final ball.

Broad's excellent spell passes by without a short ball to Clarke as Stokes comes into the attack. The Australian captain looks like he might be starting to feel better at the crease as he lunges forward to drive firmly at Ballance in the covers. Stokes probably slightly too wide in the over as Australia make it through the first hour of the day for the loss of just one more wicket.

Come on, where's your money? Is Smith going to get this double century? There's not much for him to in the first over after the drinks break as he safely negotiates a maiden from Wood. Cricket looks very easy for this young man at the moment. Smith 147 Clarke 6*

A rare fumble from Anderson at point gifts a single to Clarke, before Smith moves to 150 with a superb drive past mid-on for four more runs. That's the second time he's picked that boundary in the session. Superb timing. Just a hint of in-swing late in the over from Stokes, but Smith doesn't play.

Clever bowling from Wood, who starts the over with a straight ball before jumping wide on the crease to beat the bat when Clarke drives wildly. Clarke then gets himself into trouble by popping the ball in the air but it's just short of the fielder at square-leg.


Clarke can't believe it and I'm not sure if Wood can either. One ball after popping the ball just short of Ballance at square-leg, the Australian captain takes on a shorter ball with a pull shot but he can only pick out the same fielder. It's an important wicket for England. Adam Voges is the new batsman and he survives the final ball of the over.

Adam Lyth is in the game at extra cover as he gets two hands to a stunning cover drive which fails to produce any runs for Smith. Stokes is clearly trying to drag the right-hander further away from off-stump, but there's no false shot in the maiden over.

Voges, who has played county cricket for Middlesex at Lord's in the last two years, is brought forward by some good, full bowling from Wood early in the over. Cook applauds from first slip until a half-tracker allows the new batsman to get off the mark with a pull through mid-wicket for four. Two more runs follow with a nudge to deep square-leg. Will Cook consider giving Moeen Ali a god before lunch?

Stokes leads the lbw appeal when Smith misses after shuffling across the crease, but height was always the issue as the umpire shakes his head. A wide half-volley is nothing more than a freebie to a batsman in this form as Smith drills the ball through the cover for four. Another shake of the head follows when Stokes appeals for lbw again. Cook doesn't look sure, but he decides to use his first review of the match. It's hopeful at best. Both where Voges is hit and the impact with the stumps goes down as umpire's call. Not out.

Ali gets his first go of the morning as he comes on to replace Wood. Smith is immediately on the charge as he comes down to earn a single when the bowler can only parry the ball into the off-side. Shot! Voges blocks one before leaning forward to whip the ball through mid-wicket for four runs. Decent comeback from Ali as he changes the pace slightly to force Voges to defend.

Smith brings up the 400 with a single, before Voges continues his confident start with four to fine-leg. I'd expect Australia to make a point of scoring quicker from this position as they look to leave as much time as possible in this match. Voges makes it nine from the Stokes over with a drive through extra cover for four more. Smith 158* (279) Voges 18 (20)

Smith settles for a single when he plays another firm on-drive. Voges has looked in great nick since arriving at the crease and he reaches the rope again with the finest of sweeps for four runs. It's not easy for Ali out there.

England clearly feel Voges is an lbw candidate early in his innings, but they need a change of plan as he's been excellent on the leg-side since arriving at the crease. Another wicket before the lunch break would give the hosts a huge boost. Three off the over.

Much, much better from Ali. He settles on an excellent line and length to ensure Voges is coming forward, rather than sitting back waiting for the bad ball to arrive. The defence is solid, but that's where the spinner needs to be. 10 minutes left in the session.

Good work from Lyth in the deep to prevent Smith from cutting for four at the start of a new spell from Wood, before a single to deep cover hands the strike to Voges. England should be pretty happy with their display in this session. Smith 164* Voges 24

Oh dear. Ali spent an over on the perfect length, but he drops one far too short to allow Smith to rock back and pull powerfully for four runs. It's a decent response as Smith fortunately gets an inside edge on an unconvincing block. Ali isn't very happy with himself, though.

