Smith ensures Australia takes the honors on day 1

At the end of Day 1 of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s, Australia had a score of 339/5 thanks to Steve Smith, Travis Head, and Marnus Labuschagne building on a strong foundation set by David Warner’s 66. Australia collected 266 runs after lunch on Wednesday (June 28), with two-century partnerships of 102 off 155 with Labuschagne and 118 off 122 with Head sharing the common factor of Smith. England had reason to celebrate after Joe Root’s late-day knocks, but Day 2 will still present them with a challenge against Smith, who is still unbroken at 85.

After Warner was dismissed by a Josh Tongue nip-backer early in the second session, Smith took the crease. Smith got off to a good start by hitting two consecutive fours through the cover region off Stuart Broad and had a caught-behind call overturned in the same over. Labuschagne got things rolling with three fours in one over against Broad after beginning his innings cautiously shortly after lunch. After being given out leg-before-offering no shot, he successfully utilized a review in a Broad over, and a short while after, he survived an England review.

Ben Stokes, the captain, started out strong but quickly showed a lack of rhythm as he repeatedly overstepped and crossed lines. Smith became the second-fastest player (174) in terms of innings to achieve 9000 Test runs with a four off Stokes. The second session of play ended with Australia adding 117 runs for the cost of just one wicket while England attempted Root for a few overs but he, too, had little effect.

Prior to Ollie Robinson’s strike in the last session, which caused Labuschagne to edge the ‘keeper, Smith and Labuschagne had stretched their relationship above 100. Head was called to the crease as a result, and the left-hander hit a flurry of boundaries to advance Australia effectively. Robinson, who was on the receiving end, was accountable for bowling off-stump short. Head, who had gotten away to 35 off 32 before the half-century stand was established off 54 deliveries, made Tongue and Broad pay for their line errors.

Head was prepared to take it on as he pulled Tongue for a four to bring up a 48-ball fifty immediately after Smith hit a straight drive for a boundary, so it took England sometime before they turned to short-ball strategies against him. Head then hit two more fours off of Broad as the fourth wicket partnership kept up a strong run rate to propel Australia. Even the stars were to Australia’s advantage. Smith was declared not out after being smacked on his pad for crossing too far to a Tongue delivery. Replays showed that the umpire made the call, so England decided against asking for a review.

It took England some time to switch to short-ball plans against Head because he was ready to take it on as soon as Smith struck a straight drive for a boundary and Head pulled Tongue for a four to bring up a 48-ball fifty. After that, Head blasted two more fours off of Broad and Australia advanced thanks to the fourth wicket partnership maintaining a high run rate. The odds were in Australia’s favor even with the stars. After getting hit on his pad for straying too far from a Tongue delivery, Smith was declared not out. England decided without requesting a review after watching the replays, which proved that the umpire made the call.

When England decided to bowl earlier in the morning session, they continued to use outside-off lines in an effort to put the Australian openers under strain. Nevertheless, Warner remained reliable, scoring at a respectable rate despite a few shaky play-and-misses. On the other side, Usman Khawaja struggled to bat fluidly and was frequently outplayed by the England pacers. Even though he edged an Anderson delivery, Root couldn’t hang on to a risky opportunity.

In the first session, there were a few disruptions as well. The first time was when ‘Just stop oil’ demonstrators invaded the pitch and sprayed orange powder. Jonny Bairstow had to remove one of them off the pitch and change into new clothes. After a brief rain delay nine over into the day’s play, Warner, who had earlier been dropped by Ollie Pope off Broad, played some assured strokes, including two fours in one over off Tongue. Khawaja started to play his shots as Warner reached his fifty with a six. However, the 73-dollar relationship came to an end shortly before lunch when Khawaja’s choice to shoulder arms to a Tongue delivery turned out to be expensive.

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