Text size:

  • Small
  • Normal
  • Large

England scent a rare win

England require five wickets this afternoon to wrap up their first Ashes victory at Lord's in 75 years after Michael Clarke provided an obdurate resistance for Australia yesterday.

England require five wickets this afternoon to wrap up their first Ashes victory at Lord's in 75 years after Michael Clarke provided an obdurate resistance for Australia yesterday. Andrew Strauss's side looked poised to complete victory with a day to spare after reducing the visitors to 128 for five in pursuit of an unlikely 522 for victory. But Clarke, the tourists' vice captain, made an exquisite 125 not out and shared a partnership of 185 with Brad Haddin (80 not out) for the sixth wicket to take Australia on 313 for five when bad light called for an early close.

The expected victory, however, could be claimed at a heavy price. Andrew Flintoff bowled heroically through the pain barrier yesterday but required treatment on his troublesome right knee after his first seven overs and again at lunch. He will be wrapped in cotton wool between now and England's next assignment at Edgbaston next week. Kevin Pietersen continues to be hampered by an Achilles problem and he also left the field yesterday for treatment to his back. He is in danger of ending his unbroken sequence of 54 successive Test matches.

The England selectors will give both players the maximum opportunity to be fit for the third Test but they will already be drawing up a contingency plan. Ian Bell would be the obvious replacement for Pietersen, which would probably see the Warwickshire right-hander bat at three and Ravi Bopara drop down to No 4. The all-round qualities of Flintoff would be more difficult to replace but the pace and bounce of Steve Harmison would make him a prime replacement.

On the rival front, the form of Mitchell Johnson will be the biggest concern for captain Ricky Ponting who is likely to have the fit-again pair of Shane Watson and Brett Lee at his disposal for the three-day game against Northants starting on Friday. @Email:kaffleck@thenational.ae Cricket s8-9

Back to the top

More articles

Editor's Picks

 Al Ahli's Ismail Al Hammadi, left, battles for the ball during the Arabian Gulf Cup final between against Al Jazira at Hazza bin Zayed Stadium on April 19, 2014. Al Hammadi hit the game-winner in the 81st minute for Ahli. Al Ittihad

Al Ahli maintain course for domestic treble with victory over Al Jazira in Arabian Gulf Cup

Al Ahli maintained their hopes of a domestic treble with a superb comeback victory against Al Jazira in the Arabian Gulf Cup final on Saturday night.

 Alex Kacaniklic, left, of Fulham tackles Christian Eriksen of Tottenham Hotspur during their Premier League match at White Hart Lane on April 19, 2014, in London, England. Clive Rose / Getty Images

Tottenham keep pace in chase for European places with victory over Fulham

Swansea appear to be safe after rallying past Newcastle while Crystal Palace continue their winning streak

 On a track described as a ‘tyre-killer’ in Shanghai, Lewis Hamilton went untested on his way to a 34th pole – the most by a British driver – yesterday. Carlos Barria / Reuters

Hamilton has sympathy for fans hung out to dry with wet tyre rules

The Briton takes his career's 34th pole - the most by a British driver - but sympathises it was not ideal for the ticket-paying public.

 Yuzvendra Chahal, centre, and the Royal Challengers Bangalore teammates celebrate after the bowlers set up an easy win over Mumbai Indians. Pawan Singh / The National

Bowlers set up Bangalore as Patel stand tall over Mumbai

Mumbai bowlers gave early hope but Parthiv Patel and AB de Villiers' unbeaten stand of 99 ensures second defeat for the men in blue in Dubai.

 Roelof Kotzee is leading UAE to unchartered territory. Sarah Dea / The National

UAE step into the unknown ahead of Asian Five Nations

Performance manager Roelof Kotze will give 12 players their first experience of international rugby, but there is also minimal information on Singapore ahead of first Test in Dubai on Wednesday, reports Paul Radley.

 Novak Djokovic of Serbia winces in pain during his semi-final match against Roger Federer of Switzerland at the Monte Carlo Masters on April 19, 2014. Federer prevailed to set up an all-Swiss final with Stanislas Wawrinka. SEBASTIEN NOGIER / EPA

Ailing Djokovic will ‘just rest now’ while Nadal not pressing the panic button

Djokovic says only rest will help is injured right wrist after he falls to Roger Federer on Saturday, and Nadal suffers just his third career defeat in Monte Carlo when he slumped to a shock 7-6, 6-4 quarter-final loss to compatriot Ferrer on Friday.


To add your event to The National listings, click here

Get the most from The National