England yesterday snared the prized wicket of their nemesis Steve Smith as Australia toiled under the lights in a feisty opening day of the first-ever day-night Ashes Test in Adelaide.
It was debutant Craig Overton who claimed the huge scalp of the world’s top-rated Test batsman for 40 and his first Test wicket in the 63rd over of a grimly fought contest between bat and ball.
However, the Australians, leading the series after a 10-wicket first Test win in Brisbane, only lost four wickets after being surprisingly sent into bat by England skipper Joe Root.
At the close, the home side were 209-4 with Peter Handscomb unbeaten on 36 and Shaun Marsh on 20 before an Adelaide Oval record 55,317 crowd.
Overton angled one in-between bat and pad to scatter Smith’s stumps to the unbridled delight of the England team after the Australian skipper’s match-turning unbeaten 141 in Brisbane.
Smith, who faced 90 balls, had been contained by England’s tight line and was never given a moment’s peace by Joe Root’s team to keep him under pressure.
At one stage James Anderson stood just off the pitch and next to Smith at the non-striker’s end as the pair exchanged barbs and needed umpire Aleem Dar to step between the two to calm tensions.
Smith also traded heated words with Stuart Broad early in his innings as the tourists looked for ways to unsettle the imperious Australian skipper.
Ashes holders England cannot afford another defeat after their 10-wicket first Test mauling at the Gabba.
Australia have beaten New Zealand and South Africa in the two day-night Tests played at the Adelaide Oval.
INDIA VS SRI LANKA
AFP, NEW DELHI
Indian captain Virat Kohli blasted an unbeaten 156 to pass 5,000 runs in Test cricket as his side made 371-4 on a painful opening day of the third Test for Sri Lanka’s bowlers.
Opener Murali Vijay also plundered 155 to increase the agony for the tourists, who are one down in the series.
Kohli remained on 156 with Rohit Sharma on six at the end of the day.
Kohli and Vijay put on 283 for the third wicket after India lost its top two batsmen in the morning session.
Left-arm wrist spinner Lakshan Sandakan hurt the hosts with two late wickets, including Vijay’s prized scalp.
Vijay was stumped for 155, although the decision needed approval from the third umpire with the batsman’s back foot just on the line.
Ajinkya Rahane’s miserable run with the bat continued as he was stumped in a similar fashion to walk off with one run to his name from five deliveries.
Kohli got a single off Dilruwan Perera after the tea break to register his first Test century on his home ground and the crowd stood up in applause.
Kohli’s knock, laced with 16 boundaries, took him past 5,000 Test runs in his 63rd game.
He also became the first captain to score successive hundreds in a three-match series.
India lead the series 1-0 and need only a draw for a record-equaling ninth successive Test series triumph.
NZ VS WEST INDIES
New Zealand were aiming for an early finish to the first Test against the West Indies yesterday after Colin de Grandhomme cracked his maiden Test century off just 71 balls to leave the tourists reeling at stumps on Day 2 in Wellington.
The West Indies compared the big-hitting De Grandhomme to their own whirlwind stars Chris Gayle and Andre Russell as the New Zealander smacked the ninth-fastest Test century of all time, making light of a tiring attack and plundering the boundary.
At stumps New Zealand were 447-9, holding a 313-run lead after the West Indies were rolled for 134 in their first innings.
“We’re in a real good position at the moment,” De Grandhomme said.
The 31-year-old showed no sign of nerves as he plundered the bowling, saying the maiden century was not as important as keeping the West Indies in the field as long as possible.
“I know it’s a milestone, but for me it’s just keep batting the way you’re going,” he said.
“Andre Russell hits the ball very hard, Chris Gayle hits the ball very hard. He’s up there,” Miguel Cummins said. “The guys are really pumped up about batting again. They know where they fell down in the first innings and they’re looking to make amends in the second.”
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