Nathan Lyon’s chances of playing any further part in the Ashes look slim after Cricket Australia confirmed he had suffered a “significant” calf strain.

Lyon had arrived on the third morning at Lord’s on crutches after he had to be helped off the pitch on Thursday evening after pulling up with a calf problem during his fielding stint in the deep.

The Australia spinner, playing his 100th consecutive Test, looked distraught as he hobbled around the boundary edge and, when he joined his team-mates at the ground on Friday morning, his reliance on crutches raised alarm bells over his chances of being fit for the last three Tests of the series.

A Cricket Australia spokesperson said: “Nathan Lyon has been diagnosed with a significant calf strain. He will require a period of rehabilitation after this match is concluded.

“A decision regarding his availability for the remainder of the series will be made at the conclusion of the game.”

Lyon had a scan on Thursday night before a further assessment took place ahead of day three getting under way, but no grading has been attached to his calf strain.

Nathan Lyon’s chances of playing any further part in the Ashes looked to be in doubt after he arrived on the third morning at Lord’s on crutches.

The Australia spinner had to be helped off the pitch on Thursday evening after pulling up with an apparent calf problem as he fielded in the deep.

The 35-year-old, playing his 100th consecutive Test, looked distraught as he hobbled around the boundary edge with question marks immediately raised over his continued presence on the tour.

He joined his team-mates at the ground on Friday morning, but his reliance on crutches and the presence of a compression sock told its own story.

It now seems almost impossible that he will be play a role in ongoing match, while the three-day turnaround before the third Test at Headingley means that must be highly unlikely too.

Cricket Australia’s medical staff are monitoring Lyon but offered no official update as he battles to save his series.

Steve Smith admitted he was not optimistic when asked about the injury at the end of day two.

“Obviously it didn’t look good,” he said.

“I mean it doesn’t look ideal for the rest of the game. I’m not sure how he actually is, but if he is no good, it is obviously a big loss for us.

“Fingers crossed he is okay but it didn’t look good.”

Australia have three part-time spinners who may be asked to pick up a share of the workload over the next three days, with Smith joined by Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne, but should Lyon be ruled out of the next match Todd Murphy is in line for promotion.

Ben Stokes and Harry Brook will aim to help England into a first-innings lead on the third morning of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s.

England punched back on an absorbing day two, with Australia losing their last seven wickets for 100 runs as they collapsed from 339 for five overnight to 416 all out.

Steve Smith still brought up his 12th Ashes century, but the hosts quickly set about eating into the deficit and Ben Duckett led the charge with a fine 98.

Australia’s tactic of bowling short produced a gripping final session and accounted for Duckett, Ollie Pope and Joe Root.

But Stokes calmed the storm with a mature unbeaten 17 from 57 balls and will hope to push England on from 278 for four alongside Brook (45no).

View from the dressing roomComparisons to 2005 you say?

Nathan Lyon’s calf injury may not just be match-defining, but could have a significant say on who wins the series.


In his 100th consecutive Test, Lyon raced in from the boundary rope to try and catch Duckett’s lofted pull shot in the 37th over of England’s innings, but halted his stride. He immediately felt the back of his right calf and had to be helped off by a member of Australia’s medical team.

Lyon limped back to the pavilion and there are fears about his future involvement in the rest of the Ashes.

It brought back memories of Glenn McGrath’s busted ankle on the eve of the second Test in the 2005 series.

Harry hanging high

Brook was one of several England batters to walk into the face of a barrage of short-pitch bowling during an entertaining evening session on day two.

Runs followed, but so did wickets with Duckett, Pope and Root all picking out fielders on the boundary rope.

It sparked debate over whether a more conservative approach should be taken, especially given the extra load now expected of the Aussie seamers in Lyon’s anticipated absence.

Brook kept up the aggressive ‘Bazball’ mantra and enjoyed one life when Marnus Labuschagne put down a sharp chance, but Stokes was surprisingly more measured.

It was the type of captain’s knock England needed to ensure they did not lose their momentum.

Smith loves Lord’s and England!