LUNCH: A decent battle comes to an end in the first session as Wood completes a maiden. It's still flat, and Australia are in a strong position as they look to set up a victory which would bring them level in this series. England have fought back well to dismiss both Rogers and Clarke. Smith continues his bid for a double hundred.

We'll join the players by taking a lunch break. The afternoon session could be an intriguing one. Darren Lehmann spoke of the need to score quickly to leave enough overs to take 20 wickets, so it wouldn't be a surprise if Australia step up the tempo. Make sure you return in around 35 minutes. Smith 168* Voges 24*

Welcome back everyone. It was a much better session from England, who managed to pick up a couple of wickets, but it remains flat at Lord's and Australia continue to make good progress. The ball has done a little bit more so far today, but the conditions haven't changed too much and England should not be concerned about the prospect of batting later today.

England players celebrate Mark Wood taking a wicket on day two of the second Ashes Test at Lord's on July 17, 2015© Getty Images

Voges has looked very good since arriving at the crease, but the real bonus for England would be if they could remove Smith early in this session. Unfortunately for Cook and his players, Australia's number three hasn't given them a sniff today. A double century looks likely.

The players are back out on the pitch. Ali has the ball in his hand. I'd fancy Broad to begin a new spell at the Nursery End in the next over after his impressive performance in the first session.

Smith starts positively against the spin as he advances down the pitch to push the second ball to mid-off for a single. Cook takes a smart catch at leg-slip, but the deflection came off the pad. There was certainly some extra bounce. Good news for Nathan Lyon. Voges pulls a short ball away to keep the strike. Smith 169 Voges 25*

It is Broad who takes the second over of the session. There's fielders at short mid-off and short mid-on, which suggests that England think Voges might pop one up on the drive.


Voges doesn't pop the ball in the air, but he does have to depart when Broad finds just enough movement to catch the outside edge on the way through to Buttler. Considering the conditions, Broad really has been excellent. He's certainly been the most threatening of the England bowlers.

Mitchell Marsh is the new batsman. He scored centuries against Kent and Essex before the series, but he pressure is still on his shoulders after he was drafted in as Shane Watson's replacement. Cook goes all-out attack with fielders at short mid-wicket, short mid-on, short mid-off and short cover. Marsh's response? He drives his first ball between the two fielders on the off-side to collect four runs. Two more runs arrive through point as Broad completes a good over. He's right to stay full to the new batsman.

Smith is happy to give the strike to his new partner when he takes a single off the first ball of Ali's over. A leg-slip and silly point comes in for Marsh, who looks solid coming forward to defend. Too full from England's spinner. Just one off the over.

Smith miscues a shot just short of Cook at that short mid-on position, before Stokes does well to prevent a boundary when a thick edge sends the ball racing away through third-man. Another thick edge follows, this time from Marsh, but there's no stopping the ball this time as the new batsman picks up four. A fumble from Wood on the leg-side then allows Marsh to sneak two. Smith 173* Marsh 12

Better from Ali as he pulls his length back a touch, but he is slightly fortunate when Smith picks out Broad at square-leg with a powerful sweep shot. Cook will surely be thinking about going back to seam at both ends. Ali is struggling to cause problems. Maiden over.


Great work from Broad again as he picks up his third wicket of the innings. He rolls his fingers over the ball and it looks like it may keep a bit low as Marsh chops onto the stumps. Broad is getting his reward for some fine bowling.

Debutant Peter Nevill, who averaged 76 in the Sheffield Shield during the Australian summer, comes to the crease for his first knock in Test cricket. He's happy to see out the final three balls without scoring. Excellent over from Broad.

Smith plays a rare false shot against the spin but still manages to earn a single with a thick outside edge. The edge also gives Nevill his first runs in Test cricket as he beats slip to collect three runs, before Smith gives himself room to cut a run to deep cover. Nevill deliberately opens the face of the bat at the end of the over to target third-man again, and he gets enough of the ball to earn four more.

