Ashes 2019, England vs Australia 1st Test: Smith comeback ton inspires Aussie revival

The visitor recovered from 122/8 to eventually fold for 284 after Steve Smith anchored the innings with his 24th Test ton.

Steven Smith of Australia leaves the field after being dismissed during day one of the 1st Specsavers Ashes Test between England and Australia at Edgbaston.   -  getty images

Steve Smith's fighting hundred on Test comeback highlighted Australia's riposte on day one of the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston in Birmingham.

The visitor recovered from 122/8 to eventually fold for 284 after Smith anchored the innings with his 24th Test ton and alongwith Peter Siddle, restored parity in a day which was increasingly swaying towards England's way initially.

 

Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes were the wreckers-in-chief snapping up eight wickets between them. Two of Broad's four wickets came in the 40th over when he had Aussie skipper Tim Paine and seamer James Pattinson out in a space of one delivery. He returned figures of five for 86.

Woakes trapped Travis Head and Matthew Wade in front and Usman Khawaja caught behind. Joe Root and Co. were a bowler short after pace spearhead Jimmy Anderson went off the field due to tightness in his right calf. He had bowled just four overs and did not take any further part in the day's play. A further update will be given later today. He felt tightness at the end of his fourth over.

The highlight, though, was Smith's knock which was a testament to his dogged discipline and impeccable technique. He milked the ones and twos when the boundaries were hard to come by and then upped the ante with the tail, taking on Broad and Woakes at the fag end of the day. His innings was studded with 16 fours and two sixes.

The Ashes opener marked the first Test for Smith and David Warner, and the first international cricket of any kind for Cameron Bancroft, since the trio received bans for the ball-tampering scandal that marred their series with South Africa last year.

Each of the trio received boos from a raucous Edgbaston crowd yet, while Warner and Bancroft each departed cheaply in a largely disappointing Australia innings, Smith produced one of his finest centuries.

The former captain was given out lbw on 34 to Stuart Broad when not playing a shot but successfully reviewed and went on to play the anchor role in stunning fashion as wickets tumbled around him.

Rory Burns and Jason Roy took England to 10/0 at stumps.