Australia captain Steve Smith hits back at England with magnificent century


Steve Smith scored the first century of the 2017-18 Ashes series as Australia dominated day three of the first Ashes Test against a frustrated England in Brisbane.
Taking three wickets for 34 runs before lunch, the tourists threatened to roll through Australia’s lower-order but Smith had other ideas and reached his 21st century off 261 balls in the afternoon session.
Taking three wickets for 34 runs before lunch, the tourists threatened to roll through Australia’s lower-order but Smith had other ideas and reached his 21st century off 261 balls in the afternoon session.
After eventually bowling the hosts out for 328, England lost two wickets in the final session as the momentum firmly swung in Australia’s favour after Smith’s heroics.

MORNING SESSION

Resuming the day on 167-4, with Smith and Shaun Marsh at the crease, England were striving for early wickets and were rewarded for a tight opening burst when Marsh, having just passed 50, drove Stuart Broad to James Anderson at mid-off.
The second new ball brought further success – Anderson took just four deliveries with the new cherry to find wicketkeeper Tim Paine’s edge and Jonny Bairstow was on hand to take a fantastic catch.
Mitchell Starc lasted just five balls, offering a simple caught and bowled chance to Broad, two deliveries after dispatching England’s talisman over his head for an extraordinary six.

AFTERNOON SESSION

After surviving a tricky spell in the morning with the momentum firmly in England’s camp, No 9 Pat Cummins grew in confidence in the afternoon and quickly began to outscore his captain, who was slowly but surely closing in on a vital hundred.
The pair occupied the crease for over 30 overs as England looked increasingly bereft of ideas on a pitch that has failed to liven up despite the promises of the Gabba groundsmen.
Smith, who of course earned his international debut as a leg-spinner, underlined why he is the top-ranked Test batsmen in the world with a quite brilliant century, eventually reaching the milestone off 261 balls with a cover drive for four.
Chris Woakes, who has underwhelmed in this Test despite impressing in the warm-up matches, finally dismissed Cummins for a well-made 42 but Australia had moved to within 15 runs of England’s first innings total by the tea break.

Well batted, Steve Smith 👏

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