Ashes: Skipper Steve Smith makes statement through fabulous century

Updated: Nov 26, 2017, 09:46 IST | David Clough

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 on Saturday

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 on Saturday. 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.

Steve Smith. Pic/AFP
Steve Smith. Pic/AFP

England then made a miserable start to their second innings against Josh Hazlewood on the way to 33 for two, with the early loss of Alastair Cook and then James Vince - unable to follow up his maiden Ashes half-century here. 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.

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