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Warner innings adds to England Ashes pain

Opener David Warner is closing in on his 25th Test century as Australia take firm control of the Ashes opener against England at the Gabba.

At tea on day two, Australia are 3-193, a lead of 46 runs with Warner unbeaten on 94.

Travis Head, who is yet to score, is the other not out batsman at the break.

Warner’s innings hasn’t been a typically swashbuckling one, coming off 173 deliveries with 11 fours and two sixes.

It’s also came with a sprinkling of good fortune, bowled for 17 off a Ben Stokes delivery before the third umpire gave him a reprieve with a no-ball call.

Warner was also dropped on 49 by Rory Burns and survived a run-out chance when he was stranded outside his crease on 60.

If the 35-year-old can reach three figures it will be the the fifth time he has posted a century after being dismissed off a no-ball in a Test match.

Marnus Labuschagne shared a 156-run stand with Warner for the second wicket and also appeared to be cruising towards a hundred when he fell for 74.

A delivery after launching England spinner Jack Leach into the Gabba stands, Labuschagne tried one shot too many and cut the ball straight to Mark Wood at backward point.

The wicket was a welcome relief for Leach (1-62) who had earlier been smacked for 31 off his first three overs including back-to-back sixes from Warner.

There was some joy before the tea break too for Wood (1-35) with the ball, luring Steve Smith (12) to edge behind to a grateful Jos Buttler.

At the start of the day, England had an early breakthrough when Ollie Robinson (1-3), on his Ashes debut, had Marcus Harris caught at third slip for just three.

Stokes (0-23), playing his first competitive match since July, bowled five overs in the opening session.

He thought he’d got the prized wicket of Warner with his fourth delivery only for TV reviews to show it he’d overstepped.

Analysis of his spell would go on to reveal Stokes overstepped 14 times with only two no-balls being called due to technology normally utilised to check for illegal deliveries having failed.

That meant the responsibility for calling no-balls fell to the on-field umpires, with the third umpire only reviewing deliveries that resulted in a wicket such as Warner’s.

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