After getting beat in almost every facet of the game at Cardiff, the touring Australian brigade produced a flamboyant performance to bamboozle England in the 2nd Test and level the five-match Ashes series 1-1.
Australian batsmen who were heavily criticised for their dismal performance at Cardiff, came out all guns blazing at Lord's. Steven Smith, who notched up his maiden Test hundred, scored 273 runs and was deservedly adjudged the Man of the Match in the 2nd Test. Apart from Smith, Chris Rogers also amassed 222 runs including the gritty knock of 173 in the first innings.
If the Australian batsmen impressed with a fine showing, their rejuvenated bowlers ensured that they didn't miss out on collecting the English scalps. The bowling trio Mitchell Johnson (6/80), Mitchell Starc (2/102) and Josh Hazlewood (5/88) tore in at Lord's to dismiss the hosts for 312 and 103.
Following an emphatic 405-run win at Lord's, Australia will be high on confidence going into the third Test against England at Edgbaston starting 29 July.
Australia's batting performance:
Over the five days, Australia delivered a masterclass with the bat and ball, declaring at 566-8 in their first innings and 254/2 in their second; whilst bowling England out for 312 and 101. This totaled 820-10 over the five days flattening the English with a 405-run defeat and leveling the series at 1-1.
Rogers and Smith were on hand for the Australians scoring 173 and 215 respectively, both exploiting the slow pitch with some exquisite batting strokes at times. For much of the match the Australian defence appeared formidable until Broad took out Rodger's middle stump.
Still the Australians were 284-2 with more to come from the ever-impressive Steven Smith and a solid 45 runs from Peter Nevill on his debut. Again the second innings appeared to be business as usual for the Australians as they accumulated a quick 254 at just over 5 runs an over. There was a brief scare when Rogers had to be led away from the field retiring on an agonizing 49. But Australia were able to keep up the momentum leaving England with a daunting 509 runs to win.
England's bowling performance:
With a poor performance with the ball and bat, Alastair Cook in his post match interview questioned the team selection saying "It's certainly something we'll have to look at over the next couple of days". Plain and simple the English bowlers failed to breakdown the Australian batsmen in both Tests. The first innings saw a wicket taken for nearly every hundred runs at the fall of Clarke's wicket on 383/3.
Credit to Stuart Broad who finished with a noble 4/83, compared to his teammates who were swatted like flies on Day 2 and 3 by the Aussies. England coach Trevor Bayliss lamented the consistency of the bowlers' line and length 'which allowed the Australians to get on top'. Again England were unable to dismantle the Australian batsmen in the second Test with Moeen Ali being pick of the bunch with 2/78.
Apart from being inconsistent in picking up wickets, the English bowlers were also a tad bit expensive with their strike-bowlers James Anderson and Stuart Broad finishing with an economy-rate of 5.4 and 5.2 respectively.The English were thoroughly outclassed in all respects of the game at Lords.
A lackluster bowling performance by England was thoroughly exploited by Steven Smith & co. on the flat wicket, while the aggression in the Australian bowling attack proved a bit too much for the English batsmen to handle. As Australian captain Michael Clarke revealed that he couldn't have asked for a better performance from his team who dominated from the first ball at Lord's.