Rogers lifts Aussies as England toil hard

LONDON, July 16

Chris Rogers and Steve Smith batted with steely determination to lift Australia to 191-1 at tea on the first day of the second Ashes Test against England at Lord's on Thursday.

The pair shared an unbroken second-wicket partnership of 113 runs, mastering a subdued England bowling attack which failed to find the inspiration that earned the hosts a surprise victory in the first Test of the series. England's only success came in the morning session when David Warner, on 38, tried to hit Moeen Ali for the third four of the spinner's first over and skied a catch to James Anderson running back at deep mid-off.

England skipper Alastair Cook had brought on Moeen in the 15th over after the Australians batted comfortably through the first hour having won the toss in overcast conditions. Warner carved his first two deliveries to the mid-wicket boundary in a clear statement of aggressive intent but perished trying to find the ropes again. The pugnacious left-hander angrily swished his bat as he trudged off as Australia continued their habit of losing wickets to rash shots, a tendency which contributed in large part to their surprise 169-run defeat in the first Test.

Rogers, who flashed Anderson's third ball of the match just over the slips, maintained the form which brought him 95 in Cardiff and he and Smith carried Australia to 104-1 at lunch. The pair continued to dominate as the sun came out in the afternoon and Rogers cut Stuart Broad for his seventh four to reach his eighth fifty in nine Test innings. Smith accumulated runs in his usual awkward but effective manner and he also passed 50, the ninth time in a row the right-hander has got to the milestone when batting in the first innings of a Test match.

A subdued crowd briefly came to life when Ian Bell, at second slip, dropped a sharp low chance offered by Smith off the bowling of Ben Stokes, an error that epitomised England's sluggish day in the field. Rogers, however, brought up the century partnership with another crisp boundary and advanced to 81 not out at the interval with Smith on 62.