Nathan Lyon led a roaring Australia fightback in the morning session of day three of the opening Ashes Test but England edged into a first-innings leading at Edgbaston.

Rory Burns impressed on Friday as England batted out all three sessions, but it was a different story in the first couple of hours on Saturday as concerns over the hosts' line-up were brought to the fore.

England were well placed at 282-4, but with Ben Stokes having edged to Tim Paine just after making a half-century, Lyon handed Australia the initiative when he dismissed Burns (133) and Moeen Ali for a duck in the same over.

Jonny Bairstow's wicket fell soon after as England lost four for 18 runs and slipped to 300-8. Stuart Broad (11 not out) and Chris Woakes (13no) managed to halt the slide, though, to take the hosts into lunch with a 44-run lead.

James Pattinson thought he had Stokes caught behind in the third over, only for England's all-rounder to have made contact with the ground.

However, after clipping a single fine of mid-off to bring up his 50, Stokes succumbed on the next ball he faced -  a thin edge taking Pat Cummins' delivery straight into Paine's gloves.

Bairstow and Burns nudged England past Australia's total, though Lyon soon made the key breakthrough.

Burns misjudged a quicker ball, with Australia captain Paine reacting superbly to take the catch and send England's opener walking.

Lyons doubled the damage four deliveries later, Moeen bizarrely electing to leave a straight ball that sent his off-stump tumbling, before Bairstow then slashed an attempted cut to David Warner from Peter Siddle's bowling.

Australia looked set to rattle through England's order, but the hosts' tail wagged, with Broad and Woakes, who slammed Lyon for a huge six, ensuring James Anderson - who has been declared fit to bat - was not called on before lunch.

James Anderson will be available to bat for England on day three of the opening Ashes Test, though it is not yet confirmed if he will bowl.

Anderson suffered a calf injury on the first day at Edgbaston, having bowled four overs for one run in the opening session on Thursday.

He later had scans on the injury, with Stuart Broad confirming England were unsure as to the full extent of the problem.

The 37-year-old was seen running in the warm up on day two but did not have to take part in Friday's play as England batted out all three sessions - Rory Burns scoring 125 not out to move the hosts within 17 runs of Australia's tally of 284.

Anderson's recovery now seems to have picked up pace, with the ECB confirming to Omnisport that the Lancashire paceman will be able to bat if required.

However, no decision has yet been made on whether Anderson – who ran in the warm up – will bowl, with the ECB to take a view later in the day as to whether England's record Test wicket-taker should do so.

Australia mentor Steve Waugh feels the tourists have to learn from the way Rory Burns dug in to make 125 not out on the second day of the first Ashes Test.

England put themselves in a strong position on Friday as Burns produced his maiden century in the longest format, moving the hosts to within 17 runs of Australia's first-innings total with six wickets in hand.

Burns rode his luck at times but ultimately turned the match in his side's favour. Waugh was impressed by how the England opener handled himself and stated the Australia batsmen should take note.

"That's Test match cricket. You've got to grind it out and do the hard yards," he said. "It's not about how good you look, it's about how many runs you get.

"That was a good innings for some of our players to look at and learn from, sure.

"I know myself, playing tough Test match cricket, when someone scores runs for the opposition, you've got to be smart to look at how they got those runs, how they went about it.

"When you watch someone get 120 not out, you've got to take something from that and put it in your own game."

Waugh added: "I haven't seen a lot of him, but his concentration was excellent. He obviously knows his game really well.

"To get 100 on that pitch is a good performance - in Ashes cricket, it's really important for his side. I'll give him full credit.

"He played and missed a few times, but you need a little bit of luck. He showed a lot of character today, so he's got to be proud of that effort."

Neither side were helped by more errors from the umpires, who were widely criticised after day one, but Waugh was not looking for excuses.

"There's been a couple [of mistakes] over the past few days, but I think it evens out," he said. "You can't rely on that to win a Test match.

"You need to take luck out of the equation and play a little bit better."

Burns thoroughly enjoyed his outing and is keen to see England build a lead on day three.

"It was a wonderful experience," he said. "Hopefully I'm not done yet and hopefully we can push on from the position we're in tomorrow."

