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Ashes: England bounce back after missing chances earlier at the Gabba

Australia is in the driving seat of the first Test match Thursday despite England bouncing back after lunch to dismiss four Aussie batsmen and put the hosts under some pressure. 

Before lunch, David Warner had survived being bowled off a no-ball to forge a century partnership with Marnus Labuschagne. 

Ben Stokes bowled Warner when the score was 30, but the all-rounder had overstepped to give the Australia opening batsman a reprieve.

Australia went to lunch at 113-1 in reply to England‘s first innings of 147, with Warner unbeaten on 48 alongside Labuschagne, not out 53.

England needed to take all their chances to keep their hopes of salvaging anything from the first Test after their disastrous start on Wednesday when they were bowled out in just 50.1 overs.

They started well when Ollie Robinson claimed his first Ashes wicket, Marcus Harris, with a score of 10.

But they were unable to make any further breakthroughs despite a series of near-misses as the Australian batsmen struggled against the new ball.

After a cagey first two hours of an extended session, which began 30 minutes early to make up for time lost to rain on Wednesday, Australia’s batsmen cut loose in the last six overs before the break.

They were particularly harsh on spinner Jack Leach, whose three overs disappeared for 31 runs, including two sixes in one over from Warner and another in his next from Labuschagne.

England went into the Test match without veteran seamers Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad, surprising many including Australian captain Pat Cummins.

But the seam attack of Robinson, Chris Woakes, and the outright pace of Mark Wood was able to keep the Australian batters pinned down early on with some tight and accurate bowling.

Robinson was particularly dangerous and made the breakthrough when he enticed Harris to play forward to a ball that left him slightly, the Australian opener edging to second slip where Dawid Malan took a good low catch.

With overhead conditions much better than on Wednesday and the ground bathed in sunshine, England captain Joe Root made regular bowling changes.

He took the gamble of introducing Stokes, who hasn’t played a Test match since March following mental health issues, into the attack.

It looked to have paid off immediately when Stokes drew a thick edge from Warner with his second ball, then two balls later he bowled the Australian opener off his pads, only for the TV umpire to call a no-ball.

Television replays later showed that Stokes had overstepped on the first four balls of his opening over, but none had been called by umpire Rod Tucker.

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