Broad certainly doesn't mind seeing Smith push the ball just short of Cook, who is still in place at short mid-on. A well-directed bouncer gets him in an awkward position, but Smith pulls well enough to get off strike with a single. Cook brings man up to short cover, but Nevill picks the gap wide of the fielder to earn three. Smith makes it six from the over by clipping a couple more off the hip.

Lyon will be happy to see Ali get some turn outside off-stump as Smith keeps out a good one, before surviving a look upstairs when he calls for a risky two and gets in before the spinner can take the bails off. The latest of cuts hands Smith four and moves him close to his first double century in Test cricket. Smith 182 Nevill 13*

Close! The returning Anderson almost takes a wicket with a short and wide delivery, but Nevill flashes hard to get the ball past Root, who is unable to take a catch or stop a boundary at gully. Anderson settles on a better line and length to square up Nevill and strike the back thigh-pad. Much better.

Good cricket from Smith to pick up a quick single with a nudge into the leg-side. Ali changes his angle by coming round the wicket to Nevill, who blocks on a good line before using his feet well to clip three runs through mid-wicket. Smith comes charging down the pitch for a big shot at the end of the over, but he's fortunate just to get an inside edge on a wild swing. The hopes of a double hundred were almost dashed then.

Lovely bowling from Anderson as he finds the perfect line to leave the bat with a hint of seam movement. Nevill looks solid when he shuffles across to nudge two runs to deep square-leg and he beats Stokes at point to earn a couple more. Smith 183* Nevill 24 (25)

Smith drops to one knee to slog-sweep just in front of square for four runs. It's not a great hit, but with no one on the boundary Smith is confident enough to play that shot. The seamers are just starting to do a bit more, so Cook is surely thinking about removing Ali, who ends the over by beating a cutting Smith.

Great cricket from Smith. England have refused to bring in a third-man during this session and Smith capitalises by opening the face to reach the boundary with the latest of cut shots. He moves to 192 with a single down the ground. Smith has been removed twice in the 190s in Test cricket. Will the nerves be creeping in? Four leg byes make it 10 off the over.

Smith is more than happy to take the single early in the over. A review follows when Ali hits Nevill's pad. Close! England are very unlucky. It pitches in line, hits in line and the technology suggests that leg-stump would have been hit pretty hard. However, the decision is umpire's call. Unfortunate.

Perhaps in an attempt to encourage a moment of madness from Smith, Cook throws the ball to Root. Nothing crazy, just four runs to the point boundary and seven more to the total. Smith 198* Nevill 26

DOUBLE CENTURY! Smith does it. The double century arrives with another boundary on the leg-side as he continues this superb knock. We can talk about the pitch for days, but you have to get the runs and Smith has done so in fine fashion. One of the finest around delivers the goods once again for his first double hundred in Test cricket. Well played!

Steven Smith celebrates his century on day one of the second Ashes Test at Lord's on July 17, 2015© Getty Images

Smith might switch to limited-overs mode after reaching his latest milestone and taking Australia past 200. A misfield at mid-off gifts him three runs and Nevill follows his lead by skipping down the pitch to clip four through mid-wicket. Nevill takes a single off the final ball of Root's over to keep the strike.

The returning Wood is slightly too wide to Nevill, who picks up a single when he finds cover with a firm drive. Smith is on the stretch to make contact with a wide one on the way to finding a run of his own, before Nevill rotates the strike again with a flick off the hip. Shot! You won't see this in the textbook. Wood finds an off-stump line, but Smith somehow manages to work the ball behind square on the leg-side for another boundary. Australia take eight from the over.

Smith finds Buttler's pad while attempting to nutmeg the wicketkeeper with an extremely tough shot but he settles for a single one ball later with a nudge down the ground. Good batting from Nevill, too, as he skips down the pitch to loft Root over mid-wicket for four. Will Australia declare in the final session, at tea, or even before the next interval?

