AND THERE IT IS
Fantastic stuff from the Yorkshireman. It was a beautiful innings - so patient and calm.
Now Root (nicknamed wireless as in router by his teammates) has his century, thoughts turn to when England should declare. Definitely not yet is the answer but perhaps an hour before close tonight or sometime before lunch tomorrow.
Bell wants to get in on the action, he plays a lovely flick very fine down the legside - there is no fine leg and it races away for 4.
They may have decided to put their foot down a bit now
They have up'd the tempo seriously since tea. Bell brings up his half century with a a little flick through square leg. He certainly made the most of his let off.
Root and Bell have completely free'd themselves now and are playing some glorious and expansive shots combined with some delicate dabs. behind square. England have stuck the knife in and now they are giving it a twist.
Overs 82 to 93 inclusive have produced 71 flowing and beautiful runs. They are in full flow now and it's really rather beautiful. The last 50 runs have come off 38 balls
ENGLAND LEAD BY 500.
They've absolutely motored along since tea and maybe they'll have a dart at Australia tonight - the last 10 overs?
Ian Bell was looking in sublime touch with his previous few shots but he's holed out and is caught by Rogers at mid-wicket. A pretty ugly shot to end an otherwise lovely innings (if you ignore the fact he was probably out on 3!)
This has been a staggeringly good innings from Joe Root. Patient for six hours until he reached his triple figures and then unleashing the full range of his shots.
There are 7 overs left tonight and it's pretty clear England are going to continue batting on in to tomorrow.
@AlanPollard: they are going at a pretty decent pace - the Run rate in last 10 overs is up near 5
Joe Root absolutely nails a short wide ball from Smith over the mid wicket boundary for six.
And another one into the Tavern stand
Summary of the day's play
England finish the day a whopping 568 runs ahead. They put on 302 runs today for the loss of just Bresnan and Bell. The majority of the day was an exercise in patience and calm - England plodded along for the first two sessions at little more than 2 an over, quite happy to just make the Australian bowlers run in again and again and again. Joe Root scored his maiden Ashes century and finished the day on a magnificent 178*. It was a spectacular innings - he ground his way slowly but confidently to 100 then unleashed his enormous range of shots.
There was a bit of controversy when Ian Bell edged off Smith to gully when he was 3* but it was adjudged not to have been taken cleanly even though the tv replays on catches are notoriously wrong. He went on to make a lovely 74 from 103 before being caught at mid-wicket.
All in all, England are destroying Australia - comprehensively and relentlessly.
Thank you for all your company and all your interactions today. I will be back at 10.45 tomorrow morning to see when England might declare and start their task of getting the requisite 10 wickets.
Good morning from Lord's. England resume about a million ahead. My guess is they will bat for about an hour and then have 5 and a half sessions to bowl the Aussies out - they won't need them though you'd think