Smith produced another superb Ashes innings of 110 and reached three figures with a gorgeous cover drive. Records tumble when the idiosyncrasies of the Test great are on display at the crease.

This effort was not only his second century at Lord’s, after hitting 215 in the 2015 series, but also the eighth time he has scored a Test hundred in England. His tally of 12 in Ashes Tests has moved him up to joint-third on the list of most centuries against one team.

But Don Bradman’s mark of 19 hundreds against England remains a little out of reach though.

Creepy crunches another

Smith had a couple of contenders for shot of the day but Zak ‘Creepy’ Crawley deserves the honour for his sumptuous drive straight after lunch.

It was not punched away like his first ball at Edgbaston, but was played with the pleasing sight of a straight bat and helped the Kent batter make 48.

However, fellow opener Duckett stole the show with arguably his best Test innings for England.

There would be no crowning century, after he pulled Josh Hazlewood to David Warner at fine leg on 98, but his array of square drives and cuts backed up his desire to continuously get bat on ball.

Home of cricket turns red for Ruth


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It was another hugely successful ‘Red for Ruth’ Day with more than £400,000 raised for the Ruth Strauss Foundation. Ex-England opener Strauss set up the charity in memory of his wife Ruth, who died in 2018 from a non-smoking lung cancer.

The foundation supports thousands of families that deal with the impact of a terminal cancer diagnosis. More funds will be raised with items to be donated, including the match-worn clothes of both England and Australia.

Strauss and his sons Sam and Luca rang the bell before day two and witnessed a Lord’s covered in red.

“A tough day, an emotional day and a beautiful day,” Strauss reflected. “It is great to have my boys with me to see everything Ruth stood for. It helps to know we are helping so many families.”

Ben Duckett insisted England had no regrets about taking on Australia’s short-ball challenge at Lord’s, despite being dismissed by a bouncer just two runs short of a first Ashes century.

England vastly improved their position on day two of the second Test, taking the last five wickets for 77 to dismiss their rivals for 416, then responding with 278 for four.

That represented a sizeable swing in fortunes after a lethargic first-day performance, but it might have been even better. They had Australia boxed in at 188 for one, but saw Ollie Pope, Duckett and Joe Root all lose their wickets during a sustained barrage of bumpers.

A more cautious approach might have helped them negotiate a frenetic passage of play more safely, but would have been out of character for a team who have spent a year steering into risks and taking the aggressive approach.

Duckett is a true believer of the ‘Bazball’ philosophy and was at peace after being caught at fine-leg pulling Josh Hazlewood.

“It’s a shot I play and a shot I’ve scored plenty of runs with in my career. I would have been gutted with myself if I’d gone away from it, gone into my shell and gloved one behind,” he said.

“Ten metres either side and I’ve got a hundred. Falling so close to three figures here at Lord’s, I was obviously gutted for half-an-hour after, but I’m happy with how I played. I thought it was certainly my best innings in an England shirt.

“It’s the way we play our cricket. If they have plans like that and we go into our shell, it would be totally against what we do. We lost a couple of wickets but we’re in a good position.

“I was batting with Popey and Rooty but there was not a lot of chat, it was just ‘how do you want to go about this?’. That’s the kind of fun environment we are creating. If you want to back away and hit it over cover for six or do whatever you need to do, then just commit to it.

“Popey just said ‘I’m going get inside of it and smack it into the stands’. No-one in that dressing room will be disappointed with how Popey got out, everyone will just be a bit gutted it didn’t go for six.”

Earlier in the day Australia’s Steve Smith did manage to make it to a century, scoring 110 as he celebrated his 12th Ashes ton. Only the great Donald Bradman has more in the series, well clear on 19, and Smith had a different perspective on England’s approach.

He felt vindicated that Australia’s seamers kept creating openings at a time when they could easily have retreated into defence and credited Ben Stokes, the chief architect of England’s all-out aggression, for restoring an element of calm at the end.

“Lord’s has deep pockets, so if you are going to hit it for six you’re going to have to get a fair piece of it. The fielders are there if you don’t,” he said.

