IMAGES from Day 1 of the 2nd Ashes Test played in Adelaide on Thursday.
David Warner fell short of his century but Marnus Labuschagne remained on course for a hundred as they put Australia, missing regular skipper Pat Cummins, in a strong position against England in the day-night second Ashes Test on Thursday.
Australia finished day one on 221-2 despite being jolted before the start of the match at Adelaide Oval with Cummins forced out after being identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case.
With five overs remaining, Jos Buttler dropped a regulation catch off the bowling of James Anderson to offer a reprieve to Labuschagne, who remained not out on 95.
Buttler had earlier spilled a tougher chance behind the stumps when Labuschagne was on 21.
Australia's stand-in skipper Steve Smith was on 18, becoming his country’s third captain -- after Tim Paine and Cummins -- in the last three Tests.
England dominated the first session though they blew two reviews trying to get Warner, who made 95, dismissed.
Warner said nothing could deter him from going out to face the old enemy despite the injury to his ribs sustained in the first Test in Brisbane, which left him unable to pick up his children.
"I didn't feel great," he said.
"I had a couple of painkillers and a local (injection) this morning. You have got to put your best foot forward."
Broad proved Warner's nemesis once more but this time as catcher, holding onto a slashed shot at cover off Ben Stokes.
England did not bowl badly but their five-man seam attack looked increasingly insipid as solid containment gave way to more hurried scoring from Australia before 32,328 fans at Adelaide Oval.
England assistant coach Graham Thorpe found nothing wrong with their bowling effort.
"I thought we stuck at it well. They played particularly well in those first few sessions," he said.
"The run-rate didn’t go too far but we‘d love to have more wickets down. They defended straight and every time we went fuller they punched us down the ground.”
Buttler would need to put the catches he dropped behind him, Thorpe said.
"We put a couple of catches down. Jos is going to hurt tonight but we are going to have to come again tomorrow."
For Australia, pace bowler Michael Neser made his Test debut replacing Cummins.
Earlier, unbeaten half-centuries from David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne thrust Australia, missing regular skipper Pat Cummins, into the ascendancy in the second Ashes Test against England on Thursday.
Warner, who suffered bruised ribs in the opening Test in Brisbane, was batting on 65 and Marnus Labuschagne 53 in a second session of no wickets, slow scoring and few opportunities, to push Australia to 129-1 at tea.
The hosts were jolted even before the pink-ball Test got underway at Adelaide Oval with skipper Pat Cummins forced out after being identified as a close contact of a positive COVID-19 case.
Steve Smith regained the captaincy for the first time since the 2018 Newlands ball-tampering scandal but Australia were under early pressure after he won the toss and elected to bat.
The scoring was sedate but with Australia edging steadily forward, England, having opted for an all-seam attack, will be frustrated having also burnt two reviews trying to dismiss Warner.
England dominated the first session after recalled seamer Stuart Broad got the breakthrough, removing opener Marcus Harris for three runs via a cracking catch from Jos Buttler.
It took 18 balls before a run was struck, the first 10 overs yielding just 11 runs as England, beaten by nine wickets inside four days in the series opener in Brisbane, put Australia under the pump.
But as England captain Joe Root brought himself into the attack to provide rest to his quicks, Warner appeared eager to up his scoring rate, an approach adopted equally by Labuschagne.
Warner, who famously smashed 335 not out at the venue against Pakistan two years ago, was now finding his groove, his 50 off 112 balls slow by his reckoning but a building block to a decent team total.