Josh Hazlewood put England under early pressure as the second Ashes Test got off to a belated start at Lord’s – but Rory Burns and Joe Denly had steered their side to 76 for two by lunch on day two.
After Wednesday’s washout Australia captain Tim Paine made the brave decision to bowl first on a bright morning and he had the recalled Hazlewood to thank for making early inroads.
He dismissed Jason Roy for a three-ball duck and captain Joe Root for 14 in an inspired new-ball spell before Burns (34no) and Denly (27no) settled into a half-century stand.
The day’s play took place in support of the Ruth Strauss Foundation, with both sides donning limited-edition caps and shirts to raise funds in honour of former England captain Andrew Strauss’ late wife and the majority of the sold-out ground was dressed in red.
Strauss and his two sons rang the five-minute bell and led the teams out to the field to a great ovation, but it was back to business as soon as Hazlewood got started.
Australia have not inserted the opposition in a Test match since February 2016 but it looked a sound decision when the tall seamer found Roy’s outside edge for a three-ball duck.
It was another painful outing at the top of the order for Roy, who began by slashing at a wide one, played and missed at his next delivery and then nicked a ball he could have left.
The World Cup winner has made just 43 runs in four innings at opener and still has plenty to prove if he is to make a future there.
Meanwhile Hazlewood, left out for the series-opening win at Edgbaston but preferred to Mitchell Starc here, was just beginning what turned out to be an inspired opening spell of two for five in six overs.
Having landed the first blow he followed up with three successive maidens before taking out Root. Bowling full and challenging the stumps he seamed one back in, thumped Root on the knee roll and trapped him in front of leg.
The England captain had made 14, including a pair of classy cover drives off Pat Cummins, but left rookies Burns and Denly in charge of the rebuilding job.
It was not an easy task, Denly clattered on the side of the helmet by a wicked Hazlewood bouncer and Burns dropped by Usman Khawaja on 16 off the bowling of Peter Siddle, but the pair dug deep.
Both men grew in confidence, successfully negotiating Nathan Lyon’s first spell at the cost of one unsuccessful DRS appeal, finding a way to counter Hazlewood and sharing nine boundaries to bring up their fifty together just before the break.