London, Aug 18 : Ben Stokes hit a brilliant unbeaten hundred to put England in a strong position and set Australia a target of 267 on Day 5 of the rain-affected second Ashes Test at Lord's on Saturday.
World Cup final hero Stokes remained unbeaten on 115 off 165 balls, his innings laced with 11 fours and three sixes, as he helped the hosts drag themselves out of a hole and post a total of 258/5 before skipper Joe Root decided to declare and try and push for a victory with less than two sessions remaining.
For Australia, who lost key batsman Steve Smith who was ruled out of the remainder of the Test after being diagnosed with concussion caused by a blow to his neck from England seamer Jofra Archer on Day 4, Pat Cummins was the pick of the bowlers with figures of 3/35.
Marnus Labuschagne has replaced Smith to become Test cricket's first ever concussion substitute who will be allowed to bat in Australia's second innings.
Brief scores: 1st innings: England 258 all out; Australia: 250 all out. 2nd innings: England: 258/5 decl (Ben Stokes 115 not out; Pat Cummins 3/35)