Published: Thu, September 05, 2019
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Australia star Smith hits fifty on Ashes return

Australia star Smith hits fifty on Ashes return

Only Don Bradman had hit most hundreds than Smith in Test against England.

Smith had driven straight down the ground as Archer got fingertips to it but couldn't hang on.

On a miserable opening day to the match in the north of England, where ferocious winds and rain that came in sideways played havoc by allowing only 44 overs to be bowled, Smith was a class above as he and Marnus Labuschagne dug the Aussies out of a hole created by their misfiring top order.

Smith, a shining light for the tourists on a tiresome day in Manchester, was 60 not out in a total of 170-3 at tea on the rain-marred first day of the fourth Test.

Smith reached his fifty with his seventh four in 81 balls when he ended up on his knees following an extravagant cover-drive off Stokes.

Burns and Overton did what was required of them, though, for the final 10 minutes of play and similarly patient batting will be required on day three, the magnificence of Smith having put Australia firmly in the ascendancy in Manchester.

This was former Australia captain Smith's third century of an Ashes where his lowest scores is the 92 he made after being felled by Archer at Lord's.

Mitchell Starc bowled Jonny Bairstow with a beautiful in-swinging delivery
Mitchell Starc bowled Jonny Bairstow with a beautiful in-swinging delivery

Overton had made his Test debut against Australia in 2017, and ever since, he has been a part of only three Tests, adding seven wickets to his name.

Marcus Harris had kept his place alongside Warner after Australia dropped the struggling Usman Khawaja but the left-hander fell for 13 when Broad trapped him lbw from around the wicket with a ball that nipped back.

But just four balls into the innings Broad, again leading England´s attack in the absence of regular new-ball partner James Anderson, had Warner caught behind for nought as he tried to withdraw his bat.

Smith, who this week returned to the top of the world Test batting rankings, is playing in his first series at this level since completing a 12-month ban for ball-tampering.

BOWLING (to-date): Broad 10-2-35-2; Archer 10-0-28-0; Stokes 8-0-36-0; Leach 6-2-18-0; Overton 10-0-41-1.

He brought up his fifty, lavishly driving Ben Stokes for four through cover but the Manchester weather ensured the prospect of a third ton in the series will have to wait.

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