Smith scores second ton of comeback Test

AFP . Birmingham, UK | Update:

Australia`s Steve Smith celebrates reaching his century during play on the fourth day of the first Ashes cricket Test match between England and Australia at Edgbaston in Birmingham, central England on 4 August, 2019. Photo: AFPAustralia's Steve Smith scored his second hundred of his comeback Test when he reached three figures against England in the Ashes opener at Edgbaston on Sunday.

Smith, 98 not out at lunch on the fourth day, cover-drove fast bowler Stuart Broad for a boundary early in the second session to complete a 147-ball century with his 10th four.

That followed his 144 in the first innings of what is the former Australia captain's first Test since the end of a12-month ban for his role in last year's ball-tampering scandal in South Africa.

Smith is now just the fifth Australia batsman to have made hundreds in both innings of an Ashes Test, following Warren Bardsley (1909), Arthur Morris (1946/47), Steve Waugh (1997) and Matthew Hayden (2002/03).

He celebrated by removing his batting helmet and waving his bat joyously towards the Australia changing room.

And while there was some applause from a packed crowd, there were also renewed chants of "Crying on the telly, we saw you crying on the telly" in a reference to the emotional press conference Smith gave in Sydney after he was sent home from South Africa.

The match in Birmingham has also seen the return to Test cricket of Australia's David Warner and Cameron Bancroft who, like Smith, both received lengthy bans for their parts in the ball-tampering incident that took place during a Test against South Africa in Cape Town.

When Smith, long one of the world's leading batsmen, completed his latest century -- his 25th in 65 Tests -- Australia were 236-4 in their second innings.

That gave them a significant lead of 146 runs.

Only three times have a side made more than 150 in the fourth innings to win a Test at Edgbaston, with the highest such total South Africa's 283-5 in a five-wicket win 11 years ago -- the last time England lost at the Birmingham ground.

Ashes-holders Australia are looking to win their first Test series away to England since 2001.

 
   
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