Ashes 2019, England vs Australia: Archer doesn't get Smith but sends him out

In an intense passage of play on day four of the second Ashes Test, Jofra Archer cranked up his speed and repeatedly hit Steve Smith before flooring him with a bouncer. Smith, though, returned later in the innings.

Six overs after copping a blow on the arm, Smith was floored by a 92.4 mph bouncer from Archer.   -  GETTY IMAGES

A 24-year-old fast bowler with a lean frame exercising the powers of his youth and a breathtaking, unmissable and relentless 30-year-old batsman, at the peak of his prowess, standing his ground before he could stand no more.

Visceral. Raw. Impassioned.

The genuine, undistilled beauty of Test cricket was on display in the post-lunch session of the second Ashes Test at Lord's, where Jofra Archer put Smith to the sword during a spell in which his average speed was 92.2 mph: the quickest any England bowler has bowled so far.

It all began in the 71st over when Archer hit Smith on the front arm with a pacy bumper. The right-hander Smith was assessed by the team physio and strapped up. He continued to bat with an arm guard on but appeared in serious discomfort.

Smith was hit on the neck by a Jofra Archer bouncer.   -  getty images


Meanwhile, Archer continued to unsettle Smith with unbridled pace, including a 96mph delivery, which Smith seemed to have negotiated safely despite the ball smashing into his gloves.

And then it happened. Six overs after copping a blow on the arm, Smith was floored by a 92.4 mph bouncer from Archer. As he tried to sway away from the line of the vicious delivery, he was hit on the neck and immediately grounded. He lay prone on his back for a while before the physio, after having conducted the due assessments, concluded that it was not safe for Smith to continue.

Smith left the field, retired hurt on 80: felled by Archer, but not out, not yet. Smith returned to the crease after the fall of the seventh wicket.

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