Australia fight back in Ashes opener after Broad double

Australia rallied to reach 83-3 at lunch on the first day of the opening Ashes Test at Edgbaston on Thursday after England paceman Stuart Broad struck early to remove openers David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.

Joe Root’s buoyant England side are looking to round off an already memorable season by completing a World Cup and Ashes double.

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Cheers and jeers rang around the often-raucous Birmingham ground as Broad’s double strike left Australia reeling at 17-2 inside eight overs.

Chris Woakes then put the Australians in even deeper trouble when he had Usman Khawaja caught behind for 13.

But former captain Steve Smith, like Warner and Bancroft making his return to Test cricket after all three batsmen were given lengthy bans for their roles in a ball-tampering scandal, held firm.



At lunch he was 23 not out and Travis Head 26 not out, with their unbroken stand worth 48 runs.

Australia captain Tim Paine won the toss for the Ashes holders, looking to win their first Test series away to England in 18 years, and took the bold decision to bat first.

Australia were booed when they walked out for the pre-match anthem ceremony.

Warner and Smith at least knew what to expect, having been given similar rough treatment during the recent World Cup, which saw England beat defending champions Australia in an Edgbaston semi-final last month.

England’s all-time leading Test wicket-taker James Anderson beat Bancroft all ends up with the third ball of the match.

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