‘Best since Bradman’: Brilliant Steve Smith innings saves us from Ashes embarrassment
Former captain Steve Smith has produced one of greatest knocks from an Australian batsman to save the visitors from disaster on Day 1 of the first Ashes Test.
Smith scored 144 in front of a hostile English crowd, to steer Australia to 284.
It could have been a lot worse, with Australia teetering at 8-122 as Peter Siddle — a surprise addition to the bowling stocks with Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood left out — walked to the crease.
But Siddle proved a worthy partner for Smith, posting 44 from 85 balls.
The rest of Australia’s top order, including wicketkeeper captain Tim Paine, contributed a measly 64 runs between them.
Smith’s 144, his 24th century and fourth in England, came from 219 balls.
— Darren Lehmann (@darren_lehmann) August 1, 2019
In response, England scored 10 runs from two overs before stumps.
“I think it’s got to be one of my best hundreds, definitely,” Smith said afterwards
“First Ashes Test Match, the ball was doing a fair bit in the middle, so I had to work really hard.”
The Daily Telegraph newspaper this morning refers to Smith as Australia’s second best batsman behind Sir Don Bradman.