Ashes 2013: Australia face long, hard summer after cool Joe Root puts one hand on the Ashes

Hosts can secure the series in third Test at Old Trafford after they embarrass Australia with 347 run win

Lords

England defeated Australia by 347 runs yesterday to go 2-0 ahead in the Ashes series. The victory was as complete and clinical as the scoreline makes it sound, as overwhelming as the first in the series was narrow.

It came in the last over of the fourth day, just when it seemed that Australia’s tail, one of the few elements of their play to lend them respectability in the series so far, would take them into the last day.  But England deserved to secure their triumph on sun-kissed evening in front of full house rapt with anticipation and delight.

For the tourists it was a devastating blow to any chance they had of regaining the Ashes. That is still theoretically possible with three matches still to play but it is a purely academic supposition. To become reality it would need something from the realms of fantasy, say Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne to be rejuvenated and Don Bradman to be reincarnated.

Australia are being urged to try less dramatic surgery such as the recall of the veteran batsman, Simon Katich, who is playing superbly for Lancashire, and summoning the recently nationalised Pakistan-born leg-spinner Fawad Ahmed, who is on tour in Zimbabwe with Australia A.

But the evidence of what has taken place at Lord’s in the last four days suggests that these would be plasters on gaping wounds. This was England’s fourth win in four Test matches at home this summer, following the brace against New Zealand.

Perhaps as pertinently it was Australia’s sixth successive defeat following their 4-0 loss to India. The last time they suffered such a sequence was in 1984 when Kim Hughes ended his brief tenure as captaincy in tears.

Michael Clarke, their captain on this tour, will neither be crying nor going anywhere soon but the strains of office will be starting to tell. After failing so narrowly to overhaul England in Nottingham it seems that Australia expended their best efforts. Their performance at Lord’s, a ground on which they had not lost a Test for 75 years until 2009, was miserable, undermined by an exhibition of batting in their first innings that was a light year away from the method and control that is needed in a Test match.

When England begin to bring their A game to this series, Australia will be in real trouble. They have done quite enough to be the superior team but they made mistakes again yesterday as they did in the opening match, not least by missing three chances in the field.

But that is perhaps to quibble. England, who not long ago were treated with utter disdain by Australia, are clear favourites to win the Ashes four times in succession with another series to follow this in Australia this winter.

They kept their nerve in Nottingham and when the opportunity arose at Lord’s they recognised their opponents’ fallibility. It was a triumph of preparation and taking advantage of the conditions they requested.

Australia have shortcomings in almost every area except their tailend batting which was again obdurate as they slid abjectly to defeat yesterday. Their spin bowling has not truly been up to it with Ashton Agar failing to take a wicket in either innings on a turning pitch.

Nor has their fast bowling been quite as potent as expected with James Pattinson, especially, not living up to the expectations bestowed on him before the series started. But all criticism eventually arrives back at the place it started: their top order batting.

There was never the remotest opportunity that Australia would make the 583 runs they needed after England declared their second innings at 349 for 7 15 minutes into the fourth day. They batted on to allow Joe Root, an obvious candidate for man of the match, to reach his double hundred.

It was rather more than a sentimental gesture by Alastair Cook, England’s captain. The milestone would not only have established Root – that was already done – but the effect on Australia would have been more sapping than it already was.

In the event, Root perished for 180, playing a reverse ramp shot which might be more at home in the Twenty20 arena but will be increasingly seen as part of Test matches. Australia needed 583 to win and their innings never gained any impetus.

By lunch they had already lost three wickets. Shane Watson was routinely leg-before, set up beautifully by Jimmy Anderson for a ball moving down the slope. Chris Rogers and Phil Hughes were both bowled by Graeme Swann with balls they expected to turn but did not.

Had Matt Prior stumped Clarke when he went down the wicket and was beaten by the flight Australia’s position would have been more parlous. As it was, Clarke and Usman Khawaja kept England at bay in the afternoon.

