Ashes 2019: Steve Smith hits third ton of series on day two at Old Trafford

Steve Smith scored his third century of this Ashes series as Australia attained 245-5 at dinner.
For all that England’s bowlers were improved in their attempts from the first day, showing much greater intensity and function, they had been unable to oust Smith and the Australia skipper completed his 26th Test hundred late in the afternoon session.
There was a victory for England as Stuart Broad eliminated Travis Head early on before Jack Leach dismissed Matthew Wade, as Australia goal to place a controlling total, but Smith remained and is going to be the figure.
The tourists started the day on 170-3 but Smith, resuming on 60, was remarkably scratchy in the first exchanges, prodding at deliveries in the channel out off and then hitting a low full toss back in Jofra Archer, who may only get his fingertips to it since he tried to select the return catch.
Head watched little of this attack and when he failed, it did not take long to get Broad to ship him attacking from around the wicket as he has done throughout the series and trapping him lbw.
Archer was beginning to crank up the speed as well, topping 90mph for its first time in the game, however, Smith had overcome his initial jitters and held firm and as soon as the players returned following a short stoppage for rain, and the fast bowler was substituted at the James Anderson End.
The breakthrough came from the opposite end as Wade tried to repeat the trick and, with hit on on the spinner over for four before the delay, attempted to take on Leach. But he neglected to get into the pitch of the ball and sent it high into the Manchester skies with Joe Root beneath it at mid-on as it came back down.
Smith, together with skipper Tim Paine for business, moved against Leach and following a couple of nervy moments into the nineties, » he whipped the ball into the legside for two Craig Overton to achieve five minutes.
The ton had been Smith’s 11th in Ashes cricket and some concerns that the dreadful blow he endured in Lord’s from Archer could have a lasting effect have evaporated.
Watch continuing reporting of the fourth Test.

Read more here: