Joe Root © Getty Images
Joe Root continued on his way to another century © Getty Images

Joe Root and Gary Ballance dug in brilliantly to ensure that Australia took no wickets in the second session as England were firmly in command at 190 for 3 at tea. Root was closing in on yet another century, while Ballance was looking solid in his half-century after a shaky start. The duo, who came together at 43 for 3, have added 147 runs for the fourth wicket. Live Scorecard: England (ENG) vs Australia (AUS) Ashes 2015 1st Test at Cardiff, Day 1

Mitchell Starc and Mitchell Johnson were both wayward, each going at more than four runs per over. Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon were tidy, and Shane Watson was steady without ever been probing. Brad Haddin would be ruing dropping Root when the latter was still on 0. Live Blog: England (ENG) vs Australia (AUS) Ashes 2015 1st Test at Cardiff, Day 1

Root continued from where he left off in the first session, slowing down slightly in terms of strike rate, but maximising his impact on the match. Continuing from 33 not out, he ended up adding 60 runs and hitting a total of 12 boundaries in his unbeaten 93. Ballance meanwhile was not out on 59 after facing 146 balls, hitting eight fours. READ: Ashes 2015 no less than test of character for Clarke and Cook

Earlier, The Ashes 2015 took its time to begin after a few minutes delay due to rain and a prolonged opening ceremony. England won the all-important toss and Alastair Cook decided to bat first. After England suffered from early wickets to fall to 43 for 3, Root and Ballance added an unbroken 65 to take England to a relatively secure 88 for 3 at lunch. READ: Joe Root scores half-century in The Ashes 2015 1st Test at Cardiff

One over into the match, Cook would have been pleased with his decision; there was no obvious bounce on display though Mitchell Starc managed to get some swing. Adam Lyth became the first man to be dismissed in The Ashes 2015 when he got a leading edge off the last ball of Josh Hazlewood’s first over — and the second over of the series — for a 10-ball 6. Ballance made his way out at No. 3 and looked shaky at the start of his innings. His feet did not move as well as they should have, and he kept playing inside the line. He managed to survive though, and lunch remained unbeaten on 28. READ: Gary Ballance scores half-century in The Ashes 2015 1st Test at Cardiff

Cook was looking good, but suffered a lapse in judgement when he tried to cut a ball from Nathan Lyon that was neither short enough nor far enough outside off. The resultant outside edge was snapped up by Brad Haddin as Cook walked back for 20 off 40 balls. Ian Bell continued his forgettable recent form, lasting only seven balls for 1. He tried to take on Lyon early on, but only top-edged one safely. He was then on the receiving end of a terrific in-swinging yorker from Mitchell Starc and was out LBW. READ: Adam Lyth becomes first wicket of The Ashes 2015

That united Root with Ballance, and the duo put on an unbroken 65 runs at lunch. Root was by far the best batsman on display, scoring a stroke-filled 33 not out off 24 deliveries. However, he was lucky to survive past his second ball, when he edged one from Starc to Haddin, who made a mess of it. The chance has already cost Australia 33 runs. It could prove to be far worse for the visitors on the other side of the break. READ: Alastair Cook, Ian Bell dismissed in quick succession in The Ashes 2015 1st Test at Cardiff

Brief scores:

England 190 for 3 (Gary Ballance 59*, Joe Root 93*; Nathan Lyon 1 for 24) vs Australia.

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(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek who loves cricket more than cricketers. His Twitter handle is @ShiamakUnwalla)