Ashes 2019: Steve Smith, Matthew Wade pile on runs

Birmingham: Steve Smith and Matthew Wade piled on runs setting England tough task of 398 to win first Ashes Test. The former skipper Smith in the process completed a majestic return to Test cricket with his second century in the Ashes opener at Edgbaston to leave England scrapping to salvage a result.

Smith, back in the team after 16 months of suspension, followed a brilliant 144 on day one with an equally fine 142 on day four to become just the fifth Australian to hit twin hundreds against England.

Where the first rescued his side from the cliff edge at 122 for eight, the sequel helped set a monstrous target of 398. Matthew Wade also left his mark on the home team, chiming in with a fluent 110 before the declaration came at 487 for seven.

The more realistic task in front of England was the bat right through for a draw, with first-innings centurion Rory Burns and Jason Roy successfully navigating seven overs before stumps.

They and their nine team-mates must collectively see off another 90 on day five if they are to reach Lord's all square, on a pitch offering plenty of turn for Nathan Lyon.

Wade was unbeaten on 86 when umpires called for Tea with captain Tim Paine at the other end. Australia will look to make quick runs in the third session and declare so that they stand a chance of winning the match.

Chris Woakes, who curiously enough did not bowl for the entirety of the first session, was the man who got the wicket of Smith. England took the new ball after the 84th over with Broad bowling the 85th. Smith got off strike off the first ball and then came back only to face Woakes in the next over.

The first delivery was a widish one outside off which swung in late as Smith nicked it to Jonny Bairstow behind the stumps.

Smith became the first Australian batsman to notch up tons in both innings of an Ashes Test after Matthew Hayden in 2002, and the fourth Australian overall to achieve the feat in Ashes.

It was also Smith's 10th Ashes century and only England's Jack Hobbs (12) and Australian legend Sir Donald Bradman (19) have scored more centuries in the keenly-contested rubber.

Brief scores: Australia 1st Innings:284 all out (Smith 144; Broad 5-86, Woakes 3-58) 2nd innings: 487-7 decl (Smith 142, Wade 110; Stokes 3-85) against England 1st innings: 374 all out (Burns 133; Cummins 3-84, Lyon 3-112) 2nd Innings England: 13 for 0 ( Burns 7*, Roy 6*)

(To view our epaper please click here. For all the latest News, Mumbai, Entertainment, Cricket, Business and Featured News updates, visit Free Press Journal. Also, follow us on Twitter and Instagram and do like our Facebook page for continuous updates on the go)

Free Press Journal