Steve Smith confirmed his captaincy qualities again by grafting for 8 ½ hours in a crucial unbeaten 141, dragging Australia out of serious trouble and into positive territory on Saturday in the Ashes series opener. His 326-ball innings wrested control from England after three wickets tumbled in the morning session, and gave Australia the upper hand by stumps on day three.
After Smith and the lower-order batsmen lifted Australia from 209/7 to 328 all out, for a 26-run first-innings lead, Josh Hazlewood snared two wickets in a torrid opening burst to reduce England to 33/2 at the close — a lead of seven with two days to play. (SCORECARD).
HIGHLIGHTS, ASHES 1ST TEST, AUSTRALIA vs ENGLAND, DAY 3 AT THE GABBA
Brief Preview: Smith and Marsh's stand — the first significant partnership of the innings — dug the home team out of serious trouble at a ground where Australia hasn't lost a Test match since 1988, and where England hasn't recorded a victory in 31 years. It was a letdown for the almost 35,000-strong crowd at the Gabba after Australia got back into the game in the extended morning session. Starc triggered England's lower-order slide and Lyon picked up two wickets within seven deliveries. Malan was out not long after raising his third test half-century with a well-timed reverse sweep to Lyon, caught at backward square leg when he attempted to pull a short ball from Starc. (Read full preview here).
England's playing XI - Alastair Cook, Mark Stoneman, James Vince, Joe Root(c), Dawid Malan, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow(w), Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, Jake Ball, James Anderson.
Australia's playing XI - Cameron Bancroft, David Warner, Steven Smith(c), Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Shaun Marsh, Tim Paine(w), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.