Ashes 2019: Steve Smith hits 144 on Test return; Australia 284-all out
Steve Smith scored 144 (AFP Photo)

Steve Smith marked his return to Test cricket with a hundred before Australia were bowled out for 284 on the opening day of the Ashes series against England at Edgbaston on Thursday. The former captain was playing his first match at this level since completing a 12-month ban for his role in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa last year.

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Australia were struggling at 17/2 when Smith walked in to bat after current captain Tim Paine won the toss.

And they were in dire straits at 122/8. But their last two wickets more than doubled the score before Smith was last man out for 144 — his 24th Test century.

Stuart Broad, who eventually bowled Smith, led England’s attack with 5/86 in an innings in which 37-year-old spearhead James Anderson only managed four overs before leaving the field with a calf injury.

Ashes-holders Australia are looking to win their first Test series away to England for 18 years.

Brief Scores: Australia 284-all out (Steve Smith 144; Stuart Broad 5/86) vs England on Day 1