July 20, 2001

Waugh and McGrath put Australia in the driving seat

Five wickets for Glenn McGrath and a fine century for Mark Waugh gave Australia a tight and possibly inextricable grip over the Second npower Test Match at Lord's.

McGrath's wickets helped to polish off England for 187 in the morning session, the innings closing ten minutes before lunch after the last six England wickets fell for 66 runs. McGrath finished with 5-54 with Alec Stewart, Graham Thorpe and Craig White his second-day victims, all three falling in the space of nine balls.

Waugh's superb century was a typically stylish and elegant collection of immaculately timed shots, the runs off his legs proving the most pleasurable for a capacity Lord's crowd.

He spent a few torrid overs in the 90s and was hit on the helmet while on 98 by Andrew Caddick. But he stayed composed and effortlessly brought up his first hundred at Lord's with a gently pushed single to mid on.

The century was a long time coming for Mark Waugh. On the Ashes Tour in 1993, he was bowled by Phil Tufnell for 99 and in the eight years since then his highest score at Lord's has been 33.

His hundred came up in 165 balls and took three and a quarter hours but on a sunny Friday afternoon in London, there can have been few better ways of being entertained than watching the 36-year-old younger twin strike 13 boundaries to reach his 19th Test hundred.

At the other end, his brother was watching over and for the second time in two matches, the pair added a century to Australia's total in 170 balls.

But a dramatic demise came soon after when, scampering a quick single, he was found a foot short of the crease as the bails flew off the stumps after a direct hit by Darren Gough at mid on.

He had added another eight runs to his total in a further 12 minutes and when he walked off, he was given a rousing reception and standing ovation by an appreciative crowd who had enjoyed every minute.

By then Australia were 212 for four with a solid 25-run lead over England whose captain Mike Atherton had been struggling to think of new ways of breaking up the Waugh partnership. It had lasted two hours after Michael Slater fell for 25, with the score 105 for three.

It might have been broken sooner had Craig White not missed a chance at gully when he was on 59 and if Darren Gough had held a caught and bowled chance to Steve Waugh when he was 14. Waugh senior moved his score on to 45 before he departed, attempting to fend off a tricky delivery from Cork that was going down the leg-side.

Stewart, covering some ground to get to the ball, took it safely and Australia had lost their fifth wicket with the score 230. The remainder of the day saw Damien Martyn and Adam Gilchrist, who both made centuries at Edgbaston, establishing another solid platform in the evening sunlight and by the close they had extended Australia's lead by 64 runs to 255 for five.