“We were setting fields and they were taking it on. England are playing this really aggressive brand and they didn’t look like they were holding back. That created opportunities for us.

“It was great that we managed to create so many chances on that kind of wicket. It was just Stokesy who changed it. He was only looking to get underneath it, or ride it out. The rest were trying to take it on and we probably didn’t feel as in the game against him as we did with the others.”

Australia centurion Steve Smith admitted Nathan Lyon’s calf injury does not look good with the tourists’ braced to play the rest of the second Ashes Test without their frontline spinner.

Lyon injured his right calf while trying to make up ground to catch Ben Duckett’s lofted pull shot off Cameron Green in the 37th over of England’s innings.

The sight of Lyon holding the back of his calf and being forced to hobble off the pitch brought back memories of Glenn McGrath’s busted ankle on the eve of the second Ashes Test in the 2005 series.

A Cricket Australia spokesperson later confirmed Lyon was being assessed and while no scan has been booked, his chances of featuring in the rest of the Lord’s Test look over and his whole series could even be in doubt.

“Yeah, I haven’t been up in the sheds yet but obviously it didn’t look good,” Smith conceded.

“I mean it doesn’t look ideal for the rest of the game. I’m not sure how he actually is, but if he is no good, it is obviously a big loss for us.

“He is in his 100th consecutive Test match, which I know he was really looking forward to taking part in and having a role in.

“Fingers crossed he is okay but it didn’t look good obviously.

“It is not ideal, particularly your spin bowler. One player with one role. Batters, I suppose there are loads of us around so it is a bit different.

“Nathan, if he is no good, would be a huge loss. However, we have Todd Murphy waiting in the wings, who has been bowling beautifully in nets and bowled really well in India when he got his opportunity.

“I would be confident if he came in that he would do a terrific job for us but fingers crossed Nathan is alright.”

Smith, who struck 110 in Australia’s first innings total of 416, warmed up for this English summer with a three-match stint for Sussex, where he claimed two for 55 in his final appearance against Glamorgan.

But the part-time leg-spinner insisted: “I haven’t been working on my bowling at all.

“I bowled a few overs at the back end of one of the games – where pretty much the game was dead – just because everyone else was cooked.

“Hopefully I won’t have to bowl too much. I thought (Travis) Heady bowled all right, a bit different to Nathan, just skidding them more than Nathan does.

“Yeah, Heady is probably the one who is going to have to take a fair chunk of the spin overs and maybe myself and Marnus (Labuschagne) will chop in here and there.

“Yeah, not ideal when you lose your spinner on a surface that is not offering a great deal for the quick bowlers.”

England opener Ben Duckett sent his best wishes to Lyon but acknowledged the absence of Australia’s veteran spinner could be crucial in their efforts to level the series.

“It is a huge shame. I really hope it’s not too bad for him,” Duckett said.

“You never want to see anyone go down with an injury. He was going to play a massive part in that fourth innings because he is such a good bowler. If they go bumpers with all three bowlers, they’ll be pretty tired.”

Smith, who was 85 not out overnight, celebrated his 32nd Test hundred in the morning session.

A sumptuous cover drive for four earned Smith his 12th Ashes century, with eight of them occurring in England.

He added: “It is obviously a huge moment, I love playing here at Lords. I have spent a fair bit of time in the middle the last two times here and then this game as well.

“It is a nice place to play if you get in, you get good value for your shots and nice to get myself back up on the honours board again.”

England rallied with the ball on the second morning of the second Ashes Test, bowling out Australia for 416 to stay alive at Lord’s.

The home side’s day one efforts drew stinging criticism from a host of notable players, with Kevin Pietersen branding them “absolutely shambolic” and Michael Vaughan labelling some of their bowling “utter dross”.

But they bounced back impressively to take five wickets for 77 runs in the opening session and deny their rivals the mammoth total they had looked on course for at 316 for three midway through the previous evening.

Steve Smith converted his overnight 85 into a knock of 110, his 12th Ashes century and an eighth behind enemy lines, but he could not halt a much improved English effort.

Zak Crawley and Ben Duckett then safely negotiated four overs before lunch to reach 13 for nought and begin the job of chipping away at the scoreboard.

