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England emphatically double Ashes advantage

By Rob Barnett at Lord's and Matthew Sherry

England are one win from retaining the Ashes after a 347-run demolition of Australia at Lord’s, their second-largest defeat of their bitterest rivals on runs, in the second Investec Test.

Victory at the home of cricket, which came just inside four days, puts the hosts 2-0 up in the five-game series, meaning another triumph in any of the three remaining Tests - or indeed a draw - will see them keep hold of the urn.

Following the tight, 14-run margin of success at Trent Bridge a week ago, this win was as one-sided as imaginable with such a prize at stake. Save for a 98-run stand between skipper Michael Clarke and Usman Khawaja, Australia’s sole fifty partnership of the match, the tourists rarely threatened their opponents.

A gargantuan victory target of 583 told the story, and the fact man of the match Joe Root’s 180 was 52 more than the tourists’ first effort and 52 less than their second-innings 235.

Root’s maiden century as an England opening batsman was the tip of the iceberg in terms of successes for the hosts, Ian Bell’s third ton in as many Ashes Tests another with the willow. The bowling attack, including the recalled Tim Bresnan, combined to outstanding effect, Graeme Swann leading the way with nine economical wickets.

However, it was Root’s occasional spin that took the two most important scalps today. In consecutive overs he had Clarke held at leg-slip for 51 and Khawaja, who compiled his second format fifty, caught at gully for 54. When Steven Smith then edged Bresnan behind to herald tea, there appeared to be no way back.

Australia’s tail wagged in the evening session but, with the second new ball taken and extra half hour claimed, victory came at 6:42pm when Swann trapped James Pattinson in front for a dogged 35 with three balls of the day to go.

Leading by 566 overnight with five wickets left, Alastair Cook was not persuaded by overcast conditions to declare before the start today.

That gave Root, on 178, the chance of a first international double-hundred. However, he could not take it as his attempted scoop to fine-leg off Ryan Harris flew to third man where Smith held a sharp chance, prompting Cook to halt the innings at 349 for seven.

In an action-packed 15 minutes of play until then, Jonny Bairstow lifted Ashton Agar’s spin for a straight six and was caught behind for 20 off Harris, who returned seven match wickets, before Agar spilled a straightforward caught-and-bowled chance offered up by Matt Prior.

Despite Australia’s target being a pipe dream - the highest successful Test chase is 418 - Shane Watson began the pursuit in typically positive fashion. Yet, like so often before and for the second time in this Test, he fell when set. He was plumb lbw to James Anderson for 20 and, having misjudged previous reviews, chose not to seek a reprieve.

Swann then left Australia three down by lunch, by which time the sun had broken through to remain. Chris Rogers, who had just seen one turn sharply away from him, left an arm-ball that clattered into his off stump and Phil Hughes was trapped in front despite a review that showed the ball going on to hit leg.

Swann should have ousted Clarke for two before the interval but Prior failed to grasp a stumping chance with the right-hander well down the wicket. That miss looked costly when Clarke and Khawaja, preferred to Ed Cowan for this Test, prospered for much of the afternoon session. Unperturbed by his let-off, the former used his feet to good effect against spin while the latter scored heavily through midwicket versus seam, particularly on the pull.

The fourth-wicket pair suggested the game would go to a fifth day until Cook introduced Root, who previously had one Test scalp. Clarke glanced the 22-year-old to Cook at leg-slip and Khawaja, who survived a review for a slip chance earlier in the over, then got a thick edge to gully where Anderson held on.

Bresnan, chosen ahead of Steven Finn, ousted Smith with a slower ball that the batsman’s review failed to overturn. Conversely, England reviewed correctly to likewise give Bresnan the wicket of Agar after tea.

Brad Haddin paid for padding up to Swann, who earned an lbw verdict, but Peter Siddle avoided the same fate when England’s review found the ball clipping off stump insufficiently.

Either side of that last review in the match, Root shelled Siddle at third slip off Stuart Broad and Anderson parried Pattinson at gully from Swann’s bowling.

Siddle and Pattinson added 30 in 14.1 overs until Anderson knocked back the former’s off stump. Against the new ball Pattinson survived Broad’s confident lbw shout and, immediately after the appeal, Swann’s shy at the stumps.

Pattinson then combined with Harris to frustrate England for a further 14.2 overs until Swann completed figures of 4-78 deep into the extra half hour.

Match Scorecard

Live ball-by-ball commentary

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Australia Innings

Evening Session

Highlights of an evening session that saw England steamroller Australia to move 2-0 up in the Investec Ashes

6:41pm - ENGLAND WIN BY 347 RUNS! - WICKET! Pattinson lbw Swann 35 - He's done it! Swann gets one to turn and Pattinson is trapped plumb in front on the back foot to end his 91-ball vigil. England move 2-0 ahead in the series on the back of a comprehensive triumph.

6:40pm - England's wait goes on. Can Swann get the final breakthrough in the day's last over?

6:33pm - Here comes Swann; three overs now.

6:28pm - There are four overs left for England to wrap this up tonight...

6:20pm - Pattinson and Ryan Harris continue to thwart England, with the former unbeaten on 33.

