Day 1 of the 2nd Test of the Ashes 2023 Highlights: In cloudy weather, Australia overpowered England. Joe Root’s double strike at the end of the day, though, got England back into the game. Australia concluded the day at 339 for 5 in 83 overs, with Steve Smith, who is unbroken on 85, playing a significant role. Earlier, Warner had a half-century, Labuschagne had 47, and Head had an excellent 77-ball innings. At times, England’s bowlers battled with discipline, resulting in 36 additional runs surrendered.
The tourists got off to a solid start in challenging circumstances, putting up 73 for the first wicket before the Edgbaston centurion was bowled by Josh Tongue with the penultimate delivery of the first session.
Warner was bowled out for 66 by the same bowler in the afternoon, but Smith and Marnus Labuschagne put on a third-wicket partnership of 102 before the latter fell three runs short of his half-century after lunch to Ollie Robinson.
Travis Head hit 77 off 73 balls in a fourth-wicket partnership of 118 before falling to one of Joe Root’s two victims, while Smith guided Australia to a 339-5 finish. Meanwhile, England was left to lament early missed opportunities and surrendering 36 extras on the day, 12 of which came from no-balls alone.
Protest and rain can’t stop Warner’s march
After England captain Ben Stokes won the toss and chose to bowl on a morning with lots of cloud cover and a green hue to the pitch, Australia openers Warner and Khawaja might have been forgiven for thinking they were up against it.
The play was disrupted just one over in when protestors wearing ‘Just Stop Oil’ t-shirts entered the ground and flung orange powder, prompting England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow to remove one of them personally.
After a brief break, the play was delayed again for around a quarter-hour owing to a rain shower, while England’s four-pronged seam attack found plenty of help to move the ball and probe away at the Australian batsmen.
When the hosts did locate the edge of the bat, they were unable to capitalize. With only one run on the board, Khawaja was caught in the slips by Joe Root off James Anderson in the fifth over, while Warner was caught on 20 off Broad seven overs later.