England’s bowlers suffered a gruelling first day of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s as Australia fought back from their heavy defeat at Cardiff with an imperious batting display.
Chris Rogers and Steve Smith both scored hundreds as the hosts reached 337-1 by the close.
Their partnership of 259 broke an 85-year record for Australia’s second-wicket at Lord’s, as Rogers made 158 not out for his highest Test score and Smith an unbeaten 129 after David Warner had squandered a promising 38 with a reckless shot.
On a day of few chances – Ian Bell dropped a low Smith edge at second slip – England’s bowlers rarely lost their discipline but struggled to pose any consistent threat on a slow pitch offering almost no movement off the surface.
With the tourists now in a position from which to dictate the match, Alastair Cook’s men face a major challenge to keep their series lead intact.
An Australia victory would tie the series and put Michael Clarke’s side back on track to retain the Ashes.
Australia, who selected Mitchell Marsh and Peter Nevill in place of Shane Watson and Brad Haddin, have not won an Ashes series in England since 2001.
Australia: 337/1 at close (C. Rogers 158 n.o. S. Smith 129 n.o.)