Josh Tongue gets late breakthrough as Australia dominate at Lord’s

Josh Tongue gets late breakthrough as Australia dominate at Lord’s

Josh Tongue removed Usman Khawaja in the final over before lunch to spare England a wicketless first session in the second Ashes Test at Lord’s.

Ben Stokes could hardly hide his smile after winning the toss but despite a light covering of green grass, grey clouds overhead and floodlights in operation throughout the opening session, Australia appeared to be cruising towards the interval in control.

But Tongue, making his Ashes bow after replacing spinner Moeen Ali in the home XI, produced the breakthrough England craved when Khawaja offered no shot to a ball that came in from round the wicket and clipped the top of off stump.

That left the tourists on 73 for one, David Warner carrying the fight with a punchy, unbeaten 53.

Warner and Khawaja did well to hold their concentration after the day began with a botched protest from Just Stop Oil supporters.

Just one over into the innings, two men invaded the field carrying bags of orange paint dust but where bundled off the pitch with the notable assistance of England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow, who lifted one of the activists off his feet and personally delivered him to security staff on the boundary edge.

When play resumed, Khawaja offered a half-chance off James Anderson with just one to his name. Joe Root could hardly be blamed for failing to grab a low chance off the turf, but Warner should have been on his way for 20.

Stuart Broad switched to the Pavilion End for his second spell of the day and successfully clipped the edge of his old rival. Ollie Pope made a hash of a regulation catch at fourth slip, in an echo of the missed chances that cost England dear in their series-opening defeat at Edgbaston.

Warner had imposed himself in tricky conditions, bending the knee to sweep both Broad and an off-colour Ollie Robinson, with the latter struggling to find a performance to match his new pantomime villain status.

David Warner
David Warner looked in excellent touch before lunch (Adam Davy/PA)

Tongue, who played his only other Test at the same ground against Ireland earlier this month, briefly looked to have a case of stage fright as he first three overs were dispatched for 24 – including a bouncer that Warner disdainfully hooked for six.

But he summoned a perfect riposte to end the morning on a high, dismissing Khawaja for 17 as he shouldered arms.