England moves closer to crushing win at Lord’s


London, July 21: England moved remorselessly towards a crushing victory within four days over Australia in the second Ashes Test at Lord’s on Sunday after setting the visitors a notional target of 583 to win.
 After batting throughout Saturday’s third day, Alastair Cook declared his team’s second innings closed on 349 for seven after Joe Root had been dismissed for 180.
 The frail Australian batting was then again cruelly exposed when Graeme Swann took two wickets in 17 balls to reduce Australia to 48 for three at the lunch interval.
 Cook gave Root an opportunity to become only the second Englishman to score a double century at Lord’s when play resumed under hazy cloud which soon cleared under the hot sun.
 However, the young Yorkshireman had added only two to his overnight total when he tried an ambitious scoop shot over his head off Ryan Harris. The ball looped to Steve Smith at third man and he gratefully accepted the catch.
 Jonny Bairstow was the only other batsman to fall in the final 15 minutes of the England innings after hitting Ashton Aghar straight back over his head for six. Bairstow played an indifferent shot outside his off-stump to Harris and was caught behind for 20.
 Matt Prior was the not out batsman on one, surviving a simple caught-and-bowled chance when he pushed a delivery from left-arm spinner Agar straight back to the bowler who spilled the catch.
 Shane Watson made his customary bright start with 20 from 23 balls with three boundaries when Australia batted again before making his customary early exit.
 The burly Australian opener planted his left leg straight down the pitch and was given out lbw for the second time in the match. This time, Watson did not waste a referral to the third umpire and instead trudged back grim-faced to the Pavilion.
 Cook introduced Swann for the 10th over and the England off-spinner responded by knocking back Chris Roger’s off-stump with his fifth ball.
 Rogers (6) had already left two deliveries which had spun extravagantly away from the left-hander out of the bowler’s footmarks and was fooled by a flatter, faster delivery which slid straight on.
 Swann struck again with a similar delivery which hit another of Australia’s left-hander Phillip Hughes (1) on the back pad. Hughes opted to refer the decision but the replay confirmed umpire Kumar Dharmasena’s original decision.
 Australia captain Michael Clarke survived a stumping opportunity to Prior off Swann after scoring two but was still the only Australian batsman who looked as if had any idea how to counter the England spinner.
 England batsman Kevin Pietersen did not take the field and will play no further part in the match because of a left calf muscle strain.

Lastupdate on : Sun, 21 Jul 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Sun, 21 Jul 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Mon, 22 Jul 2013 00:00:00 IST

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