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England v Australia, 2nd Investec Test, Lord's, 1st day

July 18, 2013

Where's the grand entry from the chopper?

Siddarth Ravindran and Devashish Fuloria

It is the Lord's Ashes Test, which meant everybody was talking about the game. Even the riders at the Tour de France.

Whites, lush grass, tradition and the Queen making an appearance - it was almost Wimbledon all over again. The start of the Test was delayed by 15 minutes as the Queen set out to greet the players. For the Twitterati, the event was a goldmine for jokes.

Not everyone was impressed with the Queen's humble entrance to the ground, unlike at last year's Olympics opening ceremony.

For others, it was a moment to remember.

Australia's recent record at Lord's isn't great, and not just at the cricket.

England elected to bat first under sunny skies, but the pressure to perform under Royal gaze perhaps got to Alastair Cook , who fell lbw to Shane Watson for 12.

It wasn't long before England were three down.

Soon after, the Queen left the ground.

The pre-match prediction had been that the Lord's track would be a batting beauty, and it seemed that way once Ian Bell and Jonathan Trott got going.

Given the prices of Lord's match tickets, you'd think the crowd wouldn't want to miss a single ball, but ...

Trott continued to pile up the runs and the short-ball advice was not working, building on what has been a solid four years at the Test level.

Uncharacteristically though, he pulled a harmless short ball from Ryan Harris straight into the hands of Usman Khawaja at deep midwicket.

Just before the wicket, Princess Anne had made an appearance in the ground.

As Bell and Jonny Bairstow settled into a rhythm, it was time for the broadcasters to indulge in tradition. The visuals of the London landmarks, the parks and the Giraffes in the neighbouring London Zoo, though, didn't impress some.

Unnoticed during the talk of tradition, Bell kept cruising along. Stats geeks had a moment to cherish during the session as England brought up their 10,000th leg-bye.

While Bell moved on smoothly, Bairstow seemed to have fallen cheaply as he was bowled by Peter Siddle for 21. He walked all the way to the pavilion, only to be called back by the umpire as Siddle had overstepped.

But he made most of the reprieve, scoring his third consecutive half-century at Lord's.

At the other end, Bell basked in the sunny conditions and brought up his third consecutive Ashes century. And, as at Trent Bridge last week, the runs came just when England needed them.

With Bell and Bairstow going strong, Michael Clarke punted on legspinner Steven Smith bowling a few overs before the new ball. It worked a charm as Smith took three quick wickets to transform the day.

Smith's six overs of part-time, but deadly, spin bowling had England scurrying for a night watchman - though they were already seven down. James Anderson, usually No. 11, came in ahead of Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann.

The nightwatchman did his job, though, and at stumps England were 289 for 7, leaving Australia perhaps the slightly happier side, especially since the visitors' had lost the toss.

Siddarth Ravindran is a senior sub-editor, and Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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