Nevill has looked very good since arriving at the crease, and his fluent innings continues with four through third-man when he guides a late cut just wide of gully. Wood launches the lbw appeal when he brings one back slightly but there's bat involved and Marais Erasmus quickly shakes his head. Smith 214 Nevill 43*

I don't think it's possible to not smile when you remember Jason Gillespie scored a double century in Test cricket.


Smith, looking to attack Root, is trapped while attempting a reverse sweep. He reviews the decision, but the technology sides with the umpire. A fantastic innings comes to an end as the fans in the stand and the members in The Long Room all rise to salute Smith. Superb knock.

The declaration hasn't arrived yet. Johnson blocks the first ball before getting off the mark with a single at the end of Root's over. You can bet he won't block many more.

Johnson almost gets an edge on the ball when he looks to pull a delivery that he really should send into the off-side, and Wood beats the bat again with one that goes across the left-hander. Clarke has his whites on in the dressing room. That would suggest that Australia will declare before tea, which is scheduled for 3.40pm. Maiden from Wood.

Singles on offer down the ground for both Nevill and Watson early in Root's over.


Even when England are not having a great couple of days, you just can't seem to keep Root out of the game. He picks up his second wicket of the innings when Nevill finds Ali, who takes an excellent low catch coming forward at mid-off. That's a decent start to Test cricket for Nevill. Australia continue to bat.

Root thinks he has two in two when he hits Starc's pad, but Kumar Dharmasena shakes his head. It looks a good decision when Hot Spot suggests that there may have been some bat involved. Starc then gets lucky again when a wild swing ends with him getting an inside edge on the ball. Luckily for him, it crashes into Buttler's pad.

Shot! Johnson has no problem finding the middle of the bat this time as he hammers Wood past a helpless Broad at mid-off. Just the boundary from the over. Plenty of Australians look ready to go on the balcony, but the declaration might no arrive until tea now.

Root breezes through another over but he can't make another breakthrough. He has figures of 2-51 from his 10 overs. Just over 10 minutes left in the session.

Good bowling from Wood, who targets the stumps from round the wicket to prevent Johnson from freeing his arms and attacking the off-side. A single to mid-wicket hands the strike to Starc. Buttler does well to get a hand on the ball following a deflection off the thigh-pad, but he can't prevent a leg-bye. Johnson takes full advantage of a bit of freedom to cut for four runs at the end of the over.

Sensing that the declaration could arrive at tea or early in the next session, Cook is choosing not to bring back the likes of Anderson or Broad at this stage of the innings. Root continues with his spell, and he changes his line well to follow Johnson when the left-hander comes skipping down the pitch. Good bowling, but it would have been interesting to see if Buttler could have stumped Johnson from so far down the leg-side. Three off the over.

Six! Starc is a clean hitter of the ball at number nine in this batting lineup and he shows off his timing by launching the returning Ali over the rope at wide long-on. Ali changes his pace later in the over but Starc still manages to find a single to mid-on. Johnson 11* Starc 11

TEA: Root, perhaps expecting Johnson to charge down the pitch, sends one down the leg-side and Buttler can't move quick enough to prevent four byes. Johnson then decides to take a couple of steps forward but for no reward. Australia end up with five from the final over of an entertaining session.

Michael Clarke decides against declaring before tea, so Starc and Johnson might come out to have a swing in 20 minutes. The likes of Cook and Lyth will be starting to think about batting. We'll know a lot more about the direction of this match by the end of the day.

You've got to give some credit to England. They've battled well after arriving at the crease with Australia on 337-1. The tourists have taken advantage of the conditions since winning the toss, and there's been signs that the ball is doing a little bit more today. It's going to be a very interesting final session.

Australia haven't declared during the interval, so two of their three Mitchells are coming out to have a swing. I'd be surprised if the tourists batted for much 20-25 minutes. Clarke will want to put as much pressure on England as possible this evening. There are still 33 overs to be bowled.

Cook and his men are back out on the field. Starc and Johnson follow closely behind. Broad is back into the attack at the start of the session.

