Aussies take 254-run lead at Lord’s

Australia have claimed a first-innings lead of 254 runs at Lord’s, putting them in the box seat for a series-levelling win in the second Ashes Test.

England were bowled out for 312 shortly after tea on day three at Lord’s, where the tourists turned the screws despite the best efforts of Alastair Cook and Ben Stokes.

Michael Clarke unsurprisingly opted against enforcing the follow-on.

Cook and Stokes resumed at 4-85 on Saturday, the fiery allrounder surviving all but three overs of the morning session in his 145-run stand with Cook.

Mitch Marsh removed Stokes for 87, then dismissed Cook late in the second session for 96.

Both left-handers played on, attempting to drive.

The scalp of Cook, who was mentally and physically drained after three long days at Lord’s, triggered a collapse of 4-46.

In an eventful middle session, Jos Buttler walked on 13.

Kumar Dharmasena turned down Nathan Lyon’s caught-behind appeal, only for Buttler to drag himself off after the faintest of edges.

Josh Hazlewood cleaned up the tail, trapping Moeen Ali lbw and disturbing Mark Wood’s off stump.

England’s innings ended when substitute fielder Shaun Marsh claimed a sharp catch at first slip to dismiss Stuart Broad.

Marsh was on the park for Adam Voges.

Voges stayed in the changerooms on Saturday, having suffered a painful blow to the hip while fielding at short leg on day two.

Mitchell Starc received treatment on his back, but was able to bowl.

Based on the past 120 years, a draw is all England can achieve in this contest.

With the exception of a timeless Test at the SCG in 1894, no side has ever posted such a high first-innings total then lost the game.

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