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Sensational Smith leads Australia fightback

Article image for Sensational Smith leads Australia fightback

Another faultless display from Steve Smith led the way for Australia as the hosts fought back strongly against England in the Third Ashes Test.

The home captain reached stumps on Day two, 92 not out, approaching a 22nd Test hundred and a second in the series as Australia closed on 203-3 at the WACA, 200 behind. Smith reached the milestone early on Day 3 with a classy stroke through mid wicket.

Smith passed 150 just after lunch on Day 3 as he continues to dominate the English bowlers at the WACA.

The tourists, having resumed Day 2 on 305-4, made serene progress to 368-4 as Jonny Bairstow joined Dawid Malan in making a century – his first in Ashes cricket.

However, Malan’s departure for 140 triggered a familiar England collapse as the last six wickets fell for 35, Mitchell Starc (4-91) and Josh Hazlewood (3-92) doing much of the damage to hustle the visitors out for 403.

Craig Overton, who later went off the field nursing a worrying side injury, removed both Australia openers but England had no answer to Smith, who scored rapidly all around the wicket.

He shared a third-wicket stand of 124 with Usman Khawaja, who was missed on 0 and 28 and unlike his partner struggled badly for fluency before being dismissed lbw by Chris Woakes immediately after reaching fifty.

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