Rogers scores seventh straight half-century, equals record


Opener Chris Rogers equalled the world record with his seventh consecutive half-century as Australia reached 145-2 at tea in reply to England’s first innings of 430 on the second day of the first Ashes Test on Thursday.

The tourists lost David Warner (17) and Steve Smith (33) but Rogers made serene progress with an unbeaten 74. The 37-year-old, who survived a leg before review before lunch, thrived in the afternoon sunshine as runs came quickly — 119 in the second session. He becomes the fifth player to score seven successive Test 50s, matching Everton Weekes, Andy Flower, Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Kumar Sangakkara, and will hope that, unlike in the previous six, he goes on to complete a century.

Rogers and Warner added 52 before the latter, who had looked in good touch, was dismissed, England captain Alastair Cook taking a fine catch at first slip off James Anderson. Moments later Cook, much to teammate Joe Root’s mirth, was rolling around in agony after being struck a painful blow in the groin area which forced him off for treatment. Smith clubbed Moeen Ali to the boundary three times in one over but the spinner had the last laugh by inducing a leading edge which Cook caught at short mid-on, ending a stand of 77 with Rogers.

England kept the Australian fielders busy for 75 minutes in the morning, added 87 to their overnight total with their last three wickets. Moeen hit an entertaining 77, going through his repertoire of attacking shots as England continued on the offensive after recovering from a dismal start on the first day when they were reduced to 43-3. He added 52 useful runs for the eighth wicket with Stuart Broad who was involved in the main talking point of the morning session when he fended off a bouncer from Mitchell Johnson and a scrambling Adam Voges claimed a catch at short leg.

Broad, who incurred Australia’s wrath when standing his ground after an obvious edge behind in the Trent Bridge test in 2013, was halfway off the pitch before wandering back as a review showed the ball had touched the ground. Mitchell Starc shook off a sore ankle to finish with 5-114 but fellow paceman Mitchell Johnson, England’s scourge in their Ashes demolition in Australia, conceded 111 runs in going wicketless.