Rory Burns was delighted to deliver on the big stage with a debut Ashes century, having toiled badly in the warm-up Test against Ireland last week.

The England opener twice made just six against Ireland at Lord's as the hosts threatened to be embarrassed.

Burns' underwhelming display might not have boosted England's hopes heading into the first Test against Australia at Edgbaston, but the Surrey man was 125 not out at the end of day two as the hosts reached 267-4.

England, with six wickets still in hand, moved to within 17 runs of Australia's first-innings total of 284 as the home crowd chanted Burns' name following his maiden Test century.

It was a long way from the previous week's struggles, as the opener attested to afterwards.

"That was pretty good - quite an enjoyable experience," Burns told Sky Sports. "[It feels] different to the Ireland Test match last week.

"It was awesome, a really good experience, that stand rocking and this place going. It was quite something."

Describing his thoughts after the Ireland match, he added: "I was just thinking that I've been trying to embrace the opportunities as they come, and the next game's another opportunity.

"I just wanted to put myself in position to take that opportunity. I was struggling with my rhythm at Lord's and I was just trying to fight to get that feeling back."

There was a long nervy stretch for Burns in the final session as he crept towards his century, facing 10 deliveries on 99 before getting the single to reach the landmark.

"I was just waiting for a ball that was, 'Dead cert, that's going'," he added. "I was playing with myself, telling myself not to sweep because I wanted it. I just wanted something in my arc."

Rory Burns scored his maiden Test hundred as England enjoyed the better of day two of the first Ashes match against Australia at Edgbaston.

Left-hander Burns averaged 22 after his first seven Test appearances and saw his place in the side come into question ahead of this series, but he broke new ground in Birmingham with a gritty unbeaten 125 leading England to 267-4 at the close, 17 runs adrift of Australia's first-innings total.

It could have been a very different day for the Surrey opener, who was fortunate on two counts not to fall lbw on 21 to Nathan Lyon, who bowled brilliantly despite failing to take a wicket.

Burns retained his composure and went on to establish a 132-run partnership with captain Joe Root (57), who was making his first appearance since returning to bat at three.

Australia's pace attack struggled until a change of ball brought about an upturn in fortunes, with Joe Denly (18) and Jos Buttler (5) falling shortly after tea.

However, the tourists were unable to oust Burns as he reached the close in the company of Ben Stokes (38 not out) to keep England on the front foot.

Steve Smith's 144 on Thursday lifted Australia from 122-8 to what appeared to be a competitive 284 all out when England experienced some early scares after resuming on 10 without loss.

After Jason Roy (10) edged James Pattinson (2-54) – making his first Test appearance since February 2016 – to Smith at second slip, Burns was let off the hook when Lyon's lbw appeal was turned down and Australia's decision not to review proved costly with ball-tracking technology showing the delivery was destined to crash into leg stump.

Pattinson was left bemused when Root overturned a caught-behind decision as replays showed the ball clipped off stump without dislodging a bail rather than hitting his bat, before the captain, who was given out lbw off Peter Siddle after lunch but again reviewed successfully due to an inside edge, and Burns made the most of their reprieves by grinding out runs.

Just as Root started to look more comfortable, he was dismissed caught-and-bowled by an instinctive catch by Siddle (1-43) on his follow through, and more nervy moments ensued for Burns.

Pattinson and Pat Cummins (1-65) were rejuvenated by a ball change that led to a significant increase in swing early in the final session and they accounted for Denly and Buttler within six overs of its introduction.

But after surpassing his previous Test best of 84, Burns faced 10 deliveries on 99 before finally getting a quick single off Lyon to reach triple figures and bask in the adulation of the delighted fans.

Rory Burns completed a hugely significant maiden Test hundred after England had been rocked by two early-evening wickets on day two of the Ashes opener at Edgbaston.

Burns averaged just 22 from seven Tests ahead of his Ashes debut, but the Surrey opener picked an opportune time to assuage doubts over his credentials at the highest level, as his side replied to Australia's first-innings total of 284.

