Ashes: We had to show character, says Steve Smith
Australian skipper hails team's fighting spirit in 10-wicket win over England in the first Test at the Gabba in Brisbane to go one-up in the series
Australia cruised to a crushing 10-wicket win over England to go one-up in the Ashes series in the opening Test at the Gabba yesterday, with captain Steve Smith praising his team's character. Openers David Warner and Cameron Bancroft added to England's agony by peeling off the required runs without the loss of a wicket before lunch on the final day. Warner finished unbeaten on 87 off 119 balls with newcomer Bancroft hitting the winning runs to remain 82 not out off 182 balls in Australia's 173 without loss. In the process, they broke an 87-year-old Test record for the all-time highest unbeaten opening partnership in a successful Test chase.
Australia's David Warner embraces Cameron Bancroft (left) after winning the first Test. Pic/Getty Images
"We had to show some really good character throughout. Obviously, losing the toss, and the wicket was a lot slower than we anticipated it would be. We had to work really hard," said Australian captain Steve Smith. "I'm pleased with the way we have played. Bowling first at The Gabba, it's hard. The bowlers had to be on. "The way we pulled it back to win from the position we were in it's extremely pleasing. I'm proud of the way the boys fought." The Australians only needed 56 runs on the final morning go one up after England imploded on Sunday's fourth day. It was Warner's 25th Test fifty and ninth in the Ashes, while debutant Bancroft posted his first half-century in only his second Test innings.
Warner hails Australia
Warner said it was great to get the win without losing a wicket. "That's what we cherish, coming out being disciplined to try and get the job done as best as possible," he said. It was an attritional battle between the traditional rivals over the first three days of the Test, raising England's hopes of a first win at the ground in just over three decades. But skipper Smith's match-defining unbeaten 141 gave Ausralia a 26-run innings lead and Josh Hazlewood's two late wickets on Saturday swung the momentum firmly Australia's way.
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