England vs Australia, fourth ash test: Steve Smith accumulates agony for England after the low
MANCHESTER: Steve Smith took advantage of a series of lucky applause to march to an undefeated 173 for tea and put Australia at 369/5 on the second day of the fourth Ash Test.
Smith and Captain Tim Paine combined for 145 for the sixth wicket, batting during the afternoon session while Australia assumed a command position while seeking victory that would ensure them retain the ashes.
Smith, the best test hitter in the world, had made his third century in the series and was in 118 when he was caught by Ben stokes when sliding from the left arm Jack leach . Unfortunately for the hosts, their joy turned to misery when video officers considered that Leach had delivered a no-ball.
While Smith was heading towards the pavilion, the video reviewers saw that Leach's front foot was not behind the crease when he released the ball, giving the Australian his second postponement of the day.
Smith had been lucky to survive the second part of the day when Jofra Archer He dropped an opportunity caught and thrown after his full pitch was thrown straight at him.
England's misery in the afternoon session worsened when Stokes left with an injury, unable to finish his bowling.
Stokes, who kept England in the series with his undefeated 135 in the chase at Headingley, returned to the field before Tea received treatment for pain in his right shoulder.
But his brief absence had an indirect impact on the game, which added to Root's frustration over Stokes' temporary replacement in the Sam Curran field, and then dropped Paine when he was 49.
Curran poured an opportunity halfway after Paine had taken the momentum from Archer. Paine had been abandoned before, the first after lunch, by Jason Roy on the second slip of Stuart Broad.
The day had started promisingly for England with Broad producing an excellent early spell.
Broad eliminated Travis Head, who had fought during his innings, with a thick leg before leaving tourists at 183 by four.
But after a nervous start, Smith found his comfort zone in more adequate conditions than strong winds and rain on Wednesday.
Matthew Wade (16) looked less comfortable and eventually fell to the left-arm spin of Jack leach , coming down the track but only succeeding in a mistimed drive which lopped high to Joe Root in the middle of
However, Smith, whose lowest score in this series is 92 at Lord's, took his 160-ball century when he hit a full installment of Craig Overton in the middle of.
It was Smith's 26th century in 67 games and the fifth in his last eight Ashes innings.
The Australian, who returned to this series after a 12-month ban on his role in a ball manipulation issue, held only briefly, clearly a sign that he believed he had much more work to do.