In need of a big response, England tossed the ball to their two oldest stagers, James Anderson and Stuart Broad. The pair sent down 33 wicketless overs between them on Wednesday but made good on their captain’s show of faith as they made early inroads.

Broad’s first two balls of the morning disappeared for four but he ended the over with a beauty, jagging back into Alex Carey and flicking the front pad on its way over middle stump. England need DRS to change umpire Ahsan Raza’s mind, but the end result was exactly what they needed.

Anderson picked up the baton at the Nursery End, angling the ball towards the cordon and drawing a thick edge from the newly arrived Mitchell Starc. Jonny Bairstow, 24 hours on from his starring role as a bouncer in the Just Stop Oil protest, leapt in front of first slip and held the catch.

Smith was watching calmly from the other end, making his way to 99 before lashing a cover drive to the ropes to bring up his latest Ashes ton. It was an excellently judged innings, but England had the bit between their teeth now and wrapped things up with admirable efficiency.

Josh Tongue, who dismissed Smith for Worcestershire earlier in the season, had the centurion well caught in the gully by Duckett as he swung hard and lost his balance. Ollie Robinson then swept up Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood in successive overs.

Starc and Pat Cummins had two overs each to land a blow in return, but England’s top order pair reached the break without offering a chance.

England will eye early wickets on day two of the second Ashes Test after Steve Smith helped Australia make a strong start in their quest to move 2-0 up in the series.

Smith was unbeaten on 85 at the end of the first day at Lord’s with Australia able to close on 339 for five, a score which would have been even better had Joe Root not struck twice late on with his part-time spin.

David Warner and Travis Head contributed half-centuries as England disappointingly failed to make the most of winning the toss and bowling on a green-tinged wicket under cloudy skies in the capital.

Only Ashes debutant Josh Tongue, who claimed two for 88, was able to make a significant impact out of the hosts’ all-seam attack but captain Ben Stokes will hope that can change on the second morning despite the threat of rain.

View from the dressing roomPope’s on ice

England have work to do before they can think about batting at the home of cricket, but they do have concerns over the fitness of Ollie Pope.

Vice-captain Pope injured his right shoulder while fielding soon after lunch and did not return to the field.

It has heightened fears he will not be able to bat during the rest of the Test.

The Surrey batter spent most of day one being treated with ice, but if fit he can bat in his usual number three slot and will not incur any penalty time for being off the field of play due to this being an impact injury.

Here’s Jonny!

The second Ashes Test was only six balls old when Just Stop Oil protesters ran on to the field and headed for the Lord’s wicket, but it was Jonny Bairstow who came to the rescue.

England’s wicketkeeper picked up one of the men and carted them over the boundary edge. The other protester, who momentarily attracted the attention of Ben Stokes and Australia’s David Warner, was intercepted by security staff.

Bairstow did have to change his orange-stained whites but his “swift hands” were praised by an official spokesman for Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. All three protesters were arrested.

Organisers will hope the headlines from day two are just about the cricket.

Sloppy England overstep the mark

Root’s late double scalp helped spare England’s blushes on what had largely been a poor day.

The hosts’ sluggishness started with Root putting down a low catch from Usman Khawaja in the fifth over and while the Australian batter did not cash in, his fellow opener Warner did make the most of a life on 20 – when Pope dropped a sharp chance at third slip – to register a half-century.

Even more eye-catching than those drops were the 12 no-balls Stokes’ side bowled. After 23 no-balls at Edgbaston, it is an area where improvement is required – especially for Robinson, who overstepped on six occasions.

Josh gets Tongues wagging

A crumb of comfort for England was the display of Tongue. After being hit for a few early boundaries, he stuck to his guns and conjured up a superb inswinging delivery to dismiss Khawaja on the stroke of lunch.

Better was to follow in the afternoon session when the Worcestershire seamer produced a brilliant over of Ashes cricket.

With Warner at the crease, Tongue had the aggressive Aussie tied up in knots with no answer to both the inswinger or outswinger.

It was a wonderful delivery that jagged back in and went through Warner’s defence that did for the opener, with the ball clipping his leg-stump.

