Steve Smith put on century stands along with Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head as Australia controlled the bat first; Josh Tongue and Joe Root took two wickets each for the hosts; watch day two live on Sky Sports Cricket from 10.15am (first ball 11am)
22:52, UK, Wednesday 28 June 2023
Steve Smith led the way with an unbeaten 85 to help Australia control England on day one of the second men’s Ashes Test at Lord’s.
Batting first, the tourists started strongly in the testing conditions as David Warner and Usman Khawaja put on 73 for the first wicket before the Edgbaston centurion was bowled by Josh Tongue on the last ball of the morning session.
Warner departed both bowlers for 66 in the afternoon, but Smith and Marnus Labuschagne put on a third-wicket stand of 102 before the latter fell to Ollie Robinson three short of his half-century after tea.
Travis Head took 77 off just 73 in a fourth-wicket partnership of 118 before becoming one of Joe Root’s two victims, while Smith powered Australia to the close on 339-5. England, meanwhile, were left to rue early missed opportunities and conceding 36 extras on the day – 12 of which came from the no-ball alone.
Protest and rain could not stop Warner’s march
Australia openers Warner and Khawaja could have been forgiven for thinking they were up against it after England captain Ben Stokes won the toss and elected to bowl on an overcast and green-tinged morning. wicket.
The duo had to contend with play that was interrupted only once when protesters wearing ‘Just Stop Oil’ t-shirts stormed the pitch and threw orange powder, which England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow brushed aside of one of them from the field itself.
What proved to be a brief halt was followed by play being halted again for around a quarter of an hour due to downpours, as England’s four-pronged seam attack found plenty of help to move the ball and check the Australian batters.
When the hosts found the edge of the bat, they were unable to capitalize. Khawaja was dropped by Joe Root in the slips from James Anderson with just one run on the board in the fifth over, while Ollie Pope dropped Warner for 20 off Broad seven overs later.
The duo’s steady opening partnership went on to surpass the half-century mark by lunch, with Warner bringing up his 35th Test 50 in style as he hooked Ashes debutant Tongue for six.
However, Tongue, who took match figures of 5-106 in the 10-wicket win over Ireland at the start of June, responded by producing a breakthrough for the hosts in the stroke of lunch when Khawaja misjudged to a delivery from the Worcestershire player and finished. bowled for 17.
Smith, Labuschagne and Head press on after lunch
Right-armer Tongue was among the wickets again following another brief rain delay earlier in the afternoon, this time Warner as he was cleaned out for 66 six overs after play resumed.
However, it brought Smith and Labuschagne together, and they soon stepped on the accelerator by putting together a 50-run partnership that came off just 47 balls, with Smith successfully reversing a decision to give he last at Broad on 24.
Labuschagne also benefited from two DRS decisions in his favor – the first was an overturned lbw call that went against him and the second was Broad’s failed attempt to overturn a not out lbw decision.
By tea, the third-wicket stand had reached 94, and the pair had passed the century milestone within three overs of play continuing into the evening. But they could only add two more runs before world No 3 Test batter Labuschagne edged Robinson to Bairstow to depart for 47.
Former Australian captain Smith reached his half-century for the 38th time in Test cricket when he dropped one over the covers for two in the 61st over, followed by the next batter Head racing to his 50 from just 48 balls and took it to the ninth four of his innings.
Root, England’s main spin option for this Test, checked the tourists’ progress with two quick wickets in the 75th over, but Head was stumped first after he missed one who spun away from the batter quickly and then three balls later got new batter Cameron Green for a duck after he popped one up to James Anderson at mid-off.
That setback was not a setback, however, and even when England skipper Stokes took the new ball with two overs of the day remaining, Smith and Alex Carey (11 not out) managed to see the rest of the session comfortably.
Things were compounded for England as Pope was forced off the field in the afternoon after landing awkwardly on his shoulder, with the middle-order batter icing the injury and not returning for the rest of the first day. .
Watch the second day of the second Men’s Ashes Test at Lord’s live on Sky Sports Cricket. Coverage starts from 10.15am with the first ball at 11am. Also stream on NOW TV.
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