Joe Root is closing in on a magnificent hundred after he and Gary Ballance led England to 190-3 at tea on day one of the first Ashes Test of the summer against Australia at Cardiff.
The Yorkshire pair began steadying the ship prior to lunch after the hosts had fallen to 43-3, and resumed the second session with Root 33* and Ballance 28*.
Root continued in positive fashion to reach his half-century off 57 balls, with the doggedness of Ballance proving an excellent foil at the other end as England nullified the Aussie threat.
— fanatix (@therealfanatix) July 8, 2015
Australia had earlier passed up a good chance to get England’s in-form batsman cheaply when wicket-keeper Brad Haddin shelled him second ball, and Root also survived an lbw review off Nathan Lyon.
Ballance was very much the secondary figure in a partnership that passed three figures after drinks, but he brought up an important fifty of his own to ease the pressure building on his number-three spot.
The left-hander and Root closed out the session unbeaten on 59 and 93 respectively, on a wicket which is offering little pace or bounce to the feared Australian bowling attack.