The left-hander shared 132 with captain Joe Root (57) following Jason Roy's early departure, but then lost Joe Denly and Jos Buttler in quick succession after tea as a change of ball heralded an improvement in fortunes for Australia.

However, Burns held firm and brought up his century from 224 deliveries in the company of vice-captain Ben Stokes.

England were 205-4 when Burns moved to three figures, trailing by 79 and hoping to secure a substantial lead, particularly given the uncertainty over whether James Anderson will be fit to bowl in Australia's second innings.

Burns rode his luck at times and was fortunate on two counts after being rapped on the pad by Nathan Lyon on 21. Umpire Joel Wilson incorrectly turned down Australia's appeal and the tourists declined the opportunity to review when they could have overturned that decision.

Following that scare, Burns showed plenty of grit and determination to surpass his previous Test best of 84. After some nervy moments in the nineties and 10 deliveries on 99, he reached his hundred by scampering through for a quick single off Lyon.

Rory Burns closed in on a maiden Test century and shared a valuable partnership of 132 with skipper Joe Root as England seized the upper hand on day two of the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston.

England's struggles at the top of the order in recent times have been well documented, but Burns and Root each survived early scares to lay a strong platform for their side, contributing 82 not out and 57 respectively.

Steve Smith's spectacular 144 had lifted Australia from 122-8 to 284 all out on day one. However, the momentum had undoubtedly swung back in England's favour by the time tea was taken on Friday.

Burns, who averaged 22 from seven Tests prior to this match, and Root both enjoyed moments of good fortune prior to lunch. The former should have been given out lbw to Nathan Lyon for 21, with Australia failing to call for a review, while Root survived on nine when a James Pattinson delivery clipped his off stump but did not dislodge a bail.

England's captain - in his first Test since moving back up to number three - also overturned a leg-before decision that had gone in favour of Peter Siddle early in the afternoon, replays showing an inside edge that provided further frustration for Australia.

Although Pattinson impressed in the morning session and had Jason Roy caught at second slip for 10, a pace attack lacking Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood struggled to make much of an impact thereafter.

Siddle took a fine reflex catch off his own bowling to dismiss Root just as the batsman was operating with increasing fluency, but Burns held firm despite some particularly nervy moments against off-spinner Lyon, who extracted plenty of turn.

At tea, Burns was two shy of matching his highest Test score and had Joe Denly (nine not out) for company, with England 114 behind and eyeing a significant first-innings lead.

Former Australia captain Ricky Ponting believes the ICC should end its policy of appointing neutral umpires for Test matches.

At present, umpires are only allowed to stand in Tests providing they do not hail from one of the countries involved.

However, this significantly restricts the number of officials available for the Ashes, given seven members of the ICC's 12-man elite panel are English or Australian.

Pakistan's Aleem Dar and the newly promoted Joel Wilson of West Indies have been guilty of a host of errors during the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston. After seven blunders on the opening day alone, they combined to make three more mistakes in just over a session of play on Friday.

Ponting told "I would like to think the game has come far enough now for the game to not have neutral umpires.

"People might say that with all the technology we've got now, it doesn’t matter that much. But it's not a good spectacle when pretty obviously wrong decisions are made. There's been a lot of negativity about the DRS [Decision Review System] over the years, but we're pretty lucky that we had it [on day one]."

As a member of the MCC's Cricket Committee, Ponting intends to make sure the matter is considered by the game's decision-makers.

"It's already been spoken about a lot among the players. If it's not brought up [at the next MCC meeting], I'll make sure it's added to the agenda," he added.

"Surely [English umpire] Richard Kettleborough and the like would want to be umpiring the best series. The best umpires can end up missing out on all the big tournaments.

"It could force umpires into retirement a bit early as well when someone like [former Australian umpire] Simon Taufel is spending most of his life [overseas], which is a bit harder than spending your time in Australia."

England only lost one wicket on a tense second morning in the first Ashes Test, but Rory Burns and Joe Root survived major let-offs prior to lunch.

After resuming on 10 without loss in reply to Australia's 284 all out, which owed much to Steve Smith's spectacular 144, the hosts saw Jason Roy depart for 10 but avoided any further setbacks as they battled to 71-1.

