England vs Australia 1st Test, Ashes 2019: Smith comeback ton highlights exciting day's play

Australia won the toss and elected to bat first against England in the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston, Birmingham.

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Steve Smith's gritty hundred revived Australia's batting.   -  getty images

That would be stumps on day one of the first Ashes Test.

Rory Burns and Jason Roy march out to the middle. Pat Cummins with the ball for Australia.  They survive the two overs as England finishes on 10/0.

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GONE! Broad cleans up Smith and completes his five-for. The Aussie right-hander departs for a fabulous 144 as Australia folds for 284.

Smith's playing his shots now. He realises whatever he can get from hereon will be a bonus. After tonking Broad for two boundaries, he takes Australia past 250 with two back-to-back fours off Woakes. Teriffic batting this. AUS 258/9 after 76 overs.

HUNDRED! Smith gets there with a boundary off Stokes. What a terrific knock this has been from the former Aussie captain: dogged confidence and great application even as the others around him fell like a pack of cards. That's 100 No. 24 for Steven Smith. AUS 235/9 after 73 overs.

Smith gets to 99 with a six and a single off Moeen Ali.

GONE! Peter Siddle's vigil comes to an end; Moeen Ali with the breakthrough. Australia now nine down for 210. Siddle falls for 44.

This is terrific batting from Smith and Siddle. Both batsmen are getting the odd boundaries and piling pressure on Australia England by milking those ones and twos with rather effortless ease. Smith's nearing, what will be a exceptional 100 and Siddle has moved into the 40s. AUS 198/8 after 63 overs.

Siddle's starting to look more and more comfortable out in the middle, partly the reason why Smith is happy to the take the singles and keep the scoreboard ticking. Siddle's batting on 22 while Smith is going strong on 69. The 50-run partnership's up off just 84 deliveries. AUS 172/8 after 58 overs

The players are going off... It's raining in Birmingham as the covers come out!  Oh hang on... the covers are off and the players are back on the field.

Siddle and Smith resume after tea. Broad and Woakes bowling in tandem.

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That's TEA!

Siddle sees off Woakes' over without further damage. But that session clearly belonged to England and especially, Broad who was scintillating with the ball. He was ably guided by Woakes and Stokes. Smith continues to hold Australia together with a firing 66 on his comeback to Test cricket. AUS 154/8 after 53 overs.

Well played, Steve Smith. Amid the chaos, Smith has notched up his 25th Test half-century: runs worth their weight in gold, really. Can he turn this into a 100? More importantly, will he have anyone for company at the other end?

And the wickets keep falling! Stokes gets Cummins out lbw. Peter Siddle joins Smith. You got to feel sorry for Smith here. He has held one end up but just didn't get a semblance of support from his team-mates today. AUS 122/8 after 44 overs.

Pat Cummins has joined Steve Smith.

Broad's having a ball, no literally! He gets another one: this time it's James Pattinson who is adjudged lbw and Australia are falling like nine pins. AUS 112/7 after 40 overs.

WICKET! Broad now gets his third and Paine has to depart... a tame dismissal, really as he pulls a short ball straight down the fielder's throat at deep square-leg. Australia in complete shambles. AUS 112/6 after 39.4 overs.

GONE! Wade's out lbw, and Woakes has a third. It was given not out initially but Root reviewed and replays flash three reds as Australia slips further. The skipper, Tim Paine, walks out to the middle with his team in crisis. AUS 105/5 after 35 overs.

Steve Smith's been given out lbw now. But he looks unconvinced and reviews it straightaway! Excellent review from Smith. Replays show the ball missing the off-stump and Smith survives. Broad nearly had his third there!

Travis Head has been given out lbw. But he has reviewed this. Replays confirm three reds and it's Woakes again, who has got the breakthrough for England. A partnership, which was blossoming , has now come to an end as Head departs for a 61-ball 35. Matthew Wade comes to the crease. AUS 99/4 after 32.4 overs.

Out come the two batsmen. Broad to start proceedings after lunch.

Injury scare for Anderson

UPDATE from ECB: Jimmy Anderson has tightness to his right calf and will have a scan this afternoon. A further update will be given later today. He felt tightness at the end of his fourth over.

 

That's lunch on Day 1.

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Travis Head has looked to be positive against the spin of Moeen Ali, collecting two successive boundaries off him in the 21st over. Smith's meanwhile shown the patience and application required to survive the testing period of play in Birmingham. The partnership between the two is 48. Stokes has been guilty of straying on the pads a little too frequently thus far, going at more than four runs an over. He was eventually taken off the attack, with Woakes running in for a final crack before lunch. AUS 83/3 after 27 overs.

