LONDON: Australia survived a tough examination from England's bowlers and disruption from 'Just Stop Oil' protesters to reach lunch at 73-1 in the second Ashes test at Lord's on Wednesday.
Opening batters David Warner and Usman Khawaja were dropped early on. Khawaja was on 1 when he was squared up by James Anderson and edged to first slip. But Joe Root grassed the laces-high chance.
Warner was on 20, battling Stuart Broad, who has dismissed the Australian 15 times. Warner edged to fourth slip and Ollie Pope dropped a two-handed catch in front of him.
A morning of utter frustration for England, which chose to bowl first in ideal conditions, wasn't soothed until the stroke of lunch when Khawaja was bowled by rookie quick Josh Tongue.
Warner was 53 not out from 70 balls and looking comfortable.
Skies gloomy enough to keep the floodlights on for the entire first session, and the air humid enough to produce swing weren't fully exploited by England on a pitch not showing much pace or seam.
Warner's mood was lightened just five minutes after the match began when two protesters ran onto the field to try and spread orange powder on the pitch. Neither got close.
One was tackled by England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow. He carried the man on his hip 50 meters back to the boundary. The other was corralled by England captain Ben Stokes and Warner and put into the arms of match stewards.
What little orange powder fell in the outfield was quickly vacuumed. Bairstow changed clothes to clean up some powder on him and play resumed within five minutes.
But the tension was gone and Warner was playful, drawing a chuckle from Broad for a slow sweep.
After surviving the drop by Pope, Warner greeted Tongue with consecutive boundaries. Tongue, playing his first Ashes test, replaced spinner Moeen Ali for England to play a four-pronged pace attack.
But Warner went after him, and hooking a Tongue bouncer over square leg for six earned the batter his eighth fifty in England 10 minutes before lunch.
While Warner was playing Twenty20 cricket, Khawaja was watchful. His bat was beaten by Anderson, Broad and Ollie Robinson and he'd made 17 from 70 balls when Tongue, got a length ball to nip in and bowl Khawaja who left the ball without playing a shot.