Red for Ruth Day

Rivalries will be put to one side on Thursday for the Ruth Strauss Foundation with both England and Australia players joining fans and pundits in turning Lord’s into a sea of red.

Former England captain Sir Andrew Strauss set up the charity in memory of his late wife Ruth, who died in 2018 from a non-smoking lung cancer.

The foundation supports thousands of families as they deal with the impact of terminal cancer diagnosis and day two will aim to raise more funds and awareness.

Kevin Pietersen accused England of an “absolutely shambolic” opening day at Lord’s after Australia’s batters took control of the second Ashes Test.

Pietersen, who was given the honour of ringing the bell before the start of play, offered a stinging assessment of England’s efforts with the ball after the tourists reached the close on 339 for five.

Only two late wickets in four balls from part-time spinner Joe Root prevented the end-of-play scorecard looking even worse, Travis Head and Cameron Green both falling to unforced errors.

A scattering of live green grass and overhead clouds that were gloomy enough to warrant floodlights throughout the day appeared to hint at ideal conditions for England’s five-strong seam attack, but it was the tourists who dictated the tone as half-centuries from David Warner (66), Travis Head (77) and Steve Smith (85no) left them well placed.

“Not a lot’s caught my eye from an English perspective, it’s been shambolic. Absolutely shambolic,” the 104-cap veteran told Sky Sports.

“You have overhead conditions, you have wickets that suit your bowlers and you’ve got bowlers running in at 78, 79, 80 miles an hour.

“Now it’s one thing walking here, swanning around, saying ‘this is a wonderful team to play in, we’re creating the best environment’. But this is not Ashes cricket.”

Pietersen also took issue with an apparent lack of edge on the field – just a week on from Australian criticism over Ollie Robinson’s expletive-filled send-off of Usman Khawaja at Edgbaston.

“It’s all too easy, too nice. Are you telling me Ricky Ponting in 2005 is going to be talking to Geraint Jones? You think Michael Vaughan is going to be stood next to Justin Langer saying ‘hey mate, what a cool day, it’s overcast, it’s beautiful, what an awesome day, environment here at Lord’s – what do you think of the wicket’?

“Are you joking? Are you absolutely joking? I just hope they’re in their dressing room now and the England coach is giving them the biggest hammering and saying it’s absolutely not good enough.”

Josh Tongue was the pick of the five English quicks on his first Ashes outing, topping the pace charts and snapping up the wickets of Khawaja and David Warner either side of the lunch break.

The 25-year-old saw his first three overs smacked for 24 but revealed a word of advice from Ollie Robinson about utilising the famous Lord’s slope helped him open his account against Australia.

“I spoke to Robbo just before lunch about trying to use the slope a bit more,” said Tongue.

“I was trying to wobble it away from the bat and he said ‘why don’t you try and get the ball coming back into him’. Getting Khawaja just before lunch was crucial and then, obviously, I was trying to do the same to David.

“He’s a very hard batter to bowl at. If you miss your length you’re going to the boundary, that’s how I felt, so the wicket came at a very good time for the team.”

Invited to rate the Warner dismissal, which skidded between bat and pad and lifted the bails with precision to cap an outstanding over, Tongue added: “I haven’t properly looked back yet, but listening to the lads it was a very good ball.”

Warner opted to shine a light on Head’s performance after the latter hit 14 boundaries to pile the pressure on England in the evening session.

“Trav is Trav, that’s the way he plays,” he said.

“It’s exciting and we’re just lucky he’s on our team. He can take it away from you. Striking at over a hundred is exceptional. He just finds a way.”

England bowled themselves into trouble on day one of the second Ashes Test at Lord’s, before two wickets in an over from part-timer Joe Root offered a late morale boost.

Desperate to produce a statement of intent after their tense two-wicket defeat at Edgbaston, the hosts failed to make the most of Ben Stokes winning the toss in helpful conditions as Australia reached the close on 339 for five.

It could have been much worse for the hosts but Root, asked to carry the spin burden alone due to concerns over Moeen Ali’s injured index finger, halted the tide just as it threatened to carry England away.

