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Ashes: Warner piles on the pain, but England get Labuschagne and Smith


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ustralia remain in total control of the opening Ashes Test in Brisbane as David Warner made England pay for a trio of bad misses. With Warner nearing a century at the tea break, Australia already have a lead of 46.

The players returned on the second day to perfect blue skies and, by lunch, Australia had ridden their luck to 111 for one, with both Warner and Marnus Labuschagne well set, in an unbroken partnership of 101.

England had only the wicket of Marcus Harris, well caught at third slip off the excellent Ollie Robinson, to show for a morning of toil and frustration.

Warner, however, received a moment of major fortune when Ben Stokes overstepped when dismissing him. With his fourth ball of his first Test since March, Stokes castled Warner with a fine delivery, but it was soon revealed to be a no-ball. In fact, every ball of the over to that point had been a no-ball, and Stokes bowled 14 in total (12 of them unspotted) in five overs in the morning session. He did not bowl after lunch, and appeared to be in some discomfort.

It later emerged that the technology that has recently taken no balls out of the standing umpire’s remit – becoming the responsibility of the Third Umpire – was down. Both teams were aware.

It is the fifth time in Warner’s Test career that he has been dismissed off a no-ball, and second time against England. For Stokes, meanwhile, there were painful memories of his Test debut in Adelaide eight years ago, when he was denied a maiden wicket because he overstepped to Brad Haddin.

Ollie Robinson celebrates the wicket of Marcus Harris

/ Getty Images

At that point, Warner had just 17, and was struggling. Labuschagne had moments of luck, too, edging Chris Woakes just short of first slip, and pulling Stokes just short of Ollie Pope at backward square-leg.

But they rode out the tough times, settled and, by lunch, were motoring, with Jack Leach taken for 31 in three overs. Labuschagne brought up his 71-ball half-century with a fierce cut off Woakes, then brought up the hundred partnership.

In the over after lunch, Rory Burns badly dropped Warner at second slip off Robinson, when on 48, before Haseeb Hameed missed a run out chance from short leg. At that point, he had 60.


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