Ashes: Warner helps Aus to 54/2 at tea

Leeds, Aug 22 (IANS) David Warner seemed to be getting back among runs as Australia crawled to 54/2 at tea on a rain-affected opening day of the third Ashes Test here at Headingley on Thursday.

Warner was batting on 26 off 50 deliveries (3x4) with Steve Smith's replacement Marnus Labuschagne giving him company on 7. For England, new ball bowlers Jofra Archer (1/25) and Stuart Broad (1/21) took one wicket each.

Archer threatened to wreak havoc once again as he snared a wicket before rain continued to disturb play after a delayed toss due to wet outfield. At lunch, Australia were 12/1 when the umpires were forced to call an early end to the opening session.

England skipper Joe Root asked the Aussies, without star batsman Smith, to bat first. While the hosts named an unchanged squad, Australia made three changes in their playing XI as Marcus Harris, James Pattinson and Marnus Labuschagne replaced Cameron Bancroft, Peter Siddle and the injured Smith.

At lunch, David Warner (0 batting) was at the crease after Harris was squared up by an unplayable Archer delivery which kissed the outside edge of his bat and flew to wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow.

Archer and Broad had Australian openers in all sorts of trouble with the ball moving off the seam under helpful overhead conditions.

Warner, who is woefully out of form, struggled to middle the ball and looked all at sea. Harris managed to hit two fours before Archer had him and the skies opened up.

Broad had Usman Khawaja caught behind after lunch for just 8 before Labuschagne and Warner steadied the ship.

Brief Scores (Tea): Australia 1st innings: 54/2 (David Warner 26 batting, Jofra Archer 1/25, Stuart Broad 1/21) vs England.

--IANS

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