Ashes 2015: Australia thrash England at Lord's to level series

By Sam SheringhamBBC Sport at Lord's
Joe Root is bowled
Root was the penultimate wicket to fall
Second Test, day four, Lord's
Australia 566-8 dec & 254-2 dec: Warner 83, Smith 58
England 312 & 103: Johnson 3-27, Hazlewood 2-20, Lyon 2-27
Australia won by 405 runs

England slumped to a catastrophic defeat by 405 runs at Lord's as Australia levelled the Ashes series at 1-1.

The hosts collapsed after lunch on the fourth day and were bundled out for 103 in just 37 overs, with Mitchell Johnson taking 3-27.

None of England's recognised batsmen made more than 17 runs as Stuart Broad top-scored with 25.

Australia had earlier reached 254-2 declared in their second innings, leaving England to bat 155 overs to save the game.

That they fell so woefully short raises serious questions about the calibre and make-up of a team that only a week ago stunned Australia by winning the first Test in Cardiff by 169 runs.

England's heaviest defeats v Australia (runs)
562: The Oval, 1934 (701 & 327 v 312 & 145)
409: Lord's, 1948 (350 & 460-7 v 215 & 186)
405: Lord's, 2015 (566-8 & 254-2 v 312 & 103)
384: Brisbane, 2002 (492 & 296-5 v 325 & 79)
382: Adelaide, 1895 (238 & 411 v 124 & 143)

And after England's top order once again crumbled, the selectors will surely ponder changes before the series resumes at Edgbaston on 29 July.

For Australia, such a swift and categorical riposte to the defeat in south Wales will bolster their belief that they can pull off their first Ashes win in England since 2001.

Mother of all collapses

The relative calm with which Alastair Cook and Adam Lyth negotiated three overs before lunch offered no indication of the pandemonium that was to follow the interval.

Lyth, Cook and Gary Ballance were all caught behind, the captain to a particularly frivolous swing away from his body.

Ian Bell led a charmed life as he ground out 50 balls for 11 runs before poking forward at Nathan Lyon and popping a catch to short leg.

Daftest dismissal?

The real nadir arrived when the in-form Ben Stokes threw his wicket away in diabolical circumstances.

Ben Stokes is run out
Stokes was run out for nought after failing to ground any part of his equipment

Running through for a comfortable single, he had made up his ground by the time Johnson's throw shattered the stumps.

Crucially, however, Stokes neglected to slide his bat into the crease and was in mid-air when the ball hit, meaning he had to go.

More turmoil after tea

The tea interval ostensibly gave England a chance to gather their thoughts and steel themselves for a plucky fight to the close.

In theory, but not in practice.

In the space of five balls from Johnson, five wickets had become seven as Jos Buttler nicked behind before Moeen Ali flinched at a bouncer and looped a catch off the splice to short leg.

Broad briefly flung the bat to collect five boundaries but when he chipped Lyon to cover, England were 101-8.

Only two further runs were added before Josh Hazlewood bowled Joe Root and James Anderson in successive overs to send Australia into raptures.

Rogers concern

England's frenzied showing on a placid pitch contrasted with the serenity of Australia's performance in the morning session as they added 146 runs to set England a notional 509 to win.

David Warner made 83 and Steve Smith 58 after Chris Rogers had been forced to retire on 49.

Chris Rogers
Rogers left the field after feeling unwell when batting

The left-handed opener, 37, suffered a sudden dizzy spell and was escorted to the dressing room, where he rested for the remainder of the match.

Rogers missed two Tests in West Indies in June and was struck on the head by Anderson on the morning of the second day.

What they said

England captain Alastair Cook: "When you get bowled out for 100, it isn't good enough. Australia put us under pressure and we weren't able to deal with it.

"We came up short this week. We have to take this on the chin. Now it's about the character we need to show to bounce back."

Australia captain Michael Clarke: "I couldn't have asked for a better performance.

"We didn't play our best at Cardiff, but now we can look in the mirror and say we played some good cricket here."

Simon Hughes Twitter
Former Middlesex and Durham cricketer turned journalist Simon Hughes had his say

BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew: "Australia couldn't have dominated any more from the moment they won the toss."

Former England captain Michael Vaughan: "Brutal...The changes have worked for Australia...They have looked an energised, ruthless unit."

Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott: "Some of the batting was pretty poor and the attitude to saving the game was poor. We helped Australia blow us away.

"If it was a boxing match we would have got knocked out in the first round. We got knocked down and we stayed down. We never made a fight of it."

Ex-England batsman Ed Smith: "I can scarcely remember an innings where a wicket looked less likely to fall than Australia's innings. I can scarcely remember an innings where wickets looked more likely to fall than this England innings."

Former Australia seamer Glenn McGrath: "Mitchell Johnson looked lethal and England just capitulated. They'll take a lot of scars into the next game."

Actor, writer and presenter Stephen Fry: "The worst thing about England's batting today is that it allows teachery people to use words like "disgrace" and "shameful".


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