England on top after Swann halts Aussies' Ashes bid

Graeme Swann proved a thorn in Australia's side yet again as England closed in on a 2-0 Ashes series lead at Lord's on Sunday.

England's Graeme Swann appeals to the umpire after taking the wicket of Australia's Phillip Hughes on the fourth day of the second Ashes cricket Test against Australia at Lord's in London, on July 21, 2013. Swann proved a thorn in Australia's side yet again as England closed in on a 2-0 Ashes series lead.

The England off-spinner took two wickets as Australia collapsed to 48 for three at lunch on the fourth day of the second Test.

That left Australia, long in desperate trouble in this match, needing a further 535 runs to reach their mammoth victory target of 583 after England had declared their second innings on 349 for seven, with opener Joe Root making 180.

Usman Khawaja was eight not out and Australia captain Michael Clarke, missed on two, 11 not out.

No side has made more to win in the fourth innings of a Test than the West Indies' 418 for seven against Australia at St John's in 2002/03.

Australia, shot out for just 128 in their first innings, were only able to resist England for fewer than seven overs Sunday before Shane Watson was lbw to James Anderson for 20.

Unlike the first innings, however, when opening partner Chris Rogers agreed to Watson's wasted review after he was lbw to Tim Bresnan, the all-rounder suffered the latest in his long line of leg before dismissals without challenge.

And 24 for one soon became 36 for three.

Swann, who took five wickets in Australia's first innings, struck fifth ball on Sunday when left-hander Rogers played no shot to a delivery that didn't turn but carried on straight to hit his off stump.

Swann then had Phil Hughes lbw for one.

Hughes opted for a review but, with replays indicating the ball would have hit leg stump, Sri Lankan umpire Kumar Dharmasena's decision was upheld.

Not for the first time, Clarke came in with Australia in dire straits.

And the star batsman should have been out on two when he went well down the pitch to Swann only for wicketkeeper Matt Prior to miss the stumping chance.

Ashes-holders England, 1-0 up in this five-match series after their 14-run win at Trent Bridge last week, resumed Sunday on 333 for five, already a lead of 566, with Root 178 not out and Yorkshire team-mate Jonny Bairstow 11 not out.

There was no immediate declaration, with Root -- whose century was the second of his Test career and second in three matches after his 104 as a middle-order batsman against New Zealand at his Headingley home ground in May -- given the chance to get to 200.

However, after Australia seamer Ryan Harris took two wickets in four balls to have Bairstow caught behind and Root, trying to scoop a length ball, held at third man, England captain Alastair Cook called a halt.

Prior to his exit, the only chance Root gave during a 338-ball innings including 18 fours and two sixes that spanned nearly eight hours was when, on eight on Friday, he edged Watson, only for wicketkeeper Brad Haddin, who made an initial movement, not to go through with taking a catch that flew between him and first slip Clarke.

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Writer: AFP
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