Australia could feel somewhat hard done by, however, given Burns should have been adjudged lbw for 22 and England captain Root had a lucky escape on nine when a delivery from James Pattinson clipped his off stump but failed to dislodge a bail.

At the interval, Burns was unbeaten on 41, having played some attractive strokes in an encouraging innings, while the ultra-cautious Root had 11 to his name from 57 balls in his first innings since moving back to number three.

Pattinson, playing his first Test since February 2016 after a horrendous run of injury problems, was comfortably the pick of Australia's pacemen on Friday morning and twice found Roy's edge before having the opener caught by Smith at second slip.

Burns looked far more comfortable than his Surrey team-mate, although his progress was not entirely assured.

The left-hander took a glancing blow to the helmet from Pat Cummins and was then fortunate to survive when an appeal for lbw from Nathan Lyon, who found plenty of early turn, was turned down and Australia failed to call for a review despite Hawk-Eye showing the ball would have crashed into leg stump.

Root was then given out caught behind off the impressive Pattinson, but he reviewed successfully as it became apparent the ball had brushed off stump rather than his bat.

Mark Wood has been ruled out of playing any part in the Ashes after undergoing knee surgery.

Wood was already set to miss a sizeable chunk of England's home Test series with Australia, which got under way at Edgbaston on Thursday, after sustaining a side strain during his country's dramatic Cricket World Cup final victory.

The paceman's hopes of featuring in the fourth and fifth Tests have now been ended, after it was confirmed he has undergone an operation on a knee problem that was also picked up in the course of the World Cup campaign.

A statement from the England and Wales Cricket Board on Friday read: "England fast bowler Mark Wood has had left knee surgery to address an injury sustained during the ICC Cricket World Cup.

"The Durham player will continue rehabilitation for this and the left side strain that he sustained in the World Cup final.

"As a result of these injuries, he will be unavailable for any cricket for the remainder of the [English] season."

The news comes as a further blow to an England side weakened by James Anderson suffering a calf injury on the opening morning of the Ashes.

Anderson bowled only four overs on Thursday before reporting "tightness" in his left calf and being sent for a scan.

The 37-year-old seamer looked relatively untroubled as he underwent a fitness test at Edgbaston on Friday morning, but the nature of his injury has yet to be confirmed.

Steve Smith has continually tormented England and the Australia star added to the list with one of his best centuries in the first Ashes Test.

Smith produced his 24th Test ton at the perfect time, rescuing the tourists from a poor position on the opening day at Edgbaston on Thursday.

This surely ranked as one of Smith's finest knocks and marked his ninth century in Ashes Tests, a tally bettered only by Don Bradman (19), Jack Hobbs (12) and Steve Waugh (10).

We take a look at Smith's five best Ashes centuries.

2019 Ashes, first Test: 144 in Birmingham

This will rank as one of Smith's finest in his career, not just against England. Playing his first Test since a ball-tampering ban, Smith was booed by the locals and quickly found the team he used to captain floundering. He arrived at the crease at 17-2 and was running out of partners as Australia were reduced to 122-8, their chances of starting the series with a win deteriorating. Smith was only on 42 when Pat Cummins fell, but he managed to put on an 88-run stand with Peter Siddle (44) and 74-run partnership with Nathan Lyon (12), making a 144 featuring 16 fours and two sixes to get the tourists to 284.

2017-18 Ashes, first Test: 141* in Brisbane

Ashes openers just happen to be Smith's thing. The right-hander also set the tone for the 2017-18 series at home, comfortably scoring the most runs as Australia claimed a 4-0 success. With England bowled out for 302, Smith arrived at the Gabba crease with his team 30-2 in response. As he so often has, he carried his nation with a superb unbeaten 141 – none of his team-mates made more than 51 – to help Australia to an unlikely first-innings lead and later, a 10-wicket victory.

2017-18 Ashes, third Test: 239 in Perth

Smith made 687 runs during this series and Shaun Marsh was the second highest scorer … with 445. As England marvelled at centuries from Dawid Malan and Jonny Bairstow after batting first in Perth, Smith – in at a slightly better but still not great position at 55-2 – delivered a career-best 239 in a series-clinching win. He put on a 301-run partnership with Mitchell Marsh (181) as Australia took a 3-0 series lead.

