Ashes 2019: Sensational Smith punishes Archer with Old Trafford century

By Sports Desk September 05, 2019

Steve Smith completed his third century of the Ashes series after being dropped by Jofra Archer as England took just two Australia wickets in the morning session on day two of the fourth Test at Old Trafford.

Smith was untroubled on a dismal, weather-affected first day in Manchester after missing England's dramatic series-levelling win at Headingley due to concussion.

The former Australia captain made a shaky start on Thursday but punished Archer for failing to take a caught and bowled chance when he was on 65.

Smith, unable to play in Leeds due to a blow inflicted by paceman Archer in the second Test at Lord's, went on to score his 11th Ashes hundred - a tally which only the great Don Bradman has bettered.

The tourists were 245-5 at lunch, with Smith unbeaten on 101 after Stuart Broad (3-47) and Jack Leach removed Travis Head and Matthew Wade respectively.   

Smith was even more fidgety than usual when Australia resumed on 170-3, shuffling around the crease, edging and playing and missing early on.

The world's top-ranked Test batsman had a big stroke of luck when he drove a full toss at Archer, who put him down following through and watched the ball run away for four.

Archer generated extra pace than on day one, but it was Broad who was more threatening and he got the breakthrough by trapping Head (19) leg before. 

Australia were 224-5 when Wade (16) had a rush of blood and was well taken by Joe Root trying to launch Leach over the top following a short rain delay.

By then, Smith looked much more like himself, hitting glorious boundaries on both sides of the wicket and he kissed the Australia badge on his helmet and was given a warm ovation when he reached three figures just before the break.

Related items

  • Rahane: India to make late call on Ashwin or Jadeja selection Rahane: India to make late call on Ashwin or Jadeja selection

    India vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane says a late decision will be made over whether Ravichandran Ashwin or Ravindra Jadeja will play in the second Test against New Zealand.

    Ashwin took 3-99, but twice failed with the bat as the tourists were hammered by 10 wickets in the opening match of the series at Basin Reserve. 

    Jadeja was overlooked for India's first ICC World Test Championship defeat and is pushing for a recall for a second match that begins at Hagley Oval on Friday.

    Rahane gave nothing away when asked which spinner will get the nod as India attempt to tie the series in Christchurch.

    "We have not taken any such decisions," the batsman said. "Ashwin had bowled really well in Wellington and he is a quality bowler; Jadeja is also a quality bowler.

    "Yes, it gets a bit tough when we travel as to play whom – Jaddu [Jadeja] or Ashwin.

    "But I think it is a good sign for the team when we travel outside India because both are quality spinners.

    "The decision will depend on the condition of the wicket and we have to see the thought process of captain and coach and what combination they have in mind for the team. But no decision on them yet."

    Virat Kohli's side were bowled out for less than 200 in both innings in Wellington, but Rahane feels they may find conditions more favourable in the second Test.

    "In New Zealand as a batting unit and as a bowling unit, we've got to adapt to the conditions here," said Rahane. "Pitching areas are completely different here than in India or South Africa or Australia.

    "The India A guys played here and Hanuma [Vihari] was telling us this wicket plays much better. There's good pace and bounce on this wicket... we'll have to wait and see. Assess the conditions very quickly on the first day of the game and play accordingly."

  • Warner reinstated as Sunrisers Hyderabad captain Warner reinstated as Sunrisers Hyderabad captain

    Australia batsman David Warner has been reinstated as Sunrisers Hyderabad captain for the 2020 Indian Premier League season.

    Warner will take over as skipper from Kane Williamson in a tournament that gets under way on March 29.

    The former Australia vice-captain will never again be considered for leadership roles at international level due to his part in the 2018 Newlands ball-tampering scandal but is set to resume captaincy duties for Sunrisers.

    Warner was the leading run-scorer in the 2019 IPL and skippered the title-winning side four years ago.

    The opener said in a video posted by Sunrisers on Twitter: "I'm thrilled to be given the captaincy for this coming IPL. I'm extremely grateful for the opportunity once again to lead the team.

    "I'd like to thank Kane and Bhuvi [Bhuvneshwar Kumar] for the way you've led throughout the last couple of years.

    "You guys have done an outstanding job and I'll be leaning on you for support and your insight.

    "And to the management, thanks once again for giving me this opportunity and I'm sure I'll be doing my very, very best to try and lead us to lifting that trophy once again."

  • Australia skittle South Africa again to clinch T20 series in style Australia skittle South Africa again to clinch T20 series in style

    Australia clinched the Twenty20 series against South Africa in emphatic fashion at Newlands on Wednesday, thrashing the home side by 97 runs in the winner-takes-all showdown.

    In a lopsided encounter remarkably similar to the first of the three games between the teams, the tourists posted a challenging total before skittling their opponents.

    Opening duo David Warner and Aaron Finch both made half-centuries as they powered Australia to 193-5 after being put into bat.

    The Proteas – who managed just 89 when chasing 197 last Friday – lost captain Quinton de Kock early and never threatened in a reply that lasted just 15.3 overs.

    Mitchell Starc claimed the key early breakthrough, bowling left-hander De Kock with the fourth ball of the innings, and also removed Faf du Plessis cheaply during the powerplay. The paceman finished with figures of 3-23, wrapping up the win by trapping Kagiso Rabada in front.

    Ashton Agar also claimed three wickets, with the spinner coming close to recording a second hat-trick in the series after seeing off Anrich Nortje and Lungi Ngidi with successive deliveries in the 15th over.

    Tabraiz Shamsi survived to deny Agar another treble but South Africa did not last too much longer, bowled out for 96 – the lowest total posted in a T20I at the Cape Town venue.

    They appeared set to be chasing well in excess of 200 when Warner (57) and Finch (55) were in full flow, the pair putting on 120 in 11.3 overs.

    Australia rather lost their way after the well-set pair departed in quick succession, yet Steve Smith – who surprisingly came in down at number five in the order – benefited from a repreive when bowled by a Rabada no ball to make an unbeaten 30 in a hurry.

    Starc's double strike had South Africa teetering and while Rassie van der Dussen (24) and Heinrich Klaasen (22) tried to repair the damage, the slow-bowling combination of Agar (3-16) and Adam Zampa (2-10) turned the screw. Fittingly, the impressive Starc landed the knockout blow.

    The two teams now turn their focus to 50-over cricket with a three-match ODI series rounding out Australia's trip. The first match takes place in Paarl on Saturday.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.