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Ashes PHOTOS: Root hits century to put England in complete control

Last updated on: July 20, 2013 23:09 IST

Ashes PHOTOS: Root unbeaten on career-best 178

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Opener Joe Root put England firmly in the driver's seat with a splendid century on Day 3 of the second Ashes Test against Australia at Lord's in London, on Saturday.

The youngster was unbeaten on a career-best 178, having hit 18 fours and two sixes in 334 balls, to lift England to 333 for five at stumps on the third day. Ian Bell stroked 74 as England stretched their lead to a massive 566 runs with two days still to go.

- Scorecard

Root's technique, poise and clean fluent driving on both sides of the wicket was of the highest order and marked him out as a worthy successor to his great Yorkshire predecessors Herbert Sutcliffe, Len Hutton, Geoff Boycott and Michael Vaughan.


Image: Joe Root celebrates after scoring his century
Photographs: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

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Ashes PHOTOS: Root hits century to put England in control

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Root looked in no trouble at all right from the start on Day 3. He brought up his third Test half-century from 122 balls with six boundaries including a crisp on-drive off the first ball of the day.

He reached his fifty with two into the covers then played the shot of the session, leaning back to guide James Pattinson to the cover boundary with flexible wrists and perfect timing.


Image: Joe Root
Photographs: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

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Australia's bowlers struggle

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Hosts England continued their domination as Australia's bowlers failed to pick up even a single wicket in the morning session.

Neither Root nor Bresnan looked in any trouble after three wickets had fallen in rapid succession to Peter Siddle late on Friday evening on a cool, overcast morning during the showpiece Saturday of the English cricket season.


Image: Australian selector Rod Marsh (centre) rings the bell prior to start of day three at Lord's
Photographs: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

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Bresnan's useful knock with the bat

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Bresnan provided solid support after taking 30 deliveries to get off the mark, showing just how easy-paced the pitch was by playing almost exclusively off the front foot against the Australian pace bowlers.

He took England past the century mark with his fourth boundary, cracking a wide short delivery from left-arm spinner Ashton Agar backward of point.

The right-hander sent in as nightwatchman on Day 2, played a patient knock of 38 from 137 balls, adding 99 runs for the fourth wicket with Root to keep the Aussie bowlers at bay.


Image: Tim Bresnan
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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Bell gets benefit of doubt

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Inevitably in a series where the umpiring and the decision review system have been constantly in the spotlight, there was another controversy in the afternoon session.

First innings century maker Ian Bell, who had made only three, fended a ball from Ryan Harris to gully where Steve Smith appeared to take a clean catch.

The umpires asked for a review and after several television replays decided that there was a sufficient element of doubt over whether the fielder had taken the ball cleanly as he dived forward.

The Australians were not impressed and Harris made his feelings clear while there was some booing from spectators.

Bell continued his good batting form as he hit a fluent 74 to follow up on the 109 he made in first innings, in quick time against a flagging attack.


Image: Australia captain Michael Clarke (left) with team mates Brad Haddin (centre) and Shane Watson
Photographs: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

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