Broad just can't resist having a few words with Johnson, who misses with a huge swing when he backs away at the start of the over. The left-hander attacks again but settles for a couple with a sliced effort over point. Johnson looks like he's practicing at St Andrews after missing with a big heave across the line. A run arrives to mid-on before Starc picks up a single at deep square-leg.


AUSTRALIA DECLARE: The innings comes to an end as Johnson finishes the over by sending the ball straight up. Anderson doesn't have much ground to make up as he takes the catch at a wide mid-off. Broad finishes with 4-83 from his 27 overs. That's a fine effort. Clarke prepares to head back out as Johnson and Starc jog inside to get ready for bowling. It's a huge score for the tourists.

I think Clarke was always going to declare one over after the tea break. It looks like a plan to make sure Lyth and Cook are in a rush to get back out in the middle. Scoreboard pressure is a factor, but England really shouldn't be panicking too much. The pitch still favours batting. It's important they start strongly in this session.

The next couple of overs could decide which way this match goes. If Australia pick up early wickets and get on top then it will be very difficult for England, but the hosts need to approach this innings smartly. There's no need to rush and certainly no need to go into a hole either.

Here's all of the relevant figures from the first innings.

AUSTRALIA: 566-8 declared (149 overs)

Fall of wickets: 1-78 (Warner, 38 14.6 ov), 2-362 (Rogers, 173 95.4 ov), 3-383 (Clarke, 7 106.5 ov), 4-426 (Voges, 25 119.3 ov), 5-442 (Marsh, 12 123.3 ov), 6-533 (Smith, 139.4 ov), 7-536 (Nevill, 141.3 ov), 8-566 (Johnson, 148.6 ov). Not out - Starc 12.

Bowling figures: Anderson 26-4-99-0, Broad 27-5-83-4, Wood 28-7-92-1, Moeen 36-4-138-1, Stokes 19-2-77-0, Root 12-0-55-2, Lyth 1-1-0-0

Here we go then. Cook and Lyth out in the middle. Starc will take the first over. Australia can afford to attack with 566 runs on the board, but patience could be key for Australia. Four slips and a short-leg in place. Play!


Disaster for England, delight for Starc and Australia. Lyth plays at a ball that he really should leave alone and his punishment is an edge through to Nevill, who takes his first catch in Test cricket. The umpires check the front foot, but Starc had something behind the line. What a start for Australia.

Gary Ballance, who was given a tough time on his way to 60 in the first innings in Cardiff, gets off the mark with a clip off the hip and he times it well enough to earn four runs. Starc hits back with a sharp bouncer at the end of the over, but Ballance manages to stop the ball from flying away to a fielder off the shoulder of the bat. Excellent start from Starc.

Cook is greeted by a big in-swinger from Josh Hazlewood, who hits the England captain high on the thigh with his first ball. There's an appeal, mainly from the bowler, later in the over, but Nevill takes the catch off the thigh. Hazlewood is seaming it in both directions. Good early signs for the tourists. Maiden.

Starc goes very straight to Ballance, who picks up a couple of runs with a flick off the hip. Australia were certainly interested in bowling short to the number three, whose technique may be questioned despite his record speaking for itself. Starc drifts slightly too wide of off-stump, before sending down a bouncer which Ballance avoids easily.

Runs for the home skipper as Cook leans on a leg-side delivery to pick up four when Hazlewood gets his line slightly wrong early in the over. Cook is then forced to think twice about playing at one just outside his off-stump. Just the boundary from the over.

Starc continues with a very straight approach to Ballance, who tentatively keeps a couple of out before finding a gap with a prod into the leg-side. The Yorkshire batsman then takes a big risk by playing a cut in the air between fourth slip and gully. I'm not sure he'll play that again, despite earning four runs for his troubles. He then finds a single to keep the strike.

