Smith, Marsh have added 173 for the fifth wicket
Smith, Marsh have added 173 for the fifth wicket

Australia continued tormenting England in the third Ashes Test at Perth. Steven Smith and Mitchell Marsh have added 173 runs for the fifth wicket, helping Australia clear the deficit before tea on Day Three. That being said, Mitchell was the star of the session as he brought up his maiden Test hundred in front of his home crowd.

WACA is Mitchell’s home ground after all. He knows it the best: the pitch, the outfield, the boundary lengths, everything. England bowled straight to him, looking for late swing. Mitchell took a liking to it and amassed 29 runs down the ground. Those straight-drives were a photographer’s delight. Let alone vigour, Mitchell exerted immense power behind them. The mid-off and mid-on were mere spectators, and the umpire had to often dodge to save himself from Mitchell’s might.

Smith was at his usual best. He surpassed Brian Lara and Kevin Pietersen, and is only behind Matthew Hayden, scoring 1,000-plus runs in a calendar year for the fourth consecutive time. Gradually he picked up his seventh 150-plus score in the format and is en route his second double-hundred.

Australia now lead by 18 runs with 6 wickets in hand, eyeing a big first-innings lead.

Brief scores:

England 403 (Mark Stoneman 56, Dawid Malan 140, Jonny Bairstow 119; Mitchell Starc 4 for 91, Josh Hazlewood 3 for 92) trail Australia 421 for 4 (Usman Khawaja 50, Steven Smith 182*, Mitchell Marsh 100*; Craig Overton 2 for 87) by 18 runs.

Full scorecard