Search

The Ashes: Smith ton puts England in the shade

PUBLISHED: 09:00 25 November 2017

England's Alastair Cook walks off after being dismissed during day three of the Ashes Test match at The Gabba (pic Jason O'Brien/PA)

England's Alastair Cook walks off after being dismissed during day three of the Ashes Test match at The Gabba (pic Jason O'Brien/PA)

PA Wire/PA Images

England suddenly had to battle to stay in the match on day three of the Ashes after Steve Smith’s outstanding hundred helped to pile the pressure back on them at the Gabba.

Joe Root’s men did their utmost to frustrate Smith by drying up his run-scoring options, but he refused to be distracted for more than eight and a half hours in his unbeaten 141 as Australia scrambled to 328 all out and a lead of 26.

England then made a miserable start to their second innings against Josh Hazlewood on the way to 33-2, with the early loss of Essex’s Alastair Cook for his second single-figure score in three days and then James Vince – who was unable to follow up his maiden Ashes half-century.

That was 17-2 and only a run later still scoreless Root had his helmet rearranged by a brute of a bouncer into the side of the grille from Mitchell Starc.

A torrid time continued for the England captain and opener Mark Stoneman, as Pat Cummins also bowled a rapid and menacing spell up to stumps, but they stood firm.

Smith’s was a tour-de-force performance, entirely fitting of a home captain out to put his stamp on this Ashes series from the outset.

His opposite number, and England’s attack bowling to order, made him scrap for every run as they put a block on his options with a stalemate leg-side field and no leeway to hit through the off.

Smith was therefore restricted to just 17 runs before lunch and did not register his 50th of the day until the first ball after tea. He refused to panic, though, and received very significant support.

It came first from Shaun Marsh (51), Australia’s returning number six who did the bulk of his work the previous evening but was a more than equal partner in a fifth-wicket partnership of 99 and completed his deserved half-century before a curious mis-drive at Stuart Broad (3-49) to hole out at mid-off.

The second new ball then accounted for Tim Paine and Starc inside two overs.

Paine was very well-caught behind by Jonny Bairstow off James Anderson, and Starc followed a memorable six off Broad over long-off to get off the mark third ball by falling to his fifth when he poked a return chance back to the same bowler.

It was Cummins who did most to help Smith ensure the first innings lead, batting well above the pay grade of a number nine with organised defence and attacking flair to match until Chris Woakes broke his duck for the series when he had him edging to a tumbling Cook at second slip.

Smith still managed to engineer another 53 for the last two wickets and, after barely a false shot to any of his 326 balls, he was still in situ when Nathan Lyon was neatly caught at leg-slip by Cook off Root.

England had rarely looked like getting him out at any point on this untypically slow Brisbane surface. Yet as soon as it was the tourists’ turn to face the new ball again, everything seemed to be happening too quickly for them.

Cook’s mode of dismissal, to a mishook to long-leg, was especially concerning and then Vince came and went quickly, caught at second slip in the fashion many had predicted he might during this series.

Latest Hackney Stories

17 minutes ago

The latest news from the Hackney Super5League

13:30

After losing 4-1 at Manchester United Women on November 4, Karen Hills’ team will look to bounce back this weekend

Veteran manager signs up for stint on reality TV show

The 66-year-old, who helped produce ‘The Greater Game’ play, praised the work of Justin Edinburgh

10:00

The latest boxing news from Hackney

11:57

On Thursday November 15, London Fields Brewery bring together two of our favourite things in glorious harmony: beer and art.

Hundreds of parents have signed a petition calling on the Mayor of Hackney to support their primary school caretaker, who has been sacked after 16 years’ service.

09:00

Indie folk favourites Bon Iver will close the sophomore All Points East festival in Victoria Park with a headline gig on June 2.

PROMOTED CONTENT

If you are an unpaid carer in Hackney over the age of 25, who would like to get back into work, then Working for Carers can provide the practical assistance and support you need.



Newsletter Sign Up

Hackney Gazette twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read sport

Show Job Lists