2015 Ashes, second Test: 215 in London

Already trailing 1-0 in the series, Australia needed a response at Lord's and they got one on the opening day thanks to Smith and Chris Rogers. Smith would go on to post 215 and the opener made 173 as Australia reached 566-8 before declaring but having taken complete control of the Test. There was no way back for England and Smith also belted a 48-ball 58 in the second innings to level a series the hosts would go on to win.

2013-14 Ashes, third Test: 111 in Perth

England in Perth has been to Smith's liking and his century helped Australia wrap up a series win in 2013-14. At 106-3, the hosts were in a solid position but needed their middle-order to stand up and Smith, as usual, did just that. His 111 was the only century by any batsman in the first innings and, during what was an otherwise quiet series by his standards, Smith managed to deliver again as Australia romped to a 5-0 win.

The others...
2013 Ashes, fifth Test: 138* in London
2013-14 Ashes, fifth Test: 115 in Sydney
2015 Ashes, fifth Test: 143 in London
2017-18 Ashes, fourth Test: 102* in Melbourne

Steve Smith relished the opportunity to quickly put his Test lay-off behind him with one of his best Australia centuries in the longest format.

Australia were rocking on the first day of the Ashes opener at Edgbaston either side of Smith's arrival at number four, reduced to 122-8 as Stuart Broad dominated for England.

But former captain Smith, playing for the first time since his 12-month ban for his role in the ball-tampering scandal, kept plugging away.

A magnificent knock of 144 off 219 went a long way towards silencing the boos in the England crowd and Smith acknowledged it would have to go down as one of his greatest Test innings, dragging Australia back to 284 all out.

"It's got to be one of my best hundreds definitely," he said. "It's the first Ashes Test match and the ball was doing a fair bit out in the middle, so I had to work really hard.

"I got beaten a few times but let that go and concentrated on the next ball and kept digging in.

"I know the first Test of an Ashes series is always big, so I didn't want to give my wicket up easily, I wanted to keep fighting and, fortunately, I was able to dig in and get us to a reasonable total.

"I thought Peter Siddle did a magnificent job, with that partnership we were able to build, and Nathan Lyon was magnificent. He actually said to me that was the most nervous he's ever been out in the middle batting.

"To be able to get to 100 and give him a really big hug and let all my emotions out was pretty special."

Smith was asked if the century had special meaning given his involvement in the fiasco in South Africa last year, but he insists he has already moved on.

"That's all in the past now. I'm moving on," he said. "I'm proud to be back here, playing for Australia and hopefully contributing to a Test win here.

"There's obviously a long way to go, but we've got ourselves a reasonable total. Hopefully we can start really well with the new ball."

Smith added: "There were times throughout the last 15 months where I didn't know if I was ever going to play cricket again. I lost a bit of love for it at one point – particularly when I had my elbow operation.

"It was really bizarre that it was the day I got the brace off my elbow that I found a love for it again.

"It was like a trigger that just said, 'I want to go again, I want to play, I want to play for Australia and make people proud, do what I love doing'.

"I'd never had those feelings before where I didn't have a great love for the game. It was there for a little while and, fortunately, that love's come back.

"I'm really grateful to be in this position now, playing for Australia again and doing what I love."

Steve Smith's sublime innings showed England that big runs can be scored in the opening Ashes Test, according to Stuart Broad.

On his first Test appearance since being banned following his role in the ball-tampering scandal, Smith put on a masterful display at Edgbaston, hitting 144 from 219 delivers to rescue the visitors after they slumped to 122-8.

Broad, who brought up his 100th Ashes wicket by dismissing Smith late on, starred for England with the ball after fellow paceman Jimmy Anderson had succumbed to injury.

With England set a target of 284, Rory Burns and Jason Roy batted out the last two overs of play for 10 to leave the match finely poised heading into day two.

And though Broad recognised the damage Smith's knock had done to England's hopes, he also felt it should provide inspiration as they look to build a total in Birmingham. 

