Bairstow and Burns make fifties but England struggle for runs at Lord’s
Australia hold the advantage.
England were bowled out for 258 as Australia drew first blood in the second Ashes Test at Lord’s.
After Wednesday’s washout the game belatedly got under way at the home of cricket, with visiting captain Tim Paine bravely opting to bowl first in conditions that appeared to favour batsmen.
It proved a sound decision, though, with his disciplined attack wrapping up the innings just before 6pm after three-wicket hauls for Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon and the hostile Pat Cummins.
Rory Burns (53) and Jonny Bairstow (52) spared England an even worse fate with battling knocks but there was a lack of debilitating lack of runs from the rest of the top seven.
The day’s play took place in support of the Ruth Strauss Foundation, with both sides donning limited-edition caps and shirts to raise funds in honour of former England captain Andrew Strauss’ late wife and the majority of the sold-out ground dressed in red.
Strauss and his two sons rang the five-minute bell and led the teams out to the field to a great ovation, but it was back to business as soon as Hazlewood got started.
After Burns blocked out a maiden to start it was Hazlewood versus Jason Roy – a brief, one-sided contest. Roy slashed at his first delivery, played and missed at his second, then nicked one might have left alone entirely.
Having landed the first blow Hazlewood followed up with three successive maidens before taking out key man Joe Root. Bowling full and challenging the stumps he seamed one back in, thumped Root on the knee roll and trapped him in front of leg for 14.
Resetting the innings was not a simple task for Burns, dropped on 16 when Usman Kahwaja misjudged at gully, or for Joe Denly, who was clattered on the side of the helmet by a wicked Hazlewood bouncer. But between them the pair dug deep, blunted the bowlers and chiselled out 50 runs before lunch.
At 76 for two England would have been relatively content with their morning’s work, but things veered badly off course in the second session.
Denly sustained a second nasty blow, this time to the forearm, before becoming Hazlewood’s third victim of the day – another teaser nicked outside off – and Peter Siddle had Burns dropped for a second time by Paine on 47.
The left-hander used his reprieve to reach a steely half-century, backing up his maiden ton at Edgbaston with another diligent knock. But hopes of anything more significant were dashed by Cameron Bancroft’s superb one-handed take at short-leg, the outstanding culmination to a series of well-aimed bouncers from Cummins.
His exit brought together Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes, batting together at Lord’s for the first time since their decisive partnership in the World Cup final. There would be no heroics from either man this time, Buttler feeling indecisively at Siddle to feed Paine the simplest of catches before Stokes fell lbw sweeping Lyon.
At 138 for six, England were in trouble but found a willing pairing in Bairstow and Chris Woakes, who put on a stoic 72.
Bairstow drove hard and straight to get going, building enough confidence to reverse sweep Lyon for four as Woakes batted with the kind of care and attention the specialists should take note of.
Australia had a rethink after tea and came back out with a merciless plan to bomb England with short stuff. Like Denly before him Woakes took a hefty blow to the helmet after ducking into a Cummins bumper, requiring a lengthy concussion assessment in the middle.
He was cleared to continue but was lasted only a few more moments, another rib-tickling delivery brushing the glove on its way through. The barrage continued to debutant Jofra Archer, who pleased the crowd with a flamboyant cut for four before edging another short one to gully.
Lyon finished things up, bowling Stuart Broad with a beauty before Bairstow’s holed out looking for quick runs.