Steve Smith holds firm in Ashes return

Manchester: Steve Smith marked his Test return after suffering concussion by helping Australia recover from the early loss of their openers on the first day of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford on Wednesday.

Australia were 98-2 off 26 overs at lunch after Stuart Broad's double strike, which included David Warner's exit for a duck, reduced them to 28-2. Marnus Labuschagne was 49 not out and on the verge of his fourth successive Test fifty since coming in as Smith's concussion substitute.

Smith, felled by a 92 miles-per-hour (148 kph) Jofra Archer bouncer in the drawn second Test at Lord's, was 28 not out after adding an unbroken 70 for the third wicket with Labuschagne.

Ashes-holders Australia were looking to bounce back from a stunning one-wicket defeat in the third Test at Headingley where Ben Stokes's 135 not out saw England square the five-match series at 1-1.

Australia captain Tim Paine took the bold decision to bat first after winning the toss, even though both top orders have struggled this Ashes.

But just four balls into the innings Broad, again leading England's attack in the ongoing absence of regular new-ball partner James Anderson, had Warner caught behind for nought as he tried to withdraw his bat, a carbon copy of one of the left-hander's dismissals earlier this series. It was the fifth time Broad had snared Warner this series.

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