narrowly missed out on his 25th Test ton before Travis Head
scored a quickfire century to help Australia recover from a mini-collapse as the
hosts finished the Day 2 of the Ashes opener at the Gabba, Brisbane with a mammoth
196-run lead over England on Thursday.  

The visitors
were staring down the barrel with Warner and Marnus Labuschagne’s fortuitous 156
run-stand for the second wicket after Marcus Harris (3) departed early in the
innings. Jack Leach, who was selected ahead of Stuart Broad, suffered the most
as both Warner and Harris smacked him all around the park.

Also Read | I’m pinching myself: Australia’s Travis Head on quick-fire Ashes ton vs England

The left-arm
spinner conceded 50 runs off just 37 deliveries halfway through his spell and
was the unlikeliest of the English bowlers to break the partnership. But Labuschagne
(74), who had just hit Leach for a six down the ground, wanted another boundary
and paid the price as he cut a bouncing delivery straight to Mark Wood at
backward point.

Steve Smith
(12) also flirted with danger throughout his short stint, coming down the pitch
to hit Leach for a boundary off just his second delivery. But his luck ran out just
before Lunch as he edged a Wood delivery to Jos Buttler in the slips.

The English
bowlers bossed proceedings after the break, with Warner falling six runs short of
a deserved 25th Test century following a soft dismissal – lofting an
Ollie Robinson delivery straight to Ben Stokes at mid-off.

Also Read | Mitchell Starc’s first-ball wicket is fodder for a new Ashes memory

was on a hattrick as Cameron Green misjudged a leave to allow an angled-in
delivery to hit the top of off stump. Chris Woakes got his first wicket with
the dismissal of Alex Carey (12) after the debutant shared a 31-run stand with

Head kept marching towards a run-a-ball fifty before breaking the shackles to
bring up his third Test century in just 85 deliveries and undo all the progress
the English bowlers had made.

Skipper Joe
Root dismissed his Australian counterpart Pat Cummins (12) but the damage was
being done from the other end, as Head and Mitchess Starc (10*) took the hosts 196
ahead of England at Stumps.