Smith threatens to go big as Australians in strong position at Lord’s
June 29, 2023
An unsuccessful toss and drizzly conditions were not enough to slow down the Australian batting lineup on Day 1 of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s with the side going into stumps at 5-for-339 with Steve Smith on an unbeaten 85.
England made the call to roll out a quartet of pacemen with Josh Tongue making his Ashes debut at the expense of offspinner Moeen Ali.
Australia, meanwhile, opted to recall Mitchell Starc with Scott Boland making way.
The hosts won the toss and sent Pat Cummins’ men in to bat on a green wicket under overcast conditions.
After surviving several close calls, openers David Warner and Usman Khawaja did a commendable job of seeing off the new ball before Khawaja – who took home Player of the Match honours at Edgbaston – was knocked over by a swinging, Tongue peach on the stroke of lunch for 17.
Tongue dislodged Warner’s stumps for a well-played 66 on the other side of the lunch break as England willed their way back into the contest.
A 102-run partnership between Smith and Marnus Labuschagne swung the pendulum back in the Australians’ favour.
In the midst of the stand, Smith became just the fourth Australian in Test history to surpass 9,000 career runs.
Labuschagne edged one to Jonny Bairstow off the bowling of Ollie Robinson early in the final session for 47 as the visitors fell to 3-for-198.
An in-form Travis Head took to the crease and, with Smith alongside him, picked up where Labuschagne left off.
Head blasted his way to 77 off 73 and a 118-run stand with Smith before a turning, Joe Root delivery led to his stumping to slow down the Australians’ momentum.
Cameron Green lasted just three balls before skying one off the bowling of Root to mid-off for nought as the tide of the match turned.
Smith and Alex Carey took the visitors into stumps at 5-for-339 with Tongue and Root taking two wickets apiece.