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. (LIVE SCORECARD)
Highlights, ASHES 1ST TEST, AUSTRALIA vs ENGLAND, DAY 4 AT THE GABBA
Hazlewood had Alastair Cook (7) out hooking, caught by a tumbling Mitch Starc in the deep, and James Vince (2) caught at slip by Smith as England slid to 17/2. Starc chimed in with a short ball that damaged Joe Root's helmet, rattling the England skipper before he'd scored. But after an assessment from the team doctor, Root continued and was not out on 5 at stumps. Mark Stoneman was on 19, and was also hit by a sharply-rising short ball from Pat Cummins on a Gabba wicket finally showing some of the pace and bounce for which it is famous. (Read full preview)
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.