July 24, 2013
England have taken a 2-0 Ashes series lead after comprehensively defeating Australia in four days at Lord’s. The margin of victory (347 runs) reflects England’s superiority after what had been an even contest going into day 2. Their heroes were man of the match Joe Root, for his second innings ‘daddy’ hundred and two important wickets, Ian Bell, who’s impressive century rescued England after a disastrous start in the first innings and Graeme Swann, who took nine wickets in the match without ever seeming quite as his best. England will be relieved that they were not reliant on the hero of Trent Bridge, James Anderson, who picked up just three wickets.
Australia competed well with the ball, with all four seamers bowling a tight line. However, after capturing three early wickets in each innings, they let England get away and lost control when the spinners came on. Australia seemed clueless with bat in hand, playing a succession of poorly judged shots and making a hash of their DRS opportunities. They were dismissed twice in the space of 143 overs and will be looking carefully at their batting line up for the next match.
With England’s big guns Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen and Matt Prior yet to fire in the series, one feels that there is now no way back for Australia who will need to win the remaining three matches to reclaim The Ashes. Hostilities resume at Old Trafford on 1 August. Australia are likely to bring back spinner Nathan Lyon in place of the less than effective Ashton Agar. For England, Pietersen has an injured calf – he remains a doubt for the game – but will otherwise probably remain unchanged. Expect another dry pitch that will take spin later in the game.
England 361 (Bell 109, Bairstow 67, Trott 58, Harris 5-72) and 349 for 7 dec (Root 180, Bell 74) beat Australia 128 (Swann 5-44) and 235 (Khawaja 54, Clarke 51) by 347 runs.
The Scoop 22/07/13