Steven Smith’s maiden Test century has helped Australia to reach a total of 397 for six at tea on Day Two of the fifth Ashes 2013 Test at The Oval. Smith smashed a six to get to his milestone. The start of play was delayed due to rain and an early lunch was taken. Australia resumed the day on 307 for four with Smith on 66 and Peter Siddle on 18.
James Anderson began proceedings for the day. Smith got the first four of the day in the first over as he opened the face of the bat to a fuller delivery and guided it low away from the slips. But soon England got the breakthrough they wanted. Anderson’s out-swinger landed on a good length and in line with the off-stump. The ball moved away and Siddle was beaten by the swing as it clipped the stumps.
New man Brad Haddin got off the mark with a four. He pushed a full delivery down the leg side towards the mid-wicket region. There were some nervy moments for Smith as Chris Woakes’s delivery struck him on the pads but the ball was drifting just wide of leg stump. Then Stuart Broad’s out-swinger just missed the outside edge of Smith’s bat. Smith did come back strongly with a cracking shot through point to get a four of Broad.
Haddin then got a couple of fours of Woakes in an over. Australia crossed the 350-run mark in the 103rd over. Alastair Cook then wasted a review after Prior and Anderson appealed for caught behind. The ball brushed Haddin’s thigh pad and Prior took the catch. After deliberation with Anderson and Prior, Cook asked for the referral, but not surprisingly was turned down.
Cook then instead of bringing on debutant left-arm spinner Simon Kerrigan, threw the ball to Jonathan Trott to bowl his right-arm mediums. Smith then got to his maiden Test century with a massive six of Trott over long-on. But the Australian cheers were down in the same over as Haddin chopped a full delivery onto the stumps.
Tea was taken before Australia could reach the 400-run mark after the 117 overs.
Australia 397 for 6 (Shane Watson 176, Steven Smith 112*, Brad Haddin 30; James Anderson 3 for 89) vs England.
(Shrikant Shankarpreviously worked with Mobile ESPN, where he did audio commentary for many matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20. He has also written many articles involving other sports for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)