Australia vs. England – Steve Smith’s Magnificent Hundred Led Australia 26-run Lead

England ended up with a lot of work to do on fourth day of first Ashes test after Josh Hazlewood’s two early wickets and magnificent hundred of Steve Smith led team Australia earn first inning lead with 26 runs.

Again, Alastair Cook fell cheaply when Joe Root (5) and Mark Stoneman (9) fighting through the stumps and James Vince nicked off. England closes on just 7 runs of lead with 33-2.Earlier, Australia earned fruitful advantage of first innings and Smith has displayed great discipline to end up with 141 not out as hosts bowled off at 328.

On the beginning of the day, England ended up breaking partnership between Shaun Marsh and Smith which stretched to over 89 on next evening and Marsh (51) was capable to cross his half century and he was undone by leg-cutter of Stuart Broad soon.

The left handed player tried to play huge drive but it was shot too early and he ended up chipping ball at mid-off to James Anderson. Tim Paine and Smith got through further 13 overs until new ball but Anderson required four balls to remove the latter and Jonny Bairstow took a nice one-handed catch off stumps.

It was followed by Broad (3-49) in the next over with Mitchell Starc bowled and caught and Australia ended up with 209-7 and still needed 93.

England was confident to earn decent lead of first innings but Smith didn’t falter and Pat Cummins supported him at No. 9 after his lead of captaincy and batted with good patience. The bowlers in England were made to toil in noon session and Smith reached 100, 21st in his Test career off 261 balls.Finally, the breakthrough happens when Chris Woakes (1-67) was edged by Cummins (42) to Alastair Cook and ended 8th wicket stand in 66.

England were still made to wait to cover the innings as Smith was firm enough and Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon stuck to help the team Australia to get past the first innings 302 of England before Root (1-10) took the last wicket.

England were soon under pressure by 26 as Hazlewood (2-11) led Cook (7) to the hook and shot came off the edge and taken by Starc. The Gabba crowd shouts out loud as they have been at sensitive part of the match and Australia finally turned the heat up on England and James Vince (2) was squeezed up by Hazlewood who nicked the ball at second slip to Smith.

Root was rattled by a fiery bouncer after coming in from Starc who thudded on his helmet. The captain of England batted on with Stoneman together and endured his own onslaught of short ball from Cummins and ensured tourists to stay just two down close.

Smith walked to the crease on next day with Australia for 30 at 2. They soon were 3 four 59. Then in response to 302, they were 4-76. Smith didn’t panic and Root forced four men to go back to the boundary and tested the patience of Smith.