6:06pm - It's all happening at Lord's; well, all except a final wicket falling! Broad raps Pattinson on the pad and umpire Kumar Dharmasena rejects the appeal. The batsman, though, fails to get back into his crease and Swann misses with a shy at the stumps that goes for four overthrows. England have, unsurprisingly, taken the extra half-hour.

5:54pm - England take the second new ball; can Anderson grab the final breakthrough?

5:38pm - WICKET! Siddle b Anderson 18; Aus 192/9 - Jimmy gets the breakthrough! Just as frustration was beginning to mount, the Lancastrian finds some late reverse swing to castle Siddle.

5:22pm - MISSED CHANCE! - James Pattinson hits a rare boundary, crunching Swann through point. He then survives a couple of overs later, James Anderson parrying an edge at gully.

5:14pm - REVIEW! - England do review this time as Broad again hits Siddle, who is shouldering arms. However, the ball is only just clipping off stump and he remains!

5:09pm - A loud appeal comes from Broad after he raps Siddle on the pad. Umpire Erasmus shakes his head and England rightly opt against a review with the ball missing leg.

5:02pm - Broad and Swann continue to plug away, yet Australia are refusing to give up the fight.

4:47pm - MISSED CHANCE! - Well, Joe Root had to do something wrong at one stage! Stuart Broad locates Siddle's edge but the Yorkshireman shells a simple chance at third slip.

4:41pm - WICKET! Haddin lbw Swann 7; Aus 162/8 - What a misjudgement from Haddin. Graeme Swann, bowling round the wicket as he chases a match 10-fer, returns to the attack and grabs a breakthrough when the batsman pads up and falls lbw. The off-spinner now needs the final two wickets for 10.

6:38pm - There is not too much happening for the moment, with England plugging away. Bresnan has come the closest to grabbing an eighth wicket, Siddle fending a lifting delivery just short of cover.

6:27pm - England are keeping things tight here amid Brad Haddin and Peter Siddle battling on.

4:12pm - WICKET! Agar c Prior b Bresnan 16; Aus 154/7 - After striking two further boundaries earlier in the over, Agar is caught behind off Bresnan. Umpire Marais Erasmus originally delivered a not-out verdict, but England successfully reviewed the decision.

4:06pm - Ashton Agar gets off to a good start after the break, edging and cutting fours off Tim Bresnan.

3:58pm - Here we go then. Can England wrap up the Australia tail quickly and move 2-0 ahead in the Investec Ashes series?

Afternoon Session

Highlights of the afternoon session when half-centurions Usman Khawaja and Michael Clarke rallied before falling to Joe Root

3:38pm - WICKET & TEA! Smith c Prior b Bresnan 1; Aus 136/6 - England appeal for caught behind via an inside edge from Bresnan’s slower ball and umpire Marais Erasmus raises his finger. Smith immediately reviews and a combination of HotSpot, which shows a faint nick, and the audio replays do for the batsman. England are surely on course to win today?

3:31pm - WICKET! Khawaja c Anderson b Root 54; Aus 135/5 - After England unsuccessfully reviewed for a slip catch from the first ball of the over, Root strikes with the last of a wicket-maiden when the left-hander gets a thick edge to gully. Steven Smith and Brad Haddin are the two new batsmen at the crease.

3:18pm - WICKET! Clarke c Cook b Root 51 - Centurion Root’s game gets better when Clarke tickles his delivery on leg stump to Alastair Cook at leg-slip. That is an important breakthrough given the partnership was worth 98.

3:15pm - FIFTY! Clarke (80b 7x4 0x6) - It’s a double bowling change with Bresnan coming into the attack. Clarke cuts him for four to reach his 27th Test half-century to go with 23 hundreds.

3:11pm - Joe Root, who has replaced Swann, beats Khawaja’s outside edge with the ball going to slip. England think about reviewing but opt not to, rightly so as the ball comfortably passed the bat.

3:03pm - FIFTY! Khawaja (113b 6x4 0x6) - Two more through midwicket heralds Khawaja’s second Test half-century.

2:56pm - Clarke’s ability to use his feet against spin yields a boundary when he drives wide of mid-off. Both he and Khawaja have moved into the forties. In the next over, bowled by Anderson, the latter again picks up four through midwicket, this time via a clip off his pads.

2:43pm - Anderson, who is trying to find reverse swing, and Swann keep it tight midway through the session.

2:28pm - James Anderson replaces Broad, and Clarke edges with some control for four past second slip. In Anderson’s next over Clarke imperiously cuts to the boundary, moving his side into three figures.

2:17pm - Clarke uses his feet against Swann and lifts a four over mid-on. Despite a successful run-chase being virtually inconceivable, Clarke and Khawaja are showing positive intent.

2:12pm - Broad peppers Clarke with several short balls, one of which hits him flush on the helmet. Later in the over Clarke pulls for one to herald a fifty partnership, Australia’s first of the game.

2:06pm - Khwaja pulls Broad for four more, meaning Australia need less than 500 to win, before Swann delivers a threatening over.

