Smith, Head, Warner put Australia in commanding position on Day 1 of 2nd Ashes Test

Australia got off to a strong start in the second Ashes Test at Lord’s, finishing day one at a commanding 339/5. David Warner, Travis Head, and Steve Smith all batted exceptionally well, scoring half-centuries and putting Australia in control. England included an extra pace bowler in Josh Tongue, who impressed the most, taking two wickets and ending the day with figures of 2/88.

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England’s bowling struggled to trouble the Australian batsmen, who comfortably accumulated runs. Aside from Tongue and Root, none of the other bowlers looked to trouble the Aussie batters. Joe Root’s two quick wickets towards the end of the day provided some hope for England, but overall, Australia had the upper hand.

Smith reached 9000 Test runs in fewer innings than any previous Australian player, while Nathan Lyon became only the sixth player to feature in 100 consecutive Tests.

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England won the toss and chose to bowl first, considering the advantageous conditions with cloud cover and a slightly green pitch. However, Australia’s openers played well despite disruptions caused by rain delays and a pitch invasion. They added 73 runs before lunch, but Tongue’s excellent deliveries dismissed Usman Khawaja and David Warner.

Steve Smith came to the crease and formed a solid partnership with Marnus Labuschagne, frustrating the English bowlers in the afternoon session. Labuschagne fell short of a half-century when Ollie Robinson dismissed him after tea. With a lack of frontline spinners and limited bowling options for Stokes, England struggled to control the scoring rate as Smith and Head built a strong foundation.

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Smith showcased his exceptional batting skills, while Head played aggressively and reached his fifty at a quick pace. However, Head was stumped by Jonny Bairstow off Joe Root’s delivery, and Root struck again in the same over to dismiss Cameron Green without scoring.

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England delayed taking the new ball to preserve its condition for the second day’s play, considering the forecast of more cloud cover and rain showers. Smith achieved the milestone of scoring 9000 Test runs in just 174 innings, making him the fastest Australian to do so. Only Kumar Sangakkara has achieved this milestone in fewer innings in the history of the game.

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