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Aussies repel a brief England fightback

London: Australia repelled a brief England fightback led by Alastair Cook and Ben Stokes to remain firmly in control of the second Ashes Test on the third day at Lord's on Saturday.

Captain Cook made 96 and Stokes 87 to lift the hosts to 312 before the touring side, having decided not to enforce the follow-on, reached the close on 108 for no wicket, a huge lead of 362 runs with two days remaining.

Cook and Stokes came together with England reeling at 30 for four on Friday evening and they resumed on 85 for four in bright sunshine at the home of cricket.

Stokes crunched Mitchell Johnson to the extra cover boundary for his eighth four to bring up his fifty.

Cook followed him to the milestone by clipping spinner Nathan Lyon through mid-wicket, the captain needing 142 deliveries to get to his half-century in another courageous innings for his side.

Stokes, closing in on his third test hundred, chopped a ball from Mitchell Marsh on to his stumps that kept a touch low, ending a fluent fifth-wicket partnership of 145.

The powerful 24-year-old left-hander struck 13 fours and a six in another excellent innings in his burgeoning career.

England took lunch on 181 for five and Jos Buttler was out for 13 soon after the interval, nicking Lyon through to wicketkeeper Peter Nevill.

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