Travis Head had clattered 77 at better than a run-a-ball when he was stumped racing down the track at a delivery that started wide and turned even further from the bat, then all-rounder Cameron Green threw his wicket away for a duck in a vain attempt to slog Root down the ground.

Two cheap wickets in four balls did not completely mitigate two-and-a-half sessions of deeply uninspired work from a lethargic seam attack, but it did halt a 122-run stand between Head and Steve Smith that was quickly heading towards game-changing territory.

Smith remains at large on 85 not out and with the chance to bat England out of the match on day two.

Prior to Root’s unexpected intervention, England had relied on rookie seamer Josh Tongue for two of their three wickets as James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Ollie Robinson and Stokes himself all toiled without success.

Tongue produced two fine deliveries to clean bowl both openers, Usman Khawaja offering no stroke on the cusp of lunch and David Warner (66) cut in two by a gem, but even he was not exempt from the travails which swamped his team-mates.

The 25-year-old went at 4.88 over the course of the day, with Broad wicketless and Robinson visibly down on pace as he returned one for 86.

Stokes’ three-over cameo cost him 21 and although Anderson kept a lid on the scoring, he was worrying subdued for the third innings in a row.

Stokes could hardly disguise his grin when Pat Cummins called incorrectly at the toss, eagerly sending the tourists in under cloudy skies on a green-tinged pitch.

When the floodlights came on just before the start of play, the scene seemed set for the home attack to have some fun, but the anticipated clatter of wickets failed to materialise.

The game was interrupted after a solitary Anderson over when two Just Stop Oil protesters invaded the pitch brandishing orange paint powder, an incursion that ended with wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow lifting one of the activists off his feet and carrying him off the pitch while Stokes shepherded the other into the arms of security.

Warner and Khawaja did not allow the break to disrupt their concentration, although the latter offered a low half-chance off Broad that Root would have done outstandingly to hold.

The bowling looked laboured at times, with Robinson struggling to crack 80mph, but Broad should have picked up Warner on 20 when Ollie Pope put down a regulation edge at fourth slip, an echo of missed opportunities in the first Test.

Pope spent the latter half of the day off the field receiving ice treatment for a shoulder injury and England will hope their vice-captain’s batting is not affected by the issue.

Warner sought to impose himself, bending the knee to sweep Broad and Robinson and hooking Tongue for six as his first three overs leaked 24 runs. But he showed plenty of character to get his side up and running either side of lunch.

He dismissed Khawaja moments before the break, nipping one down the slope and into the off stump, and saved something even better for Warner after the restart.

He put together a deliciously difficult over to the left-hander and capped it in style with one that speared between bat and pad as it flicked the bails.

That brought Smith and Marnus Labuschagne together, fresh from the pair’s double failure at Lord’s. Smith was busy immediately but Labuschagne was shaky until a sequence of five boundaries from eight legal deliveries warmed him up.

Both were well settled as they took tea at 190 for two, but Robinson finally got himself into the contest in the evening session when he got one to stand up off the seam and take Labuschagne’s outside edge for 47.

England briefly had an opening, but a whirlwind knock from Head closed it emphatically. He laid into a tiring attack with gusto, hitting 14 boundaries as weariness and sloppy fielding began to take a toll.

With Smith showing signs of tunnel vision and a couple of DRS decisions correctly going against England, it took unforced error to lift Stokes’ side.

Root was apparently biding time until the second new ball but found a some bite from the rough and tempted Head into a rash charge.

Bairstow did the rest with a smart take and stumping, before Green hacked his third ball high to mid-off to take some of the shine off a strong day for Australia.

Sports stars and clubs across the world continue to provide an insight into their lives on social media.

Here, the PA news agency looks at some of the best examples from June 28.


The excitement for the second Ashes Test started early in the day.

But it was a surprise move from Jonny Bairstow making the early headlines at Lord’s.

Nathan Lyon made history.


Manchester City were still celebrating their big news from Tuesday.

They were also marking Kevin De Bruyne’s big day.

