Smith hits another century, Australia 245-5 in Ashes test

MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Steve Smith reached his third century in four innings in this Ashes series to lead Australia to 245-5 against England by lunch on the second day of the fourth test at Old Trafford on Thursday.

The world's No. 1 test batsman was unbeaten on 101 at the end of a session in which the Australians lost two wickets —Travis Head (19) and Matthew Wade (16) — and added 75 runs.

Tim Paine was alongside Smith on 9.

Smith struck 144, 142, and 92 before delayed concussion — felt after being struck on the neck by a bouncer from Jofra Archer — meant he didn't bat in the second innings at Lord's and missed the third test won by England at Headingley.

Back in the team, Smith — jeered relentlessly in England owing to his involvement in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa last year — even received a round of applause from fans in Manchester after getting to triple figures with a clip off the pads for two.

It is Smith's fifth century in his last eight innings against England, and he has struck 11 fours in his 163-ball knock.

After Australia resumed on 170-3 following a rain-affected opening day, Head was trapped lbw by Broad from around the wicket, giving the paceman a third wicket of the innings.

Wade departed after slogging spinner Jack Leach and getting caught at mid-on.

The teams are 1-1 with two matches left. Australia will retain the urn if the series is drawn.


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