England lose three late wickets as Australia hit back

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Football News

Ian Bell scored his third consecutive England century on day one of the second Ashes Test at Lord's, but Australia hit back with three late wickets to leave the hosts on 289-7.

Leg-spinner Steve Smith swung the momentum right back in Australia's favour, removing Bell, Jonny Bairstow and Matt Prior for just 18 runs.

After not bowling in Australia's 14-run defeat at Trent Bridge last week, Smith was determined to prove a point when he got his hands on the ball in the 77th over on Thursday. And, he did just that.

England actually lost three wickets in the opening half-hour, after Alastair Cook won the morning toss and chose to bat. The captain was removed for just 12 runs after going out lbw to a Shane Watson delivery, which proved to be the first of three casualties in only 10 Australian balls.

Ryan Harris captured Joe Root (6) for another lbw - after review - and wasted little time in taking Kevin Pietersen (2), whose thin edge was caught by Australian wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, to leave England at 28-3.

England were hauled out of trouble by Bell's superb 109, though, as well as significant half-centuries from Jonathan Trott (58) and Bairstow (67). 

Trott was the only wicket in the afternoon session, as he was caught behind by Australia's Usman Khawaja, off Harris, whose bowling figures stood at an impressive 3-43. 

Bairstow might have joined him on 21 just before tea, but for a fortunate slice of luck, which saw Peter Siddle's middle stump wicket ruled out for a no ball.

The Yorkshire batsman went on to score a further 46, recording a fifth-wicket partnership of 144 with Bell, before Smith arrived in the evening session to salvage Australia's day.

He found Bell's inside edge in his first over, and then caught-and-bowled Bairstow soon after from a full toss.

Australia captain Michael Clarke kept faith in Smith with the old ball, and it wasn't long before he dismissed Prior, whose edge behind was caught by Haddin. 

Then, out came James Anderson to see out the day at the crease with Tim Bresnan. And, although they prevented any further England wickets from falling, it's very much advantage Australia.


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