Steve Smith and Chris Rogers shared a record-breaking stand on day one of the second Ashes Test, leaving Australia perfectly placed to level the series at Lord’s.
Smith and Rogers guided the tourists to a total of 1-337 at stumps on Thursday, heeding the lessons of a woeful 169-run loss in Cardiff.
Throwing away starts was one of Australia’s many batting problems in the first Test, which England won inside four days.
Smith and Rogers certainly couldn’t be accused of that in an unbeaten 259-run partnership.
It was Australia’s highest second-wicket stand at the venue.
Two more runs and the pair will overhaul Michael Slater and Mark Taylor and make it Australia’s highest partnership at the home of cricket.
Rogers finished 159 not out, already his highest Test score.
Smith was unbeaten on 129, extending his incredible run to six centuries from eight consecutive Tests.
It’s just the second Test at Lord’s where only one wicket has fallen on day one.
The hosts helped in that regard, offering Smith a chance when he was on 50 and Australia were 1-167.
Ian Bell fumbled a low catch at second slip, the closest England came to engineering a breakthrough after David Warner was out for 38 in the 15th over.
Rogers had a nervous moment on zero in the opening over, when an edge flew over the slips cordon and careered to the rope.
From that point on the Middlesex captain looked in complete control at his adopted home ground.
With the exception of Warner throwing his wicket away in the morning session, it’s hard to imagine a better bounceback from the tourists after losing the first Test.
It started with Michael Clarke winning the toss, when Alastair Cook conceded he was also keen to bat first.
By the time Cook threw the ball to fellow opener Adam Lyth, England’s skipper was fast running out of ideas as to how he’d conjure a wicket.
Tea was taken after Lyth’s one and only over, with Australia 1-191 and the big question being whether Rogers or Smith would reach three figures first.
Smith won the race, bringing up the milestone by pulling a short ball from Jimmy Anderson to the rope in the 68th over.
The 26-year-old had started quite cautiously against Moeen Ali, having fallen victim to the offspinner in the first Test.
Smith’s first 50 runs came from 111 deliveries, but his second 50 was at a run a ball.
Rogers looked unconvincing in the nervous 90s, but drove a ball past Anderson in the 70th over to register his fourth Ashes ton.
The carnage continued.
Australia scored 110 runs in the 24 overs after tea before Cook handed the second new ball to Mark Wood.
Ben Stokes found the edge that Bell dropped, while Stuart Broad occasionally beat the bat.
Apart from that there was little to feel optimistic about for England, who picked Ali despite the allrounder suffering a minor side strain in Cardiff.