10 Jul 2015

England hold upper hand in Ashes test

11:27 am on 10 July 2015

England have the upper hand at stumps on day two of the first Ashes cricket Test in Cardiff, with Australia 264 for five, still 166 runs behind England's first innings of 430.

At stumps, Shane Watson (29) and Nathan Lyon (6) were unbeaten at the crease.

Chris Rogers top-scored for Australia with 95, but failed to turn a half-century into a hundred for the seventh test innings in a row.

All of Australia's batsmen got starts but apart from Rogers failed to go on.

Chris Rogers

Chris Rogers Photo: Photosport

David Warner made 17, Steve Smith 33, captain Michael Clarke 38 and Adam Voges 31.

Bowling for England, Mark Wood and Moen Ali took two wickets each while Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad have one apiece.

Moeen Ali, batting at number eight, helped England's tail wag with an aggressive 77, before he took two important wickets with his off-spin to put the tourists in a tricky situation at Sophia Gardens on Friday morning.

Australia came out to bat on a flat deck with big runs on offer, but every batsmen failed to build on promising starts as Ali picked up figures of two for 67.

Michael Clarke looked set for a decent score with a series of flashy, wristy cover drives, but he was out too soon when he smashed a ball straight back at Moeen Ali for a return catch.

Anderson returned to the attack and immediately built pressure on the Australian batsmen with a sequence of four consecutive maidens, but a tiring Ali looked to have wasted them when he conceded 22 runs in two overs.

Shane Watson in particular attacked Ali, plundering a handful of lofted boundaries against the off-spinner as he and Adam Voges compiled an aggressive partnership.

Voges was forced to be more circumspect at times with Anderson enjoying a good spell, but he and Watson combined for 51 runs in 15 overs and had looked to have set up Australia for a day three assault on England's total.

But just like England's Jos Buttler on day one, Voges fell at the most inopportune time for his side, driving Ben Stokes (one for 35) straight to Anderson at cover to be dismissed for 31.

Moeen Ali proved a canny placement at number eight for England as he resumed from his overnight score to move to a quickfire 77 as the host's score ballooned to 430.

Resuming day two on 343 for seven, England put on another 87 runs for their last three wickets as Ali clobbered nine additional boundaries in the morning.

Broad threw his bat around for a quick 18, but controversy erupted when, on 11, Broad popped the ball up from a Mitchell Johnson bouncer for Voges to take a diving catch at short leg.

The umpires were happy to take Voges on his word that it was a clean catch, but then checked with third umpire Chris Gaffaney, who said there was "evidence the ball is touching the ground".

Broad had wanted to stand his ground before being given out, then came back to the middle, in scenes reminiscent of his 2013 Ashes drama when he refused to walk after edging Ashton Agar behind, but was given not out.

Australia was booed by the majority of the Sophia Gardens crowd, but Broad eventually was caught behind off Lyon's bowling (two for 69), bottom edging an attempted slog sweep through to the keeper.

But Ali and Wood would add another 24 frustrating runs to the total before Ali was caught by Watson off Mitchell Starc's bowling.

Starc would claim figures of five for 114 when he cleaned up James Anderson's middle stump as the tail-ender charged down the wicket attempting the big hit.