Ian Bell’s third hundred in successive Ashes Tests underpinned England’s partial recovery from their false start on an eventful first day at Lord’s.
Bell first took guard with the hosts 28 for three after both openers had gone lbw and Kevin Pietersen caught-behind, as Ryan Harris (three for 43) took two wickets in the same over.
Bell completed his five-hour hundred in a 144-run fifth-wicket stand with Jonny Bairstow (67), having first added 99 for the fourth with Jonathan Trott (58).
He became the eighth Englishman to score 1,000 Test runs at Lord’s, and his 19th hundred takes him level with Len Hutton in the all-time list of his country’s most prolific centurions.
England far from encouraging when, after winning the toss on a glorious morning, Alastair Cook, Joe Root and Pietersen departed in the space of 11 balls, the young Yorkshireman, on six, going after another marginal DRS procedure. Root decided to go to DRS, yet had to go anyway as ‘Hotspot’ revealed contact with the bat but no compelling evidence it had taken place before ball hit pad.
Bairstow was not especially convincing as Bell nursed him through the early stages of an innings which appeared to have foundered when the number six missed an attempted drive at Peter Siddle and was bowled off-stump. Bairstow on 21, and England on what would have been 172 for five, were reprieved because the third umpire spotted a no-ball. Bairstow gave away his hard work when he pushed a low full-toss straight back into the leg-spinner’s hands.
Alex Lees wrote his name into Yorkshire history when he became the youngest player to score a double century on another record-breaking day against Derbyshire at Chesterfield.
The 20-year-old left-hander was unbeaten on 275 when Andrew Gale declared, which was the second highest score by a Yorkshire batsman since the Second World War.
Gale and Gary Ballance both scored fifties out of a massive total of 617 for five, and at the close Derbyshire were on 94 for five.