They both played neatly, using their feet and their bats adroitly. But  it could not last. It did not last. They were both dismissed by Root. And why not. He may be no more than a part-time off spinner but he is the sort of player who instinctively knows what is required in big games.

He had Clarke caught at leg slip from one which turned across him and Khawaja  smartly held at second slip by Anderson. It was only a matter of time after that and if there was far too much of it left in the match for Australia to fill, they did at least try to use it up.

Swann was turning the ball hugely out of the rough, Anderson was always a handful, Tim Bresnan showed why he was selected for the match. England again had the better of the decision review system with both Steve Smith, whose review failed, and Ashton Agar, who was originally given not out, departing after replays. Bad luck perhaps but England had made their own luck.

The last two wickets were resilient and added 73 runs. Anderson managed to spear one past Peter Siddle and then at the last gasp with the crowd becoming restless Swann won an lbw verdict against James Pattinson. It was done and the Ashes are coming home sooner than anybody might have expected.

 



Ashes corner

Shot of the day

Joe Root demonstrated both innovation and selflessness in the reverse ramp shot he played, chasing his double hundred. Instead, he was caught, on 180, and England promptly declared.

Ball of the day

Root again. Australia were showing signs of resistance at last when Root found one which turned across Michael Clarke and was glanced to leg slip, a position to where Alastair Cook had only just moved.

Non-review of day

Shane Watson, out lbw 23 times from 76 Test dismissals, has unsuccessfully reviewed the decision seven times. When he was hit on the pads by Jimmy Anderson, he declined this time and trudged off.

Review of the day

Alastair Cook asked for another look at the not out verdict given against Ashton Agar for a catch behind. Agar was unhappy but technology left no doubt that, albeit faintly, his bat brushed against the ball.

Lord’s scoreboard

Lord’s (Third and fourth days): England beat Australia by 347 runs

England won toss

ENGLAND  First Innings  361 (Bell 109, Bairstow 67, Trott 58, Harris 5-72)

AUSTRALIA  First Innings  128 (Swann 5-44)

ENGLAND  Second Innings  Overnight 31-3

J E Root c Smith b Harris 180

338 balls 2 sixes 18 fours

T T Bresnan c Rogers b Pattinson 38

137 balls 0 sixes 4 fours

I R Bell c Rogers b Smith 74

103 balls 0 sixes 11 fours

J M Bairstow c Haddin b Harris 20

54 balls 1 sixe 2 fours

†M J Prior not out 1

8 balls 0 sixes 0 fours

Extras (b15 lb8) 23

Total (for 7 dec, 114.1 overs) 349

Fall: 1-22, 2-22, 3-30, 4-129, 5-282, 6-344, 7-349.

Did not bat: S C J Broad, G P Swann, J M Anderson.

Bowling Spells: RJ Harris: 18.1-4-31-2 (4-0-12-0; 1-1-0-0; 3-1-7-0; 2-0-2-0; 6-2-7-0; 2.1-0-3-2), SR Watson: 12-5-25-0 (4-2-9-0; 3-1-6-0; 2-0-7-0; 3-2-3-0), PM Siddle: 21-6-65-3 (5-3-4-3; 4-1-13-0; 3-0-11-0; 4-1-8-0; 3-1-15-0; 2-0-14-0), JL Pattinson: 20-8-42-1 (5-3-5-0; 4-2-6-0; 2-0-8-0; 7-3-5-1; 2-0-18-0), SPD Smith: 14-0-65-1(1-0-1-0; 2-0-9-0; 1-0-5-0; 2-0-13-0; 8-0-37-1), AC Agar: 29-5-98-0 (6-2-14-0; 2-1-1-0; 4-0-9-0; 4-0-13-0; 1-0-9-0; 12-2-52-0)

Day three Progress: 50 runs in 26.4 overs, JE Root 50 off 122 balls (6 fours), 100 runs in 45.5 overs, Lunch: 114-3 in 51 overs (JE Root 63, TT Bresnan 32), 150 runs in 72.5 overs, Tea: 171-4 in 78 overs (JE Root 97, IR Bell 16), JE Root 100 off 247 balls (12 fours), 200 runs in 85.5 overs, IR Bell 50 off 82 balls (7 fours), 250 runs in 92.1 overs, JE Root 150 off 311 balls (18 fours), 300 runs in 102. 4 overs.

