The Ashes 2017-18: First Test, day 3 round-up

All the key facts and highlights from an intriguing day’s Test cricket between Australia and England at the Gabba in Brisbane.

Steve Smith's unbeaten 141 gave Australia a slight advantage in the first Ashes Test   -  AP

An unbeaten 141 from Steve Smith helped Australia go past England and take a 26-run lead on day three of the first Ashes Test at the Gabba. Late on the ‘moving day’, Josh Hazlewood struck twice to give his team a slight edge ahead of a pivotal fourth day. England has a second-innings lead of 7 runs.

We summarise Saturday's action from Brisbane, where it is advantage Australia.


- Smith played a captain's knock, finishing 141 not out – his 21st Test hundred – after Shaun Marsh (51) and Pat Cummins (42) had provided support as Australia recovered from 209-7 to 328 all out in reply to England’s 302.

Check out: Australia v England 1st Test scorecard

- Hazlewood (2-11) dismissed Alastair Cook (7) and James Vince (2) with the new ball, to reduce England to 33-2 at stumps.

- Joe Root required a change of helmet and a check from the doctor after a Mitchell Starc bouncer had hit him on the head. Crucially, the England captain was batting on 5 at stumps with opening batsman Mark Stoneman on 19.

- Stuart Broad finished with figures of 3-49, while James Anderson (2-50) and Moeen Ali (2-74) took two wickets apiece. Anderson appeared to be struggling with a side strain and spent time off the field, but was able to return.

Read: Anderson is 100 per cent, says Broad


The England batting line-up was always likely to have its work cut out, to negotiate a tricky one-hour period before stumps. Cook, in playing a hook off Hazlewood, holed out at long-leg, where Mitchell Starc took a superb catch.


- This is the seventh consecutive Ashes Test in which Australia have gained a first innings lead at the Gabba.

- Smith's century was his fourth in the longest format this year. Only Dean Elgar of South Africa has more, reaching three figures five times in 2017.

- Australia has never lost when Smith has faced at least 220 balls in an innings (won seven, drawn three).


Inspirational skipper Smith told BT Sport: "I try to lead from the front as much as I can and work very hard on my game. You think 'this is your team and you need to get your team in a really good position'. At one point we were in a bit of trouble, but it was nice to get ourselves into a lead."

England paceman Broad said: "I don't think the pitch has changed - the last hour is always a nice time to bowl. Tomorrow will be different because they have to plan to bowl a lot more overs, we hope. Pressure got batsmen out but it's still in our hands. If we bat well we can put Australia under pressure on day five."


Root was stunned by a nasty blow from Starc, but showed his character to come through a difficult period late in the day, when the quicks and Nathan Lyon were able to put him and Stoneman under pressure. The Root-Stoneman duo really need to hang around if England is to turn the tide on day four.

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