Sunday 25 February 2018

Cricket: Bell's century gets England out of pickle

Derek Pringle

Queen Elizabeth visited Lord's to meet both teams and stayed long enough to see England slump to 28 for three. She might have knighted Ian Bell after he scored his second century of the series had she stayed though.

If his hundred at Trent Bridge was made under more pressure, this was easier on the eye. It also got England out of a pickle, his 144-run partnership with Jonny Bairstow, and his 99-run one with Jonathan Trott before that, helping to nose their team in front until Steve Smith, dismissed them both as well as Matt Prior allowed Australia to shade the day. England, who finished on 289 for seven, will want to get around 350 today – a target they obviously feel within their reach after sending out a nightwatchman, James Anderson, to protect a No 9, Stuart Broad. It surprised everybody, not least the Aussie supporters who, assuming it was Broad, began to boo.

The thought of a nightwatchman looked far-fetched with England cruising in the evening before, as a last resort before the new ball, Smith was brought into the attack to bowl his wrist-spin and, after a few trademark loose balls, he forced Bell into an edge.

The move to bowl Smith then looked a masterstroke as he caught and bowled Jonny Bairstow for 67, the batsman miscuing a low full toss.

Australians, as well as bowlers everywhere, will consider it poetic justice that Bairstow did not go on to reach his maiden Test hundred.

Clean-bowled by Peter Siddle when on 21, he was reprieved when TV replays showed that the bowler had failed to ground some part of his heel behind the back edge of the front crease.

Smith then took his third wicket when he had Prior caught behind trying to force a back-foot shot through the covers as the visitors seized the advantage. (©Daily Telegraph, London)

England v Australia,

Live, Sky Sports 2, 10.0

Second Test Scoreboard

Lord's: England 289-7 v Australia

England First Innings

A Cook lbw b Watson 12

J Root lbw b Harris 6

J Trott c Khawaja b Harris 58

K Pietersen c Haddin b Harris 2

I Bell c Clarke b Smith 109

J Bairstow c & b Smith 67

M Prior c Haddin b Smith 6

T Bresnan not out 7

J Anderson not out 4

Extras 18

Total (7 wkts, 89 overs) 289

FoW: 1-18 2-26 3-28 4-127 5-271 6-274 7-283

To Bat: S Broad, G Swann.

Bowling: Pattinson 18 3 79 0; Harris 20 6 43 3; Watson 12 4 41 1; Siddle 20 6 53 0; Agar 13 2 44 0; Smith 6 1 18 3.

 

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