Late brain explosions sour Aussies’ dominant day as Smith, Head, Warner lord it at Lord’s
Australia have ended the first day’s play at Lord’s in a commanding position at 5/339, but a disastrous final half an hour has given England some precious respite as well as a foothold in a match that already seemed to be slipping away.
In command at 3/316 with stumps in sight on a rain-interrupted day at the famous ground, with Steve Smith looking serene on 74 and Travis Head having raced to 77 off just 72 balls, the Aussies looked destined for a day almost the equal to their famous 1/337 on Day 1 at the same venue in 2015 – made even more significant by having lost the toss and being sent in by Ben Stokes under cloudy London skies.
Scoring freely at more than four runs per over – the Australian scoring rate dubbed ‘Ozball’ by former Test captain Mark Taylor on Nine – it was by taking the bowlers on that the tourists had established a notable platform, a far cry from the more sedate showing at Edgbaston, but also how they ceded some portion of control to England in the dying stages.
In the space of three balls, a dominant day would be soured when Head and Cameron Green fell within four Joe Root balls to hideous shots: Head comprehensi