Three late wickets from Steve Smith helped spur Australia to an excellent first day, as England find themselves opening day two at 289-7. The story of the first test was Australian off spinner Ashton Agar, who made an impressive debut in Nottingham, but Thursday was all about Smith, the leg spinner whose late run gave the visitors hope to level the five test series.
Day one at Lords began with the pomp and circumstance deserving of cricket's greatest series as the English and Australian test sides met with Queen Elizabeth shortly after the coin toss. English captain Alastair Cook looked to take advantage of the dry Lords pitch, electing to bat first in hopes of mounting a large score to start the test. England started batting sloppily, and whether it was caused by delays from the Queen's visit, or underestimating the Australian attack, England were reeling as they gave up three early wickets, earning just 28 runs -- unable to handle Ryan Harris' pace bowling.
The home crowd was stunned, but England weren't to be shaken as they settled into their innings -- rallying to 267-4 late in the day. Cook's decision to bat first appeared to be a sage one, as the Australians were unable to make the breakthrough they were looking for, while Ian Bell notched his third-straight Ashes century.
With less than 15 overs remaining, Australian captain Michael Clake shook up his bowling. Rather than electing to take the new ball, he gambled, handing it to oft-underused 24-year-old leg spinner Steve Smith. Getting excellent movement off the pitch, Smith took three wickets in less than 10 overs, to put England at 289-7 at stumps.
Australia will start tomorrow to clean up the back-end of the order, before hoping to put forth their best innings of the series to take the lead. The saving grace for England will be the pitch, as they'll lean on spinner Graeme Swann to use the pitch to his advantage, just as Smith did today.
Typically today's cricket would put Australia in the driver's seat, but this year's Ashes has been some of the least-predictable cricket in recent memory. Clarke will need to settle his team, and hope to avoid the collapse they had at Trent Bridge.
Coverage begins at 5:30 a.m. ET, 10:30 a.m. local time.
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BBC 5 are broadcasting live from Lords, and can be listened to via the BBC Radio iPlayer.