"He's played beautifully. He's always been awkward to bowl at," he said.

"But I think we bowled really well at him up until tea. I think he then took advantage of the ball being a bit softer.

"Virat Kohli did similar to us last year, getting 149 out of a lowish total.

"There's no real positives out of Smith getting 144 on the first day of the series, but it shows if we apply ourselves then runs can be scored on there, particularly if you get in.

"It's a tricky pitch to start but if someone goes and gets to 30 we can capitalise."

Broad also understands England must prevent Smith from inflicting similar pain across the series if they are to stand a chance of regaining the urn.

"It seemed like he was really fidgety today and getting a bit frustrated at himself for not hitting a four," he added.

"But maybe that's because I haven't played against him in 18 months and I forgot how much he moves around.

"He's got a fantastic record, so you have to make those first 20 balls count. He's arguably the best batter in the world at batting with a tail, so for us to win this Ashes series we're going to have to get him out early."

Stuart Broad is hoping for good news as England await an update on the full extent of the injury suffered by James Anderson during the first Ashes Test. 

England's leading Test wicket-taker Anderson had been deemed fit to start the series opener after suffering with a calf problem in recent weeks, but an issue with the same muscle saw him limited to just four overs on Thursday.

Broad, who picked up the slack with a superb five-for, revealed the veteran apologised for his inability to aid the cause.

But England are optimistic that a test on the "tight" calf would return positive results.

"[Anderson] went off straight after his spell but didn't say anything and came out back to field. We don't know the full extent yet," said Broad, in quotes reported by BBC Sport.

"He is a bit quiet and came up to the bowlers and said sorry but there is nothing to be sorry about. He is a bit quiet and bit frustrated.

"All we can hope is the news is better than we expect."

Figures of 5-86 included Broad's 100th Ashes wicket, removing the resolute Steve Smith after an outstanding 144 to close the Australia innings.

Having seen the tourists recover from 122-8 to 284 all out, Broad acknowledged he had forgotten quite how exacting such rollercoaster contests can be in one of sport's greatest rivalries.

"I feel quite exhausted," he said. "I think that comes with the emotion of the first day of an Ashes series.

"You forget how emotionally draining these series can be and we went down to a three-man seam attack, which upped the overs.

"Smith played a wonderful knock, but anytime you bowl them out for under 300 on the first day of a Test match, we're pretty happy.

"It looks like there's runs out there if someone gets in, so we should take encouragement from the way he played.

"Australia threw it back at us after tea and I'd expect that throughout the series."

Steve Smith revealed his magnificent innings against England gave him "the shakes" after he came to Australia's rescue in the first Ashes Test.

The former Australia captain struck 144 off 219 deliveries in his first Test appearance since the ball-tampering scandal.

Australia certainly needed their talismanic batsman at his best, having slumped to 122-8 before salvaging a total of 284 at Edgbaston.

And Smith could not hide his emotion after digging his side out of a hole before England closed on 10 without loss.

"I got the shakes a bit and all the hairs on my neck stood up," Smith told BBC Sport's Test Match Special.

"I have worked really hard in the last 18 months to come back and prove a few people wrong. I have heard a few people say I struggle against the seaming ball so it was nice on the first outing here to dig deep and get through.

"I am lost for words at the moment."

Smith, who along with David Warner received a hostile reception from the English crowd during the World Cup, was booed by the home faithful in Birmingham when he was finally dismissed, but the 30-year-old took little notice.

"It doesn't bother me. I don't really listen," he added.

"I did get good support from the Australia contingent. They were very loud and the boys on the sideline and in the dugout were cheering me on. That is what matters to me."

England's Jos Buttler, meanwhile, acknowledged the hosts were frustrated not to have taken full advantage of the position they found themselves in by mid-afternoon.

"It's frustrating, isn't it? He played a fantastic innings," Buttler told Sky Sports when asked to comment on Smith's performance.

"Do you put everyone back and suck it up? I think you have to try and find a way of keeping a dismissal in the game as well. 

"I think we bowled fantastically well, the partnership between Siddle and Smith, it was frustrating that we couldn't break it earlier."

© 2018 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.