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Starc strikes as England collapse in 2nd Ashes Test

Recalled paceman Mitchell Starc led Australia’s charge as England collapsed to 325 all out in the second Ashes Test at Lord’s on Friday.

The home side, who had resumed on 278-4, added 47 runs in 15.2 overs as the wickets tumbled, with Australia 91 runs ahead after making 416 in a first innings featuring Steve Smith’s 110.

Starc, the only change to the Australia side that won the first Test of the five-match series at Edgbaston last week, took 3-88 in 17 overs, reports UNB.

Several batsmen, including opener Ben Duckett, who was out for 98, fell into a blatant hooking trap late on Thursday.

And England suffered a further setback off just the second ball of Friday’s play when captain Ben Stokes fell for his overnight 17.

A delivery from left-arm express quick Starc lept off a length and took the outside edge, with Cameron Green holding a sharp catch at second slip.

It was a morale-boosting start to the day for Australia after off-spinner Nathan Lyon was unable to take the field having turned up at Lord’s on crutches following a calf injury suffered while fielding.

A Cricket Australia spokesman said the off-spinner had been diagnosed with a “significant calf strain”.

England rising star Harry Brook, 45 not out overnight after being dropped at square leg by Marnus Labuschagne on 25, completed a 63-ball fifty.

But his determination to bat in the aggressive ‘Bazball’ style that has helped England win 11 out of 14 Tests since Stokes and coach Brendon McCullum joined forces last year, then proved his undoing.

Brook backed away from a short Starc ball yet still tried to flat-bat the delivery down the ground.

But a high-risk manoeuvre ended with Brook slicing his stroke to extra-cover, where Australia captain Pat Cummins held a simple catch.

At 293-6 England were left looking to Jonny Bairstow, the last of their specialist batsmen, to get on level terms.

Bairstow, however, had only managed 16 when he chipped fast bowler Josh Hazlewood to Cummins at mid-on in a tame dismissal

Part-time spinner Travis Head, filling in for Lyon, then took two wickets in five balls, a charging Ollie Robinson caught behind, before Stuart Broad was lbw.

Cummins then wrapped up the innings when tailender Josh Tongue fended to short leg.