After Joe Root's splendid hundred helped England take the honours on Day 1 of the 1st Test; the hosts began the second day at the Sophia Grounds in Cardiff with Moeen Ali and Stuart Broad at the crease.
The Australian bowlers failed to trouble the English duo as they continued to frustrate their opponents while scoring at a brisk pace. Ali notched up his half-century while adding 52 runs alongside Broad, for the eighth wicket.
Nathan Lyon finally broke their partnership in 98th over after dismissing Broad after 18 runs. Ali continued to score crucial runs from the other end but Mitchell Starc came back into the attack to end his innings. Ali was caught by Shane Watson in the slips after playing a handy knock of 77 runs.
Starc struck again to send James Anderson back to the box as England succumbed to 430 runs on board. Starc was the pick of the Australian bowlers with his five-wicket haul in his 24.1 overs. Josh Hazlewood (3) and Nathan Lyon (2) also added to the wickets tally for Australia.
In reply, Australia got off to a good start with Chris Rodgers and David Warner bringing up the fifty-run stand. England needed wickets and Anderson provided the breakthrough after dismissing Warner for 17 runs.
Despite Warner's dismissal, Rodgers continued his fine knock and notched up his seventh consecutive half-century in Tests. Steven Smith (33) also got off to a decent start but failed to convert it in a big score after falling to Ali in the 33rd over.
With Rodgers (74) and Michael Clarke (11) at crease, Australia was cruising at 145/2 in 36 overs at the Tea break on Day 2.
Fall of wickets on Day 2
97.1 overs: Nathan Lyon got Stuart broad (18) caught out by the wicket-keeper. Broad was looking to play the slog-sweep, but got a bottom edge that went straight into the hands of Brad Haddin who caught it comfortably.
100.2 overs: Mitchell Starc got Moeen Ali (77) out, caught in the slip cordon. Ali was lured into the drive by the pitched up delivery and got an outside edge that went towards Shane Watson who caught it with both hands.
102.1 overs: Mitchell Starc bowled James Anderson (1) on a steaming yorker. Anderson charged down the track looking to play the big shot but missed it, as the ball rattled the stumps.
14.3 overs: James Anderson got David Warner (17) out, caught in the slip cordon. Warner was looking to drive while playing on the up, but got an outside edge that flew straight down the throat of Alastair Cook who grabbed it easily.
32.6 overs: Moeen Ali got Steven Smith out, caught at silly mid-on. Smith looking to go over the top but after realising the danger of being stumped, jabbed at the ball which popped into hands of Alastair Cook who grabbed it in a diving effort.
Day 1 review
England won the toss and decided to bat first in the overcast conditions. However, the hosts got off to a bad start losing three wickets for a mere 43 runs in the first session of match. Reeling at 43/3, the hosts desperately needed a partnership and middle-order batsmen Joe Root (134) partnered with Gary Ballance (61) turned the tide for England. The duo added 153 runs for the fourth wicket, also the highest partnership for England in the first innings. Ballance was dismissed by Josh Hazlewood right after tea, while Root's sublime innings was cut short by Mitchell Starc. But, Moeen Ali (77) and Ben Stokes (52) ensured England finished off Day 1 at a respectable score of 343/7 in 88 overs.
For Australia, Josh Hazlewood was the pick of the bowlers with his tally of three wickets in his 22 overs. His fellow seamer Mitchell Starc also took three wickets, including the big wicket of Joe Root, in his spell of 19 overs. Off-spinner Nathan Lyon took one wicket in his 17 overs on Day 1.