Thu, Sep 05, 2019 - Page 16 News List

Smith firm in Ashes return after Broad’s double strike

AFP, MANCHESTER, England

Steve Smith yesterday marked his Test return after suffering a concussion by helping Australia recover from the early loss of their openers on the first day of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford.

Australia were 98-2 off 26 overs at lunch after Stuart Broad’s double strike, which included David Warner’s exit for a duck, reduced them to 28-2.

Marnus Labuschagne was 49 not out and on the verge of his fourth successive Test 50 since coming in as Smith’s substitute.

Smith was 28 not out after adding an unbroken 70 for the third wicket with Labuschagne.

Australia captain Tim Paine took the bold decision to bat first after winning the toss, even though both top orders have struggled this Ashes.

However, just four balls into the innings, Broad had Warner caught behind for nought as he tried to withdraw his bat.

Marcus Harris fell for 13 when Broad trapped him leg before wicket from around the wicket with a ball that nipped back.

Kumar Dharmasena eventually responded to Broad’s prolonged appeal by raising his finger, with his decision upheld on umpire’s call after Harris’s review, leaving Australia in trouble at 28-2.

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