Smith, Labuschagne Take Australia to 170/3 Ashes Fourth Test Against England
Marnus Labuschagne scored his fourth consecutive half-century, while Steve Smith remained undefeated in 60 when Australia reached 170/3 in stumps on Day 1 of the fourth Ashes England vs Australia Live Streaming rain-affected test on Wednesday.
On the small play that was possible after lunch, Labuschagne pulled out his 50 of 88 balls and looked good before Craig Overton (1/41) punished him for breaking the 116-runs standing partnership between him and Smith for the third wicket.
However, there was no way to stop Smith at the other end, as he advanced to his fifties by hitting Ben Stokes by a four of his unique manner, scoring a long ball that hung miles off the stump and knocked himself down while driving the ball through the covers.
In the next, Labuschagne out and Travis Head joined Smith, who scored 60 of 93 balls with the help of seven fours.
Head was batting on 18 of 17 balls. He hit three boundaries in his brief undefeated stay.
At tea, the Australians were at 170/3, but it was not possible to play after half-time as it rained heavily, allowing it to play only 44 overs.
Previously, Captain Tim Paine won the toss and chose to bat first on a cold morning at Old Trafford with the field without much grass. While tourists welcomed Smith into the fold after he left the third test with a concussion injury suffered in the second Ashes, England made a change in their Playing XI, including fast-bowling player Overton for all-rounder Chris Woakes.
The Australians lost David Warner in the first over, and the experienced left-hander was out by English bowler Stuart Broad for the fifth time in this ashes series 2019. Warner was trying to leave a ball out of the stump, but his late decision caused the red cherry to take the outer edge of the bat and fly towards Jonny Bairstow.
Opening partner Marcus Harris (13) didn’t last long, and Broad caught him in front during a period of excellent fast bowling where he got his sewing position entirely correct.
Smith walked into a not-so-stimulating reception. However, the best was saved for Jofra Archer when he came to play against the former Australian captain for the first time since knocking him down with a ferocious bouncer that led to the world’s best crushing concussion of the world’s test hitter.
Smith crushed Archer by four through the front pages to win the early duel, but at the other end, Labuschagne, who was Smith’s replacement initially, continued his excellent work by hitting eight delicious four to run to 49 of 82 balls. Smith was batting in 28 of 48 deliveries.
The five-game series currently tied at 1-1.
Brief scores: Australia 1st inning 170/3 (Marnus Labuschagne 67, Steve Smith 60 batting; Stuart Broad 2/35) at stumps on Day 1.
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