Aussies take control over Brits

LONDON, July 18

England were dismissed for 312 in reply to Australia's first innings 566-8 declared, a deficit of 254 runs, after tea on the third day of the second Test at Lord's on Saturday.

Although England were 55 runs shy of avoiding the follow-on, Australia captain Michael Clarke decided against making them bat again and they raced to 74-0 in 20 overs.

Alastair Cook, the England captain, top-scored with 96 and added 145 for the fifth wicket with Ben Stokes (87) after his side had slumped to 30-4 on Friday. Left-arm fast bowler Mitchell Johnson took 3-53 and fellow quick Josh Hazlewood 3-68. Stokes and Cook both played on to medium-pacer Mitchell Marsh. All-rounder Marsh, recalled after Shane Watson was dropped following England's 169-run win in the first Test in Cardiff last week, took 2-23.

Earlier, Stokes, who in May scored the fastest Test hundred ever seen at Lord's, off just 85 balls against New Zealand, showed good judgement after resuming on 38 not out. He completed a 67-ball fifty when he off-drove Johnson for the eighth four of his innings, which also included a six.

Cook, 21 not out overnight, attacked when given the chance. He pulled a short ball from Hazlewood for four and drove off-spinner Nathan Lyon straight for another boundary. Stokes, in sight of a second hundred in as many Lord's Tests, fell to Marsh when he played on to end an innings that lasted over three hours. England had added just five runs to their lunch total of 181-5 when Australia were convinced they had dismissed Jos Buttler for nine.

Buttler edged Johnson and wicket-keeper Peter Nevill, making his Test debut after Brad Haddin withdrew for "family reasons", appeared to hold a brilliant one-handed catch as he dived low to his right. But the on-field umpires called for replay assistance and third umpire Chris Gaffaney decided Nevill had grounded the ball on the turf. There was further frustration for Australia, and Johnson in particular, when Cook, on 63, saw a pull off the paceman dropped by Steven Smith at backward square leg.

Smith had himself been dropped on 50 before going on to a Test-best 215 during Australia's first innings. Buttler, however, was unable to cash in on his reprieve. He fell for 13 when a thin edge off Lyon was held by Nevill, the England gloveman's opposite number, and promptly walked off with England now 210-6. Cook was just a boundary away from adding to his England record tally of 27 Test hundreds -- the most recent his 162 against New Zealand at Lord's in May -- when, like Stokes, he succumbed to Marsh. The 30-year-old opener batted for nearly six hours and faced 233 balls including 13 fours.