Fourth ash test: Steve Smith in control while Australia reaches 170-3 in tea

MANCHESTER (England): Steve Smith continued his outstanding deadly spoils way, hitting an undefeated 60 when Australia recovered from another failure of its openers to reach 170-3 on the first day of the fourth test against England at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

The rain caused a delay of two hours and 20 minutes after lunch, but that did little to interrupt Smith, as he returned from missing the last test due to a concussion. The series is tied at 1-1 with two remaining Tests and the victory for the Australians would ensure that they kept the urn.


Smith and Marnus Labuschagne He got 116 for the third wicket before the latter was shot down by a beautiful installment of Craig Overton by 67.

It was a much-needed position after England, at its best after its remarkable return at Headingley, made a great start, putting its fans on their feet with only the fourth ball of the day.

Stuart Broad claimed David Warner's wicket for the fifth time in this series with the left-hander caught while making a late decision to leave the ball but gave a thin outer edge to Jonny Bairstow .

Australia was 28-2 when Broad hit Marcus Harris's pads and, after some consideration, referee Kumar Dharmasena He raised his finger and his verdict was confirmed by the video review.

Australia's openers have averaged 15.14 - not since 1888 have their top two contributed less during an deadly spoils series.

Harris's departure caused Smith to return to the fold after 38 minutes of play, as the world's number one hitter had missed the previous test due to a concussion as a result of a gorilla. Jofra Archer .

To the delight of the crowd, Archer had the ball in his hand and it took him three deliveries to try another gorilla.

But with England sensing a chance to eat into the Aussie middle order before lunch, Smith and Labuschagne quickly settled and set about upping the run-rate.

Labuschagne, held on the side after replacing Smith as a substitute for the second entry in Lord's and Headingley, reached his fourth half-century in a row.

Sinisterly for England, Smith, who has two centuries and a 92 in his name in the series, looked like he had never been out while trying calmly Joe Root The attack of

Australian captain Tim Paine had won the pitch and chose to hit a fast bowler. Mitchell Starc given his first appearance in the series after replacing Peter Siddle.