Australia’s Steve Smith scores Ashes century on Test return | Daily News


Australia’s Steve Smith scores Ashes century on Test return

Birmingham, Thursday: Steve Smith marked his return to Test cricket with a hundred before Australia were bowled out for 284 on the opening day of the Ashes series against England at Edgbaston on Thursday.

The former captain was playing his first match at this level since completing a 12-month ban for his role in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa last year. Australia were struggling at 17-2 when Smith walked in to bat after current captain Tim Paine won the toss.

And they were in dire straits at 122-8.

But their last two wickets more than doubled the score before Smith was last man out for 144 -- his 24th Test century. Stuart Broad, who eventually bowled Smith, led England’s attack with 5-86 in an innings in which 37-year-old spearhead James Anderson only managed four overs before leaving the field with a calf injury.

Ashes-holders Australia are looking to win their first Test series away to England for 18 years.

Australia struggled to combat the moving ball in English conditions but the true worth of their score will only become apparent when England, shot out for just 85 by Ireland at Lord’s last week, bat. Joe Root’s buoyant side are looking to round off an already memorable season by completing a World Cup and Ashes double. Australia captain Tim Paine won the toss for the Ashes holders and took the bold decision to bat first. A partisan crowd booed the visitors when they walked out for the pre-match anthem ceremony. David Warner and Smith at least knew what to expect, having been given similar rough treatment during the recent World Cup, which saw England beat defending champions Australia in an Edgbaston semi-final. - AFP

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