Highlights: Steve Smith century, Hazlewood burst give Australia edge in Brisbane

A captain’s knock from Steve Smith and a fruitful spell from Josh Hazlewood gave Australia a slender edge at the end of Day 3 in the first Ashes Test.

Steve Smith was the star of a gripping day at the Gabba as he produced arguably the best knock of his Test career, finishing unbeaten on 141 off 326 balls . He became the third fastest batsman to bring up 21 Test centuries, moving ahead of Sachin Tendulkar, just behind Sunil Gavaskar and Don Bradman. His unbeaten eight-hour knock helped Australia go past England’s first innings score by 26 runs.

The day began with Shaun Marsh bringing up his eighth half-century in Tests – a reward for his patience at the fag end of Friday’s play. But his innings soon ended as he looped a simple catch to James Anderson at mid-off while trying to guide a wide delivery towards the cover region. The breakthrough and the momentum shift were capitalised on by the seamers, with Anderson removing Time Paine caught behind and Mitchell Starc handing a simple catch to Stuart Broad. Australia were in a spot of bother heading into Lunch at 213/7.

England’s hopes of gaining a substantial lead at the end of the first innings were slowly eroded away by Smith’s brilliance and a defiant Pat Cummins. The duo added 66 runs for the eight wicket, pushing the hosts 27 runs closer to England’s score of 302. Cummins’ resistance was ended by Chris Woakes but his 42 runs proved to be a massive contribution in the context of the game. Nathan Lyon and Josh Hazlewood added 15 runs to the score before Australia’s first innings ended on 328.

After being pumped up by their captain’s performance and contributions from themselves, the Australian seamers hit the ground running from the very first ball. Josh Hazlewood produced a blistering spell which resulted in the wickets of Alastair Cook and James Vince. The southpaw was held out at deep fine-leg playing an uncharacteristic hook stroke and Vince was squared up by a length delivery on off-stump, edging a simple catch to Smith in the slips.

Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins stifled the batsmen, especially Joe Root with their short deliveries and Nathan Lyon beat the outside edge of Mark Stoneman a couple of times before time was called on an exhilarating day’s play.

England may hold a lead of eight runs but it is the home side that hold the edge heading into the Day 4.

You can check out the highlights of Day 3 here!

 

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