Steve Smith is marching towards becoming the greatest Test cricketer for Australia after scoring a second century in the opening match of the Ashes, a blistering 142-run knock that once again saw the visitors race ahead, extending their lead over the hosts to a whooping 397 runs before they declared. Smith's spectacular knock came in 207 balls, featuring 14 boundaries.
Steve Smith went on to score his 25th Test hundred after playing a mere total of 65 games in the longer format of the game. He is inching close to shattering a vintage record held by a legend and it is none other than Don Bradman. Steve Smith is now second-places with the most number of Test centuries for Australia against England (10), with the first being Don Bradman, with 19 centuries against rivals England.
Australia had a miserable start yet again as openers David Warner and Cameron Bancroft were dismissed for cheaply at the beginning of the innings. David Warner departed for just 8 runs followed by fellow opener Bancroft, who scored just seven runs. Usman Khwaja had kept the scoreboard ticking with a slow-paced knock of 40 runs, following which Travis Head and Steve Smith took charge on the beginning of the fourth day and frustrated the hosts with a 130-run stand.
It was then that Smith and Matthew Wade got together at the centre and put up a dominating display of Test cricket that left England frustrated. Wade reached his third hundred in the longer format of the game and made 110 runs off 143 balls, featuring 17 boundaries. The duo shared a hundred runs partnership before Wade was dismissed.
England are chasing a total of 398 runs on the last day of the contest at Edgbaston, Birmingham. The hosts tried all the tricks in their bag to wrap up the Australian batting line-up as early as possible but were left frustrated by Steve Smith, who continued to display some genuine Test cricketing performance with a little help from Wade. Pacers Stuard Broad and Chris Woakes grabbed a scalp each while Moeen Ali got two scalps. Vice-skipper Ben Stokes topped the bowling charts, grabbing three wickets in the course of the innings.