Liverpool sent Rhys Williams on loan to Aberdeen.

This is how the Dons announced the move.

Ireland produced something special to announce their World Cup squad.

Hull were celebrating a birthday.


Min Woo Lee was having a tough time at the mini golf ahead of the British Masters.

Justin Rose looked happy to be at The Belfry.

Tournament host Sir Nick Faldo was a man in demand.

Rookie seamer Josh Tongue struck twice in his first Ashes appearance, but the rest of the England attack drew a blank as Australia took control on day one of the second Test at Lord’s.

Tongue justified his return to the side as he bowled with pace and purpose at the home of cricket, clipping Usman Khawaja’s bails as he left the ball on the stroke of lunch and later ramming one through David Warner’s defences to remove him for 66.

But they were isolated moments of joy for the home side, who asked Australia to bat in awkward conditions only to see them post 190 for two at tea.

Steve Smith (38no) and Marnus Labuschagne (45no) were both ominously set at the break, having contributed just 35 in four innings in their side’s series-opening victory at Edgbaston.

Ben Stokes could hardly hide his grin after winning the toss, eagerly choosing to bowl on a pitch with a light covering of live grass and under thick grey clouds. When the floodlights came on just before the start of play, it seemed perfect bowling conditions for England’s five-man pace attack.

The game was interrupted after a solitary over when two Just Stop Oil protesters invaded the pitch brandishing orange paint powder, an incursion that ended with wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow lifting one of the activists off his feet and carrying him off the pitch while Stokes shepherded the other into the arms of security.

Warner and Khawaja did not allow the break to disrupt their concentration, although the latter offered a low half-chance off Stuart Broad in the hint of an early strike for England.

The bowling looked laboured at times, with Ollie Robinson struggling to crack 80mph, but Broad should have picked up Warner on 20 when Ollie Pope put down a regulation edge at fourth slip, an echo of missed opportunities in the first Test.

Having survived the initial skirmishes, Warner sought to impose himself, bending the knee to sweep both Broad and Robinson.

Tongue took five wickets against Ireland on Test debut earlier this month but appeared to suffer some early stage fright as his first three overs were taken for 24 – including a hooked six from Warner.

But he rallied to give England a badly-needed success in the final over of the morning. Khawaja, player of the match last time out, offered no shot to one that came in down the slope and paid with his wicket to leave Australia 73 for one.

Tongue went one better in his first spell of the afternoon, bowling a deliciously difficult over to Warner before spearing one between bat and pad as the batter was cut in two.

England would have sensed an opportunity with Smith and Labuschagne both new to the crease, but the former began busily to reverse the pressure with some confident shots.

Labuschagne was shakier to start but a sequence of five boundaries from eight legal deliveries off Broad and Stokes set him up nicely.

Broad had both men in trouble amid a flurry of run-scoring, but a caught behind off Smith and an lbw against Labuschagne both went against England on DRS.

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.

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.

Jonny Bairstow carried a Just Stop Oil protester off the Lord’s pitch after the activist group targeted the first morning of the second Ashes Test.

The England wicketkeeper took matters into his own hands when two men ran on to the field armed with orange paint dust in a clear attempt to halt the match.

Bairstow, a keen rugby league player in his younger days, ran to meet one of the protesters and lifted them off their feet before carting them over the boundary edge.

Having handed them over to the stewards, he headed to the pavilion to change his whites, but his quick thinking may well have prevented a much lengthier delay to proceedings had the paint made it as far as the wicket.

The other protester, who attracted the attention of England captain Ben Stokes, was intercepted by security staff, while another was apprehended in the stands. All three were arrested.

Speaking on BBC’s Test Match Special, commentator Jonathan Agnew said: “Jonny Bairstow’s dander was up there, he was like a flanker. Let’s hope this doesn’t happen again, let’s hope that’s the one attack on the Ashes this year.”

Broadcasters largely chose not to highlight the incident, but former Australia captain Ricky Ponting offered one cheeky reference following a wicketless start to the morning.

“I didn’t want to say anything, but the one chance that’s come Jonny’s way, he’s held on to so far,” Ponting joked on Sky Sports.

