Aussies hold 362-run lead at Lord’s
Cri Aust Wrap
By Rob Forsaith
LONDON, July 18 AAP – There’s two days left and Australia have 10 wickets in hand, but already England face a record run-chase in the second Ashes Test.
ARTICLE CONTINUES AFTER THIS ADVERTISEMENT
Australia dominated the hosts for a third straight day at Lord’s, building a 362-run lead at stumps on Saturday.
The tourists rolled England for 312 shortly after tea then reached 0-108 in their second innings.
Michael Clarke’s men have an ideal platform to level the series after being crushed inside four days at Cardiff.
Clarke is likely to declare on Sunday, the timing of which will be crucial given there are few demons in the pitch and rain predicted for days four and five.
The highest fourth-innings Test total at Lord’s is Australia’s 406 in 2009, while the West Indies’ 1-344 in 1984 is the highest successful chase.
England allrounder Ben Stokes suggested overs, not runs, would be his side’s concern.
“We spoke briefly in the changeroom … we’ve got to get our heads around that we’re probably going to have to bat for about 150 overs to try and save the game,” Stokes said.
“If there’s ever a wicket to do it on, it’s this one.
“There’s not too much pace and not too much turn.
“I probably only need one word to describe it: flat.”
Mitch Marsh, who snared the crucial scalps of Stokes and Alastair Cook, noted Clarke had yet to share his thoughts on a potential target.
“I imagine it will be around the 450 to 500 mark hopefully, if we bat well tomorrow,” Marsh said.
“We’ve got ourselves in a great position now to drive the game.”
Adam Lyth put down a catch at gully when David Warner was on zero, but otherwise it was a chance-less opening partnership from Australia in Saturday’s final session.
Warner will resume on 60 not out, while Chris Rogers is unbeaten on 44.
Australia bowled with great discipline to turn the screws after England started the day at 4-85.
Stokes survived all but three overs of the morning session in his 145-run stand with Cook.
Marsh removed Stokes for 87, then dismissed Cook late in the second session for 96.
Both left-handers played on, attempting to drive.
“It was great for my confidence, but at the same time it was a really important time for the team,” Marsh said.
The scalp of Cook, when the second new ball was almost due, triggered a collapse of 4-46.
Australia’s biggest concern was Adam Voges’ hip injury.
Voges, who suffered a painful blow while fielding at short leg on day two, remained in the pavilion throughout day three.
“It’s just a part of being in the Dad’s Army. His bones are a bit brittle at the moment,” Marsh quipped.
“I’m sure he’ll play a part for us tomorrow.”
Clarke opted against enforcing the follow-on, wanting his bowling attack to rest before they seek to square the ledger after a 169-run loss in the first Test.
— Wires supplied by Fairfax Radio Syndication —