Ashes England take lunch on 88-3 in first Ashes Test at Cardiff.

Australia took three wickets in the opening session of the first Ashes Test, but missed a chance to remove the in-form Joe Root for a duck.

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England came under pressure on the opening morning of the first Ashes Test, but were grateful for an early reprieve handed to Joe Root as they reached lunch on 88-3 after electing to bat at Sophia Gardens.

Adam Lyth (6), Alastair Cook (20) and Ian Bell (1) all departed cheaply as England - seeking to bounce back from a 5-0 defeat in the previous Ashes series - got off to a shaky start under overcast skies on a pitch lacking pace.

However, Australia wicketkeeper Brad Haddin was guilty of a potentially crucial error when he dropped the in-form Root before he had scored.

Root, who also survived a huge lbw appeal first ball having got an inside edge on to pad, ended the first session unbeaten on 33 from 24 balls, alongside Yorkshire team-mate Gary Ballance (28).

After both teams had named predictable line-ups and a brief delay due to rain, Australia broke through in the second over, Josh Hazlewood's sixth ball in Ashes cricket accounting for Lyth as the opener played across the line and edged to gully, where David Warner held a low catch.

Cook and Ballance steadied the ship thereafter, only for the captain to be caught behind off the second ball after drinks, looking to cut Nathan Lyon.

Bell's poor run of scores continued as he fell lbw to a full inswinger from Mitchell Starc, but Root capitalised on a huge let-off - which saw Haddin spill a one-handed chance off Starc diving to his right - to display fluency alongside the watchful Ballance.

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