A spokesperson for the Metropolitan Police said on Twitter: “We are aware of protesters on the Lord’s Cricket Ground pitch today, Wednesday, 28 June. Police have arrested three people and taken them into custody.”

Guy Lavender, chief executive of the Marylebone Cricket Club, which owns Lord’s, criticised those involved.

He said: “MCC condemn in the strongest possible terms today’s pitch incursion and with the behaviour of the protesters involved.

“Their actions not only endanger themselves and those who work at the ground, but they have consistently shown complete disregard for the people who pay to attend events, not just here at Lord’s but around the country at other sporting venues.”

Just Stop Oil said on Twitter: “At 11am, three Just Stop Oil supporters stormed the pitch at Lord’s Cricket Ground in a cloud of orange powder paint and disrupted the #Ashes2023 Second Test between England and Australia.”

Just Stop Oil protesters previously delayed England’s arrival for day one of their one-off Test against Ireland on June 1 by standing in front of their team coach outside their Kensington hotel.

It was Bairstow who highlighted the incident at the time by posting a picture of it on his Instagram story.

Just Stop Oil protesters were able to disrupt the Gallagher Premiership final at Twickenham between Saracens and Sale last month. Two men wearing Just Stop Oil T-shirts invaded the pitch midway through the first half and threw orange paint powder on to the field before being removed.

A similar incident occurred at the Crucible during the World Snooker Championship in April.

Just Stop Oil protesters stopped the second Ashes Test with England wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow forced to take matters into his own hands.

Ahead of the second over of the morning session at Lord’s, two Just Stop Oil protesters raced onto the pitch.

Bairstow immediately took matters into his own hands by picking up one of the protesters and carrying them off the pitch.

The other Just Stop Oil protester was thwarted by security staff before being taken away from the grounds.

Bairstow had to briefly leave the field to change his top, after it was covered in orange powder, before returning ahead of Broad starting his spell from the Nursery End.

Sir Andrew Strauss hopes turning Lord’s ‘Red for Ruth’ during this week’s Ashes Test can help his charity support thousands more families as they deal with the impact of a terminal cancer diagnosis.

The former England captain set up the Ruth Strauss Foundation in memory of his late wife, who died in 2018 from a non-smoking lung cancer, and has worked alongside the cricket community to raise funds and awareness for the past four years.

Day two of England’s second Test against Australia will once again see Lord’s awash in red, with players from both sides joining fans and pundits in marking the occasion in colourful fashion.

The foundation has already been able to achieve some oits aims in providing pre-bereavement counselling for children and partners, training for healthcare professionals and peer-to-peer support networks, but Strauss believes the surface has only just been scratched and sees the elevated platform of this summer’s series as a catalyst.

“We’ve still got a long way to go. The more we do, the more we need to do and the broader our reach needs to be,” he said.

“Hopefully an Ashes Test match is a time where people who aren’t always watching cricket are suddenly tuning in. We understand the opportunity we have in front of us in the next few days.

“We’re excited about having the platform to show that and we’re incredibly lucky to have so much support from the cricket community. But we know people are going through this from all walks of life, some of whom having never heard of cricket or the Ruth Strauss Foundation.

“We’re here to help as many people as possible. We’ve helped hundreds of families and directly trained up hundreds of nurses, but we feel the reach is expanding all the time.

“I can honestly say we’ve got anywhere near where we want to. This still very near to the start of the journey for us. The support we get allows us to turn those hundreds into thousands and those thousands into tens of thousands. This is about scaling up what we can offer.

“There’s 127 children every day losing a parent and we want to be there for the majority of them.”

Strauss is aware that the doors of Lord’s may not be thrown open to him had he not been a decorated former England skipper, but is increasingly determined to use that privileged position for good.

“Without the success I had on the cricket field I wouldn’t have had this platform,” he said.

“I was very proud of what I achieved in an England shirt. That was about me and achieving my goals, but this is about something much greater than me.

“It breaks my heart that every day there are hundreds of kids being put into the situation that my kids were put into. We can’t change that but we can make it a little bit easier.”

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