England captain Andrew Strauss made the most of some poor Australia bowling with a century on the first day of the second Ashes Test here at the Lord’s on Thursday.
England at tea were 255 for two with Strauss, who’d won the toss, exactly 100 not out on his Middlesex home ground and Kevin Pietersen unbeaten on 22 as the hosts pursued a first Test win over Australia at Lord’s in 75 years.
Strauss, together with fellow left-handed opener Alastair Cook (95), shared a record-breaking first-wicket stand of 196 before completing his 18th Test century and fourth at the Lord’s off 178 balls with 15 boundaries.
Mitchell Johnson did separate England’s openers but figures of one wicket for 77 runs in 11 overs were testament to the left-arm quick’s waywardness. Swing bowler Ben Hilfenhaus, the one member of a four-man attack, depleted when Nathan Hauritz had to go off the field injured, to maintain some control, dismissed Ravi Bopara and at tea had figures of one for 49 off 20 overs.
Strauss was 47 not out and Cook, batting with rare panache, 67 not out with 56 of his runs in the first session.
Australia captain Ricky Ponting was in something of a quandry. And he was faced with a real problem when Hautritz had to leave the field midway through an over after dislocating the middle finger of his right, bowling hand when he failed to hold an extremely tough return chance off a low, hard-hit Strauss drive.
Even Hilfenhaus was pulled for four by Cook when he erred in dropping short.
Wicket-keeper Brad Haddin, who’d been having a difficult match, let through four byes off part-time spinner Marcus North. And even Ponting, normally a brilliant fielder, saw the ball go through his legs to the delight of the crowd.
Ponting returned to Johnson, whose first eight overs had cost 53 runs. But his first ball back was square cut for four by Strauss and when he dropped short, Strauss cut him over the slips for four more.
When Strauss and Cook took their stand before 182 they’d surpassed the England’s first-wicket partnership record against Australia at Lord’s set by Jack Hobbs and Herbert Sutcliffe back in 1926.
Bopara looked stylish while making 18 but, playing down the wrong line, was plumb lbw to Hilfenhaus and England were 222 for two.
England won toss
England 1st Innings
*A J Strauss not out 100
A N Cook lbw b Johnson 95
R S Bopara lbw b Hilfenhaus 18
K P Pietersen not out 22
Extras (b15, nb5) 20
Total (2 wkts, 62 overs) 255
Fall: 1-196, 2-222
To bat: P D Collingwood, †M J Prior, A Flintoff, S C J Broad, G P Swann, G Onions, J M Anderson
Bowling: Hilfenhaus 20-10-49-1 (3nb); Johnson 11-0-77-1; Siddle 11-0-47-0 (2nb); Hauritz 8.3-1-26-0; North 11.3-2-41-0
Australia: P J Hughes, S M Katich, *R T Ponting, M J Clarke, M E K Hussey, M J North, †B J Haddin, M G Johnson, N M Hauritz, P M Siddle, B W Hilfenhaus
Umpires: B R Doctrove (West Indies) and R E Koertzen (South Africa). TV umpire: N J Llong (England). Match referee: J J Crowe (New Zelaand)
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Friday, July 17th, 2009 and is filed under Cricket, General.
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