Hazlewood goes full to catch a thick outside edge, and despite the best efforts of Lyon on the point boundary, a quick look at the replay confirms it is four more to Ballance. There's plenty of words from the bowler when he nips one past the bat. Ballance battles his way through another over. Excellent cricket on show at Lord's. Ballance 17 Cook 4*

Cook is forced to play close to his off-stump when Starc settles on a good line early in the over. After hanging a couple out wide the left-arm seamer brings one back, but Cook is one of the best off his pads and he earns a single down to fine-leg. Ballance negotiates another bouncer to steal the strike off the final ball.

Ballance is caught in two minds as he makes contract with a ball he intends to leave outside off-stump. Luckily for him the deflection doesn't bring trouble. Just a single added off Hazlewood's over. Time for Mitchell Johnson?

Indeed it is time for Johnson as Clarke makes his first chance with the ball eight overs old. Ballance begins the over confidently to earn four with a drive down the ground when Warner fails with a desperate dive.


Johnson strikes! It's a full, fast delivery and Ballance can't connect with the drive this time as Johnson sneaks one through to punish the stumps. Australia are in a great position now.

Ian Bell, who looked somewhere close to his best on the way to making 60 in Cardiff, gets off the mark with a push into the off-side. There's gasps from the slips later in the over, but Cook is never playing as he pulls his bat away. Australia all over the hosts.


This is becoming a nightmare for England supporters. Hazlewood goes full to Bell and he finds enough movement to knock back off-stump. It's a wonderful delivery from the seamer as Australia continue to dominate. Can Joe Root save the day again?

Hazlewood sticks with the full approach to the new batsman, but Root comes forward to push a single to extra cover. A replay of that Bell dismissal shows that he was playing down completely the wrong line. He really should have been playing much straighter, rather to mid-wicket. Cook is close to joining his teammate upstairs when he misses with a loose drive. England need to take the sting out of this session. Easier said than done, of course.


Root isn't coming to the rescue today. Australia set up for a short-ball assault with a couple of men back on the hook. Root avoids that temptation, but he can't fight the urge to play an awkward shot off the back foot outside off-stump. Johnson does enough to catch a thin edge and England are in massive trouble. The Test match could effectively be lost in one session here.

It's real drama at Lord's in this final session of the day. Stokes gets an inside edge onto the pads first ball, before surviving a very optimistic caught behind appeal down the leg-side. A yorker then comes agonisingly close to sneaking through. Johnson is back to his best.

Close! Hats off to the Australian bowlers. They're putting the ball in great areas and Hazlewood almost gets another when Cook chops one just past his stumps. Just a couple of runs from another probing over.

Stokes is unlikely to go into his shell. He'll want to feel bat on ball, and he does when getting off the mark by picking up two through cover. Two more runs are added with a flick to mid-wicket, before Stokes shrugs off an appeal when the ball clips the thigh pad on the way through to Nevill. Stokes attacks again with a superb shot past wide mid-on for four. Lovely timing.

Starc is back to replace Hazlewood. Cook has left the ball much better since his troubles last year, but he has to play when the returning left-arm seamer goes very full at off-stump. A push into the off-side hands the strike to Stokes, who is happy to leave a wider one.

England have often been three down for not very much recently, but Joe Root has somehow managed to dig them out of trouble. That didn't happen today and questions could now be asked about Lyth and Ballance, who both have their critics.

Johnson is left with his hands on head when Cook uncharacteristically miscues a pull, and there's also a moment of concern for the England fans when he decides to leave one late outside off-stump. England can't afford to lose another wicket today.

Easy leg-bye on offer when Starc strays while looking to target Stokes with the full in-swinger. A similar delivery invites a trademark shot from Cook, who whips the ball in front of square on the leg-side to collect four runs. Cook 12 Stokes 8*

Hazlewood switches ends to replace Johnson. Lyon is doing some stretches in the field and Clarke would certainly be wise to try out the spinner this evening. Stokes is late in deciding to cut, but he doesn't get enough of the ball to punish the bowler as it deflects through to Nevill. Hazlewood catches the edge and Stokes is fortunate to collect four runs wide of the slips. Clarke is left frustrated after just taking a man out of that area.

