Steven Smith's unbeaten 98 guides Australia to 354/5 on Day 1 of tour match against Sussex

Steven Smith’s knock included 15 boundaries © Getty Images

London: Jul 27, 2013

Matthew Wade wasted a chance to underline his claims for a place in Australia’s team for next week’s third Ashes Test after falling for a duck on the first day of the tour match against Sussex at Hove.

Reserve wicketkeeper Wade, playing his first game for a month, had hoped to force his way into the Test team as a specialist batsman.

But the 25-year-old lasted just six balls before being held at backward point in the first over after tea aiming a forcing shot off the back foot at Monty Panesar.

While Wade flopped, Steven Smith, one of several batsmen under pressure after making just three runs in Australia’s heavy defeat at Lord’s, produced the standout performance with an unbeaten 98.

Ed Cowan added 66 and Phil Hughes made 84 in an opening stand of 150 as Australia, who trail 2-0 against England in the five-Test series, ended the first day on 354 for five after winning the toss.

Smith and all-rounder James Faulkner put on 131 in 28 overs for the fifth wicket after Australia had failed to build on the platform provided by Cowan and Hughes when they lost four wickets for 68 runs in 27 overs.

Faulkner became Panesar’s third victim in the penultimate over when he was bowled hitting across the line and although Smith hit the first ball of the last over for his 15th boundary, he still needs two runs to complete what would be only the third hundred on the tour so far by an Australian.

Earlier, Cowan and Hughes batted throughout the morning session, although Hughes was badly dropped on 22 by Sussex skipper Chris Nash at second slip off Chris Jordan.

Cowan, acting captain in the absence of Michael Clarke, was dismissed when he tried to work a ball from Lewis Hatchett off his hips and was well caught by James Taylor, the Nottinghamshire batsman playing for Sussex as a guest at the request of the England selectors, who were keen to see him in action in case Kevin Pietersen doesn’t recover from injury in time for Old Trafford.

Hatchett looked Sussex’s most threatening seamer and he struck again in the 42nd over when Hughes was caught behind, drawn into playing at a ball that held its line outside off stump.

Hughes, whose innings included 14 fours, looks to have cemented his place at Old Trafford despite scoring only two runs in his last three Test innings.

Brief scores:

Australia 354 for 5 (Steven Smith 98, Phil Hughes 84; Monty Panesar 3 for 65) vs Sussex