Cricket: England hit back with bat and ball to take edge over Australia

An aggressive last-wicket partnership of 48 and an early wicket boosted England in the first session of day two of the second Ashes test at Lord's.

Australia lost Shane Watson to the last ball before lunch early this morning NZ time, leaving them at 42-1 and 319 runs behind.

Watson stroked six fours but was then lbw for 30 to Tim Bresnan and wasted one of his team's two reviews in the process.

The Australians had vowed to improve their use of the review system after poor appeals cost them in the first test, but Watson's decision to go upstairs leaves his side with only one review for the rest of the innings.

His opening partner Chris Rogers, batting on the ground where he is captain of county team Middlesex, was on 12.

Earlier, England's last-wicket pair Stuart Broad (33) and Graeme Swann (28 not out) propelled its total to 361 in hot and sunny conditions, to begin a momentum-changing session after Australia shaded day one.

Australia fast bowler Ryan Harris claimed 5-72 to secure his name on the famous Lord's honours board, but his success after claiming his fourth wicket with the first ball of the day, was undermined by the punchy stand between Broad and Swann.

England resumed on 289-7 from overnight and immediately lost Bresnan for 7 to a catch behind from a short Harris ball.

Nightwatchman James Anderson was out to the same combination, although he contributed towards a helpful stand of 24 with Broad.

Then Swann, batting in the unusual position of No 11, joined Broad to stretch England's total in a partnership that spanned only 40 balls but was enough to deflate the tourists' mood.

Swann hammered three boundaries off a wayward Harris over near the end of the innings and raised the 350 with a lofted off-drive for three from the bowling of Peter Siddle.

Broad was equally explosive with his intentions and punched Siddle down the ground for four and pulled a six over square leg in the same over.

James Pattinson eventually had Broad caught behind, giving wicketkeeper Brad Haddin his fifth catch.

Ian Bell hit 109 for the second straight match after England won the toss on Thursday. He steered his team out of early trouble when it had crashed to 28-3.

England leads the five-match series 1-0.

•Australian Steve Smith's remarkable reincarnation as a spinner on the first day at Lords has improved his stock as a future test captain.

Smith was thrown the ball at the death and delivered, taking 3-18 in six overs.

It was an inspired move from captain Michael Clarke, and a deliberate plan by coach Darren Lehmann.

Viewed as a future national captain by selectors, Smith had already shown, in India and England, considerable improvement as a batsman. His bowling comeback is a bonus.

"He has a very good brain and captained NSW," said fast bowler Ryan Harris, who played under Smith on the final game of the Australia A tour.

"He reads the game well. His batting has come on. The way he batted in the A tour I noticed he got better and better. He's in the bracket to be the next leader."


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