Good cricket from Cook as he pushes the ball into the gap on the off-side. Shots! Starc is too close to the pads again and Stokes cashes in by drilling the ball just behind square for four runs. It gets even better at the end of the over when the all-rounder drives the ball down the ground for another boundary.

There's no one at deep square-leg, and Hazlewood is not quick enough to worry Cook with the bouncer as the England skipper pulls powerfully to the rope. No risk involved from the opener. Just the four from the over. England trail by 503.

Nathan Lyon is into the attack for the first time as Australia look to pick up another wicket before the close of play. Ouch. You've got to feel for Adam Voges. Stokes drops to one knee to powerfully sweep the fourth ball straight at short-leg. It looks like he's been struck close to the hip. That's going to hurt for a few days. Just one off Lyon's opening over.

Hazlewood is continuing from over the wicket to the two left-handers. The ball isn't moving quite as much for the seamers anymore, but there's still some good carry through to Nevill. Cook is still leaving very well outside off-stump. The captain is standing up to the challenge.

Stokes will continue to be positive in this situation, and he does so brilliantly as he skips down the pitch to loft Lyon over wide mid-on for four runs. He picks up two more behind square on the leg-side, before coming down the pitch again. It's six this time as he sends Lyon's over the straight boundary. Excellent batting. Stokes 34 (39) Cook 17* (54)

There's a moment of concern for Stokes, who looks to be in some pain but it's unclear what the problem is for the all-rounder. A member of the medical staff runs on with what looks to be painkillers. England will be hopeful that it's nothing serious.

Hazlewood's decision to change the angle by coming round the wicket looks a good one as he forces Cook to play a few more times, but the opener is comfortable in defence before he ruins a potential maiden with a single to cover.

Cook nearly gifts his wicket to the tourists with a rare moment of carelessness. Nevill reacts quickly to take the bails off when Cook lifts his foot, but his boot is back down in time. Not out, confirms the third umpire. Lyon is using the slope to angle deliveries in towards Cook, who comes forward late in the over with some solid blocking. Maiden.

Johnson returns to the attack with a couple of bouncers for Stokes, who gets on top of one in defence before ducking when the next ball drifts down the leg-side. There's nothing too full for Stokes to attack, which he probably won't mind at this stage of the day. Maiden.

Marsh gets his first bowl in the match and there will be attention paid to his bowling after Australia decided to leave out Shane Watson. There's a hint of swing early in the over. Clarke responds by bringing in two short mid-wickets, but Marsh pushes the ball across to beat Cook's outside edge. Cook picks up a single, before Stokes adds two to bring up the 50 partnership.

Good response from Cook to find a single when he gets on the back foot to guide a shorter ball into the off-side. Johnson probably didn't bowl as badly as his figures suggested in Cardiff, but he certainly looks much more threatening today, especially with the fuller delivery. Just three from his latest over. 12 balls are left in the day.

Marsh is probably a little bit underrated with the ball. He enjoyed success bowling against England in the World Cup and he's in good rhythm as he camps outside the off-stump. Cook isn't in the mood to do anything silly at this stage as he safely negotiates the maiden.

CLOSE OF PLAY: Clarke seems happy to give the single to Stokes at the start of the final over as the returning Lyon looks to target Cook, but there's no more drama as the England skipper blocks out the rest of the over. Cook immediately walks over to shake hands with Steve Smith, whose double century put Australia into a fantastic position before the bowlers caused carnage this evening. Cook 21* Stokes 38*

It's been an excellent display from Australia. Early wickets were the target after reaching such a big first innings total, and the bowlers delivered with Lyth, Ballance, Bell and Root all falling in the final session of the day. Australia will already be eyeing a victory which would level the series, but there's a long way to go. England trail by 481 runs.

That's all from our live coverage today. Thanks for joining me. Make sure you're back here at 10.30am for day three wit Sports Mole. Goodbye.

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Chris Rogers of Australia celebrates his century with teammate Steven Smith during day one of the second Ashes Test at Lord's on July 16, 2015
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