Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne guide Australia to 2-190 in second Ashes Test

David Warner on his way to a half-century on day one of the second Test at Lord's on Wednesday.

David Warner on his way to a half-century on day one of the second Test at Lord's on Wednesday. Photo: AP

David Warner’s first Test half-century in six months has helped lay the platform for Australia to go to tea at 2-190 after a dramatic start to the second Ashes Test at Lord’s.

On a day where play has been stopped for two brief rain delays and a trio of protesters entering the field, Warner scored 66 in trying conditions for Australia against England’s quicks.

It helped the tourists navigate a difficult opening session on Wednesday, before Steve Smith (38no) and Marnus Labuschagne (45no) took advantage of better light before tea.

Both look set to make amends for their double-failures in the series opener at Edgbaston, while also handling Stuart Broad with far more confidence.

Smith hit the first two balls he faced from the English seamer for four through the covers, before Labuschagne followed it up with three boundaries in the veteran’s next over.

The pair have put on 94 for the third wicket, and largely have Warner to thank for it after he and Usman Khawaja put in the hard yards in a 73-run opening stand in trying overcast conditions before lunch.

Khawaja almost got through the entire session unscathed, only to be bowled for 17 on the last ball before lunch, trying to leave a delivery from Ashes debutant Josh Tongue.

Warner was also bowled by Tongue after the break, beaten between bat and pad by a ball that seamed back in at him after surviving a close call the previous delivery .

Still, it marked an important innings for Warner.

The opener’s half-century was his first in nine innings, and his second score beyond 50 in 20 knocks.

It is also the first since the 36-year-old announced his plans to retire in January, hopeful that he could stay in the side for long enough.

Australia will name its squad for the rest of the Ashes series after this Test, but Warner looks set to hold his spot at the top of the order.

He looked in good touch on Wednesday morning, cover-driving James Anderson for four in the first over the day and bringing up his 50 by hooking Tongue for six.

It was also clear Warner wanted to unsettle England’s bowlers.

He slog-swept Ollie Robinson for four after earlier attempting the same shot off Broad, before later walking down the wicket at the England veteran.

Making matters worse for England was the fact he should have been caught on 20 after edging Broad to Ollie Pope, who spilled a straightforward chance at fourth slip.

Warner’s innings also included a defence of the Lord’s wicket when two Just Stop Oil protesters charged towards the pitch after the opening over, attempting to spray it with orange powder.

Jonny Bairstow caught and carried one protester all the way back to the boundary, while Warner and Ben Stokes helped stop another.


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