On a cloudy morning with a light drizzle and an unexpected interruption from Just Stop Oil protesters, who stormed onto the pitch and scattered orange powder, causing a couple of delays, Ben Stokes made the decision to insert Australia into the bat.
Despite the favorable bowling conditions, England failed to capitalize on their opportunities, much like their previous match at Edgbaston, where dropped catches were a significant factor.
The first stroke of luck for Australia came early on when Usman Khawaja, on just 1 run, edged the ball low to the slips, but it barely reached Joe Root’s fingertips, allowing Khawaja to survive.
Then, Ollie Pope at the fourth slip let a much more straightforward chance slip through his fingers when David Warner, on 20, edged one off Stuart Broad. Dismissal number 16 for Warner went begging. Later in the day, Pope was forced off the field due to a shoulder injury he sustained while diving to intercept a ball.
Although Australia didn’t have a blazing start to their innings, reaching 39 runs without loss after 17 overs, they managed to withstand the early pressure, benefiting from some good fortune along the way.
Warner, in particular, exhibited his unorthodox approach by stepping outside off stump and effectively sweeping Broad, leading to a lighthearted exchange between the batsman and the bowler.
Warner, who surpassed his run tally from the 2019 Ashes in just three innings this time around, scored more freely than Khawaja. It seemed as though the pair would take Australia to lunch without losing a wicket.
However, Josh Tongue, who had been slightly expensive in his first three overs, costing 24 runs, including a hooked six by Warner to bring up his fifty, produced a delivery that came back down the slope. Khawaja misjudged the line and left the ball alone, only to see his off-stump rattled.
By the end of Day 1 at Lord’s in the second Ashes Test, Australia had reached 339 for 5. Fifties from Steve Smith, Travis Head, and David Warner contributed to their strong position, with Warner’s aggressive 66 setting the tone for the Australian innings.
Smith remained unbeaten on 85, holding the fort for the Pat Cummins-led side. England struggled to contain Travis Head, who scored a quickfire 77 off just 73 balls, further compounding their woes.
Among the English bowlers, Josh Tongue and Joe Root claimed two wickets each, while Ollie Robinson managed to scalp one. England captain Ben Stokes won the toss and elected to bowl, a decision that would be questioned given Australia’s solid batting performance on the first day.