AUSTRALIA  Second Innings

S R Watson lbw b Anderson 20

23 balls 0 sixes 3 fours

C J L Rogers b Swann 6

29 balls 0 sixes 0 fours

U T Khawaja c Anderson b Root 54

133 balls 0 sixes 7 fours

P J Hughes lbw b Swann 1

21 balls 0 sixes 0 fours

*M J Clarke c Cook b Root 51

85 balls 0 sixes 7 fours

S P D Smith c Prior b Bresnan 1

14 balls 0 sixes 0 fours

†B J Haddin lbw b Swann 7

32 balls 0 sixes 0 fours

A C Agar c Prior b Bresnan 16

13 balls 0 sixes 4 fours

P M Siddle b Anderson 18

62 balls 0 sixes 1 four

J L Pattinson lbw b Swann 35

91 balls 0 sixes 3 fours

R J Harris not out 16

40 balls 0 sixes 1 four

Extras (b4 lb5 w1) 10

Total (90.3 overs) 235

Fall: 1-24, 2-32, 3-36, 4-134, 5-135, 6-136, 7-154, 8-162, 9-192.

Bowling Spells: JM Anderson: 18-2-55-2 (6-1-23-1; 6-0-16-0; 6-1-16-1), SCJ Broad: 21-4-54-0 (4-0-9-0; 6-1-22-0; 6-2-6-0; 5-1-17-0), GP Swann: 30.3-5-78-4 (17-3-44-2; 12-1-34-1; 1.3-1-0-1), TT Bresnan: 14-8-30-2 (1w) (5-4-4-0; 7-2-26-2; 2-2-0-0), JE Root: 7-3-9-2 (one spell).

Day Four Progress: England: Innings Break: 349-7 in 114.1 overs (MJ Prior 1).  Australia: Lunch: 48-3 in 22 overs (UT Khawaja 8, MJ Clarke 11), 50 runs in 22.1 overs, 100 runs in 36.1 overs, UT Khawaja: 50 off 113 balls (6 fours), MJ Clarke: 50 off 80 balls (7 fours), Tea: 136-6 in 50.5 overs (BJ Haddin 0), 150 runs in 54.1 overs, 200 runs in 78.6 overs.

 Umpires: HDPK Dharmasena (Sri Lanka) and M Erasmus (South Africa).

TV umpire: AL Hill (New Zealand).

Match referee: RS Madugalle (Sri Lanka).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
fashionHealth concerns and 'pornified' perceptions have made women more conscious at the beach
Arts and Entertainment
tv
Sport
Ojo Onaolapo celebrates winning the bronze medal
commonwealth games
Arts and Entertainment
Rock band Led Zeppelin in the early 1970s
musicLed Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmHe was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
Sport
Van Gaal said that his challenge in taking over Bobby Robson's Barcelona team in 1993 has been easier than the task of resurrecting the current United side
footballA colourful discussion on tactics, the merits of the English footballer and rebuilding Manchester United
Life and Style
Sainsbury's could roll the lorries out across its whole fleet if they are successful
tech
Travel
The shipping news: a typical Snoozebox construction
travelSpending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Arts and Entertainment
'Old Fashioned' will be a different kind of love story to '50 Shades'
film
Arts and Entertainment
Tracey Emin's 'My Bed' is returning to the Tate more than 15 years after it first caused shockwaves at the gallery
artTracey Emin's bed returns to the Tate after record sale
Arts and Entertainment
Smart mover: Peter Bazalgette
filmHow live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences
Environment
Neil Young performing at Hyde Park, London, earlier this month
environment
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz