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Five-for: Root grinds Australia to dust Published: 20 July 2013

Five-for: Root grinds Australia to dust

Lords.org recaps on a day where Joe Root came of age as a Test opener and Australia's hopes of regaining the Ashes took another hammer blow - England losing just two wickets.

Taking Root

Not that anyone outside of Somerset ever doubted it, but Joe Root proved himself as an international opener today.

Yes, the majority of his runs were pretty easy pickings against a tired and despondent Australia attack, but he had fought hard on the second evening as England collapsed to 30/3 in testing conditions, and did the same on the third morning.

Perhaps chastened by his soft dismissal on 70 against New Zealand here earlier in the summer, Root was happy to take it easy through the 80s and ensure he made it onto the Honours Boards, before proving that there is such a thing as easy Test runs as Australia gave up the ghost in the evening.

Sharing the moment

Perhaps Joe Root bats so well at Lord's because he has his brother so close by.

MCC Young Cricketer Billy has been 12th man for both of Root's Tests at the Home of Cricket and was on hand to give his brother a handshake and hug just after he'd reached his ton.

Lords.org grabbed an emotional Root jnr for a quick chat while his brother continued to pile on the runs.

Bell misses out

Such is Ian Bell's current form that he will probably lose a few winks of sleep tonight after pulling a rank long hop from Steve Smith straight to mid-wicket after waltzing his way to 74 off just 103 balls.

It was all just too easy for Bell - who appeared to have started an entertaining reverse-sweep contest with Root - who will never have a better opportunity to score a pair of Test centuries in a Test at Lord's.

Ashton struggles

What a difference a Test makes. Ashton Agar was the golden boy of Australian cricket following his astonishing efforts at Trent Bridge.

But at Lord's, struggling with a hip injury, the teenager has come crashing back down to earth.

After being run out with the bat, he struggled for control or penetration with the ball, and became easy pickings for Root and Bell late in the day.

You suspect his Test career be put on hold come the Old Trafford Test.

Finish on time

In almost unprecedented fashion, a day of Test cricket finished at 6pm - with all 90 overs bowled.

Australia's use of Smith and Agar for so long in the evening session helped them speed through the overs, and give the journalists in the J.P. Morgan Media Centre a fright as their deadlines loomed half an hour earlier than usual.


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