Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith hurried Australia to 190-2 against England at the first tea in the second Ashes Test at Lord’s on Wednesday. (More Cricket News)
Australia added 117 runs in the second session for the loss of only David Warner’s wicket. The opener scored 66.
Labuschagne was 45 not out and Smith on 38.
Josh Tongue, in his Ashes debut, became the first England bowler to bowl out Australia’s opening batsmen since 1968, and the first at Lord’s since 1884.
A new concern for England was No. 3 batsman Ollie Pope, who left the field soon after lunch when he injured his right shoulder while making a diving stop of the ball.
England won the toss and made Australia bat on a grassy pitch under cloud cover, but then struggled for a breakthrough in ideal bowling conditions.
Labuschagne and Smith have an unbeaten 94-run stand in response to sharing a total of 35 runs across four innings in the win at Edgbaston last week.
Australia captain Pat Cummins expected a big comeback from his two best batters and Labuschagne and Smith began to deliver, scoring at almost 5 an over on a slow pitch and aging ball. They slowed down before tea with the return of Tongue and the introduction of Joe Root’s part-time spin.
Both batters overturned leg before decisions against them.
In one over against Stuart Broad, Smith hit consecutive boundaries through the covers to reach 24. On the third ball, he was given out, caught behind. But Smith reviewed it immediately and video proved he didn’t touch the ball.
Labuschagne was struggling until after the drinks break, when he took three boundaries off an over by Broad.
Labuschagne was given out lbw to Broad on 33, but the review showed the ball was missing the wickets. When he was on 37, another lbw appeal led by Broad cost England a review when video showed bat hitting ball.
Broad’s 13 overs have conceded 48 runs.
The only wickets have been taken by Tongue, who has 2-48.
Warner resumed after lunch on 53 and got to 66. He’d been beating up Tongue before lunch, but Tongue’s extra pace finally beat him when one ball nipped in and hit Warner’s leg stump.
Like his opening partner Usman Khawaja (17), who was also bowled by Tongue, Warner was stunned.
Warner, on 1,999 runs in Ashes history, will have to wait until the second innings to become the 18th Australian to reach 2,000.
Smith, typically batting air, came into booing. But he was soon hearing cheers from Australian fans.