Saturday 20 January 2018

Aussies can pull off record chase - Lyon

Nathon Lyon: 'Records are there to be broken. We bat right down to 11 so there’s no reason why we can’t get this'
Nathon Lyon: 'Records are there to be broken. We bat right down to 11 so there’s no reason why we can’t get this'

Ian Herbert

Nathan Lyon last night backed Australia to pull off a record Ashes run chase to win the first Test in Cardiff, declaring: "Records are there to be broken. We bat right down to 11 so there's no reason why we can't get this."

The off-spinner, who claimed four English wickets yesterday, insisted: "We're definitely still in it. If we bat two days the result will go our way. There's no reason why we can't dig deep.

"We've got to learn from our first innings with the bat - be more patient. There were too many 30s in the first innings, so we need to try and push on a bit more and a couple of our top five to get big hundreds.

"We learnt from bowling in the first innings. To take 10 wickets in just over two and a half sessions is a pretty good effort. Credit to our bowlers - we dug deep and held on to a few good catches."

Australia now have two days in which to accumulate the record 412 runs they would need to pull off a victory.

Ian Bell, who contributed a swift 60 to England's helter-skelter second-innings total of 289, said: "It's been a great day for us. The bowlers set the tempo this morning. The lengths we hit were brilliant and we were aggressive. Everything in the field has been positive.

"It was all about being positive with the bat. But there are no gimmes and we are going to have to work hard to win."

Of his own innings Bell added: "It's been a while so it's nice to get a few. I've had to work very hard but today it felt just how I wanted it to be."

Australian coach Darren Lehmann has raised doubts about the preparation of a pitch which, with its lack of pace, has served England's bowlers far better than their opponents, who have found their pace negated by the lack of bounce.

"The only disappointing thing is that I think that's one of the parts of the game that is exciting, fast bowlers running in, being able to bowl a bouncer," Lehmann said.

"But at the end of the day, you get what you get, you've just got to deal with it.

"We know they are a good side in these conditions. Obviously, they've tried to negate the pace with the way the wicket has been prepared but that is part and parcel of what you get here. We'll get that most times, that's the way it was in 2013. It's going to be a lot of grind for all bowlers on both sides."

England v Australia, Live, Sky Sports 2, 11.0

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