Smith rides his luck to lift Australia

2015-08-21 14:21
Steve Smith (AP)

London - Steve Smith made a battling century to steer Australia to 376 for seven at lunch on the second day of the final Ashes Test against England at The Oval on Friday.

Reprieved on 92 when he nicked a wide delivery from Steve Finn to wicketkeeper Jos Buttler but was recalled after replays showed it was a no ball, Smith's marathon effort put his side in control of the match.

He shared a fourth-wicket partnership of 146 with Adam Voges, who made 76, to give Australia a strong position from which to push for a consolation victory after they relinquished the Ashes by losing the fourth Test.

Resuming on 287 for three, Smith waited until his 24th delivery to add to his overnight 78 while Voges played more freely.

The experienced right-hander cut Stuart Broad for four to reach his second fifty in a row and had hit 12 fours when he misjudged a fierce inswinger from Ben Stokes that kept low and was trapped lbw.

Smith flashed hard at the very next delivery from Finn and Buttler took the catch but the bowler immediately returned to the crease to check his footmark and replays confirmed that he had overstepped by several inches.

Finn looked distraught but he did claim a wicket, Mitchell Marsh, on three, edging a lifting delivery to Ian Bell at second slip.

Smith calmly regrouped and clipped Moeen Ali for a single to bring up his 11th Test century, a patient effort spanning more than five hours at the crease and including 12 fours and a six.

Peter Nevill fell just before the interval for 18, feathering a catch to Buttler down the leg-side off Moeen and the spinner bowled Mitchell Johnson for a second-ball duck.

Smith, who will take over as Australia captain from Michael Clarke after this series, was 110 not out at the interval.

Read more on:    australia  |  ashes  |  steve smith  |  cricket

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