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 Hampstead & Highgate Sports News

4 minutes ago

Tottenham Hotspur confirmed the contract extensions this afternoon

Joel Hughes’ team are in Middlesex County League Premier Division action on Saturday before a big cup game the following day

14:00

Greens building towards start of new Evo-Stik South Premier South campaign

After losing to Winchmore Hill last weekend, the Tivoli Road club will aim to bounce back on Saturday

10:45

Hampstead & Westminster Hockey Club have announced former Great Britain captain and Olympic gold medalist Kate Richardson-Walsh and ex-Irish international Sarah Kelleher will join the club as coaches of their women’s first team.

The fourth-placed side in Division Three will travel to the team third in the table this weekend

09:42

South Hampstead’s Olivia Rael-Brook has qualified as top seed for the final of the American Golf UK Long Drive Championships.

07:00

England hockey keeper Maddie Hinch has been put through her paces ahead of this summer’s World Cup in London — albeit in fairly unusual circumstances.

PROMOTED CONTENT

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Preparing your child in advance for school will go a long way towards ensuring the very best start for your child.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate sport

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now