Steve Smith back to back centuries led Australia near Victory
Australia attempted to win their first series of Ashes away from England in 18 years. Aussies declared 487-7 in their second innings. Aussies took advantage of the absence of the home team attack by the injured James Anderson.
That left England needing 398 for victory: the most they’ve done in the fourth inning to win Ashes test was 332-7 against Australia in Melbourne in 1928/29.
Australian captain Tim Paine’s statement at the end of the fourth day left England with seven clumsy blows before slamming.
Rory Burns, new from his first century of first-inning, and Surrey teammate Jason Roy saw England 13-0 at the close.
Steve Smith made 142 after his 144 threshings of the first innings of the match. It is the first test of the former Australian captain since the end of a 12-month ban for his role in last year’s ball-handling scandal in South Africa.
He is the fifth Australian to score hundreds in both innings of an Ash Test. Matthew Wade scored his first test for nearly two years with a fine of 110.
Steve Smith, having arrived for lunch the 98th not out, went to three figures in style when he covered England Stuart Broad for his 14thover in 147 balls facing each other.
He celebrated by taking off his batting helmet and cheerfully waving his bat towards the Dressing Room in Australia.
While there was a round-the-top crowd, there were also revamped chants of Crying on TV, we saw you crying on TV” in a reference to Steve Smith’s emotional press conference in Sydney after being sent home from South Africa.
When he goes out batting, it’s almost like he’s in a trance state,” former Australian captain Waugh told Channel Nine.
He knows exactly what he’s trying to do, exactly what the opposition is trying to do. Analyzes every ball and it’s like a computer, it spits out the answer,” added Waugh, now a mentor from the Australian Squad.
Smith has now scored 1,116 runs in his last 10 Innings of Ashes, a figure surpassed by only 1,236 in the same period by Australian Don Bradman, widely regarded as the best test cricket hitter.
Chris Woakes received a delivery to deflect into the air out of the stump, with Steve Smith overcoming an attempt to drive keeper Jonny Bairstow.
When Smith returned after a 207-ball inning, including 14 fours, applause finally stun the taunts.
Wade overturned an lbw decision in 69, made a reverse sweep of Root so that 15 of his four innings completed a hundred of 131 balls, his third in the test match.