Archer shows exciting signs on debut but Australia hold upper hand at Lord’s
Jofra Archer offered a tantalising glimpse of his Ashes potential as England attempted to bowl their way back into the second Test having been dismissed for 258 at Lord’s.
After a washout on day one, visiting captain Tim Paine made the brave call to field first in what appeared welcoming batting conditions, the first Australian captain to insert the opposition since February 2016.
The gamble largely paid off, England’s innings subsiding shortly before 6pm, but battling knocks from Rory Burns (53) and Jonny Bairstow (52) provided a foothold in the game.
Stuart Broad removed David Warner with a beauty as the tourists reached 30 for one at stumps, but Archer, England’s most eagerly anticipated debutant since Kevin Pietersen, turned in a compelling six-over cameo that hinted at plenty more to come.
He was wicketless at the close but generated a tangible electricity at the same ground where his super over helped England win the World Cup just a month ago.
His second ball in Test cricket almost flattened Cameron Bancroft’s off stump, his third topped 90mph and his 10th appeared to claim an edge that went unnoticed by everyone on the field.
The buzz around the 24-year-old masked a good day for Australia, for whom the recalled Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins took three wickets each as they preyed on a fragile top six.
The day’s play was dedicated to the Ruth Strauss Foundation, with the stands a sea of red and both teams honouring former England captain Andrew Strauss’ late wife by donning commemorative caps and shirts. A total of £382,462 was raised.
Strauss sons rang the five-minute bell and collected the mementos from the players but the sense of bonhomie and collaboration was quickly replaced by a typically hard-fought day of Ashes cricket