Root stands tall for England in Cardiff


Batsman Joe Root stood tall for England but Australia will be satisfied after the home side ended on 343 for seven at stumps on Day one of the first Ashes Test in Cardiff on Wednesday.

Root scored 134 while Gary Ballance and allrounder Ben Stokes weighed in with fifties as England recovered from 43 for three to end the day on a decent total after Alastair Cook won the toss and elected to bat in overcast conditions.

After the start of play was delayed by 15 minutes because of a drizzle in the air, opener Adam Lyth was the first wicket to fall, in the second over, when he edged a Josh Hazlewood delivery to David Warner in the gully to be out for just six.

Captain Cook made his way to 20 and was looking untroubled against the pacemen but he was out to offspinner Nathan Lyon, who got him to edge behind with keeper Brad Haddin doing the rest.

Ian Bell, who was in poor form in the Tests against New Zealand earlier this summer, continued his lean run when Mitchell Starc got him lbw for just a single as England found themselves in a big mess and went to lunch on 88 for three.

The hosts needed a partnership and it was provided by Root and Ballance who put on 153 for the fourth wicket and they batted through the middle session but Ballance was trapped in front by Mitchell Starc just after tea to go for a well made 61.

Stokes then provided the support to Root, who went to his century off just 118 balls, as the two young Englishmen attacked the bowling in a stand of 84.

Root's innings came to an end when he edged Starc to first slip and got a standing ovation from a capacity crowd at Sophia Gardens. Stokes (52) and Jos Buttler (27) fell in the last hour as the Aussies fought back before the close.

Starc and Hazelwood both got three wickets while Mitchell Johnson, who was man of the series in the last Ashes, went wicketless in 20 overs.

Moeen Ali, on 26, and Stuart Broad, who is yet to score, will resume in the morning.