1:55pm - Khawaja impressively pulls Broad to the midwicket rope. Later in the over Clarke survives an lbw appeal when shouldering arms, the ball set to go over the stumps.

1:50pm - Clarke is in pain now, having been struck in the ribs by a short Broad delivery during a maiden.

1:45pm - Khawaja takes Graeme Swann for a single to extra-cover and accidentally bashes the bowler in the back as he makes his ground. Swann goes to ground in pain but quickly recovers, although Michael Clarke hits the next ball aerially past mid-off for four.

1:40pm - Stuart Broad starts the afternoon bowling from the Pavilion End and Usman Khawaja edges the first ball low past third slip for four, taking Australia beyond 50. It cannot be considered a chance though. Later in the over Khawaja pulls for four more.

Morning Session

Highlights of the morning session when England declared, setting Australia 583 to win, and took three early wickets

1pm - LUNCH - Aus 48/3; Khawaja 8, Clarke 11 - Clarke takes two twos for the first runs off Bresnan before Swann bowls a tight last over of the session, which has been dominated by England. Australia need the small mater of 535 more to win.

12:49pm - Khawaja is the recipient of Bresnan’s fourth straight maiden. Unperturbed by his reprieve in Swann’s previous over, Clarke comes down the pitch again and hits a full-toss past mid-off for four.

12:45pm - MISSED CHANCE! - Australia captain Michael Clarke, on two, advances to Swann, who beats the outside edge but wicketkeeper Matt Prior fails to take the ball and a stumping opportunity goes begging. In the previous over Bresnan made it three maidens from three.

12:36pm - WICKET! Hughes lbw Swann 1; Aus 36/3 - After another Bresnan maiden, this time to Hughes, the number four is given lbw to Swann, bowling from round the wicket, and reviews. Replays show the ball going on to leg stump and the hapless Hughes is on his way.

12:27pm - The sun has broken through the clouds and is lighting up Lord’s as Bresnan, who has taken over from Anderson, starts with a runless over to Khawaja.

12:20pm - Following an Anderson maiden to Khawaja, Swann turns one viciously at left-handed Phil Hughes. The ball comfortably beats the bat and goes for two byes. Later in the over Hughes continues to look all at sea.

12:12pm - WICKET! Rogers b Swann 6; Aus 32/2 - Graeme Swann replaces Broad at the Nursery end. Left-handed Rogers, having seen one turn sharply away from him, leaves an arm ball that goes on to hit off stump during a wicket-maiden.

12:06pm - New batsman Usman Khawaja gets his first four by clipping Anderson through square-leg. A single in the same direction later in the over takes Khawaja’s score ahead of opener Chris Rogers’.

11:57am - WICKET! Watson lbw Anderson 20; Aus 24/1 - Immediately after driving through point for four, Watson is struck plumb in front. Having made misjudgements with reviews earlier in the series, he opts not to review. HotSpot showed a mark on the inside edge, but it could have been bat brushing pad.

11:47am - Watson, who was denied a four in the previous over by sharp fielding from Tim Bresnan at mid-off, punishes Anderson for erring onto leg stump by guiding the seamer to the fine-leg boundary.

11:33am - Watson gets under a drive against Stuart Broad and the ball loops to safety over extra-cover.

11:30am - James Anderson works Shane Waston over. The right-hander edges for four just past the diving gully fielder to third man.

England Innings

11:15am - WICKET AND ENGLAND DECLARE ON 349/7! - Root c Smith b Harris 180. Root tries to scoop Harris over fine-leg but picks out third man Steven Smith, who takes a good catch, prompting Alastair Cook to declare. Like yesterday evening, Root is warmly applauded as he walks off. Australia require a notional 583 to win but realistically need to bat to save the game.

11:13am - MISSED CHANCE! - Matt Prior, on one, chips the ball straight back to Agar, who cannot quite get his hands to it and is struck in the chest.

11:08am - WICKET! Bairstow c Haddin b Harris 20; Eng 344/6 - Bairstow forces off the back foot and gets a thickish edge through to wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, having added 62 with Joe Root.

11:05am - Spinner Ashton Agar shares bowling duties and Jonny Bairstow shows England’s intent by lifting him down the ground for a straight six.

11:02am - Ryan Harris starts the day with a tidy over from the Pavilion End, Australia still declining to take the second new ball.

Pre-Play News

10:57am - The players and umpires are on their way to the middle. The action is moments away!

England batting coach and former England opening batsman speaks about Joe Root as an opener

10:52am - With no news having come yet, it appears England will bat on. That means all eyes will once gain be on Root, who would love to double up.

10:39am - The question of whether England will bat on or declare remains. Root is not too far from 200, which could come into the thinking.

10:29am - After several England players had a net this morning, the whole team are going through fielding drills on the outfield. Australia have done their warm-up and are back in the pavilion.

10:23am - Morning and welcome to ecb.co.uk’s live blog coverage from Lord’s of the second Investec Ashes Test. England lead Australia by the enormous margin of 566 runs with five wickets left, including that of Joe Root who has 178 to his name. The question is whether Alastair Cook will declare before the start of play today. Extremely muggy conditions may encourage him to do so.

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