Marsh breaks England as hosts look forlorn
Mitchell Marsh was Australia’s unlikely bowling hero as he saw off danger men Ben Stokes and Alastair Cook to maintain his country’s grip on the second Ashes Test at Lord’s on Saturday.
It had seemed England, who had collapsed to 30 for four on Friday, might get through the third morning without losing a wicket but Marsh, who was called up after fellow medium-pace all-rounder Shane Watson was dropped after Australia’s defeat in the first Test in Cardiff, succeeded where the frontline bowlers had failed by bowling Stokes off the inside edge for 87.
At lunch, England were 181 for five in reply to Australia’s 566 for eight declared, a deficit of 385 runs and still needing a further 186 to make the Ashes-holders bat again.
Cook and Stokes checked Australia’s progress with a fifth-wicket stand of 145 after coming together following a top-order collapse in the face of hostile fast bowling led by Mitchell Johnson.
Cook fell just four runs shy of a century to the in-form Marsh with England managing 266 runs on the board. Jos Buttler added another 13 to the score line before falling to Lyon. Stuart Broad (5) and Moeen Ali (38) are presently holding the English attack together as the teams retired to the pavilion for the tea break with England at 285 runs with the loss of 7 wickets, still trailing by 281 runs.