It was proving to be a good passage of play for Australia. Smith and Khawaja played their shots against Woakes and Anderson, instead of looking to just survive the testing spell. Smith's habit of shuffling inside the crease prompted Root to employ a leg-gully briefly but the Aussie right-hander didn't fall for the trap. But just when it looked like the duo was getting some sort of partnership going, Woakes got Khawaja out caught behind. Meanwhile, Stokes too has been brought into the attack as England continues to remain on the prowl. Travis Head has joined Smith. AUS 57/3 after 20 overs.

GONE! Usman Khawaja has been given out caught behind off Woakes. The umpire wasn't interested, initially, but Root reviews and replays confirm the faintest of nicks. Australia slip just when it looked like they were getting some kind of momentum going their way. Travis Head has joined Smith. AUS 35/3 after 14.2 overs.

Plenty of drama in the first 10 overs there. Warner survived a nick down the leg side first ball but was soon given out lbw to one that would've sailed over the leg-stump! (He chose not to review) Bancroft, at the other end, scored a brace of boundaries before being caught in the slips off Stuart Broad. England's got the early breakthroughs it was searching for. Root's on the prowl with an attacking field set. Smith and Khawaja have a massive task at hand. AUS  17/2 after 10 Overs.

Gone! Get in there, Broad! He now removes Cameron Bancroft, who has edged one to the first slip. The skipper Joe Root's a safe catcher in the cordon and Bancroft walks back to a jeering Edgbaston crowd. Out comes Steve Smith with Australia tottering. AUS 17/2 after 7.4 overs.

GONE! Stuart Broad traps Warner in front and Australia have lost an early wicket. Usman Khawaja comes to the crease. Warner didn't bother reviewing that decision, but replays suggest the ball would've missed the stumps. So Warner, after getting a life early on isn't a second-time lucky! AUS 2/1 after 4 overs.

Hello and welcome to Sportstar's Live coverage of the first Ashes 2019 Test match between England and Australia.

Toss Report: Ashes 2019: Starc and Hazlewood dropped, Australia bats first at Edgbaston

All right we are all set for the action to begin under cloud cover at Edgbaston.

David Warner and Cameron Bancroft are out there in the middle and it be James Anderson to start proceedings with the red cherry. Here we go!

Playing XI:

England: Rory Burns, Jason Roy, Joe Root (C), Joe Denly, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow (WK), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson

Australia: David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Tim Paine (WK/C), James Pattinson, Pat Cummins, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon

Toss Update: Australia wins toss, elects to bat first .

The Preview

England returns to ‘Fortress Edgbaston’ for the first Test against Australia on Thursday looking to round off an already memorable season by completing a World Cup and Ashes double.

If the World Cup remains the pinnacle of the 50-over game, for England and Australia there’s nothing quite like a renewal of Test cricket’s oldest rivalry.

But now there’s arguably more at stake for both sides than the series result.

For England, a home season billed as the most important in a generation started brilliantly with the side's impressive run to a first men’s World Cup title.

READ: Ashes undimmed for Root despite World Cup afterglow

International cricket in Britain emerged from behind its satellite television paywall for the first time since the celebrated 2005 Ashes so that millions could watch England’s nerve-shredding Super Over win against New Zealand at Lord’s earlier this month.

 

Building on that groundswell of support is a key part of the England and Wales Cricket Board’s post-tournament strategy.

 

Regaining the Ashes represents an ideal chance to keep those new followers on board, even if none of the five Tests are on free-to-air television.

READ: The Ashes: Three key battles to watch out for

For Australia, an Ashes series win under the dignified leadership of Tim Paine would help draw a line under the ball-tampering scandal in South Africa that led to long bans for former captain Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft.

 

England Playing XI:

Jason Roy, Rory Burns, Joe Root (c), Joe Denly, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson

Squad:

Australia: David Warner, Cameron Bancroft, Usman Khawaja, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Marnus Labuschagne, Tim Paine(w/c), James Pattinson, Pat Cummins, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Josh Hazlewood, Marcus Harris, Mitchell Marsh, Michael Neser

England: Rory Burns, Jason Roy, Joe Root(c), Joe Denly, Jos Buttler, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow(w), Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, Stuart Broad, James Anderson, Sam Curran, Olly Stone, Jofra Archer

The Ashes 2019: Root ready to lead from the front

England captain Joe Root explained his increasing ease with being the team's leader motivated his decision to move up to number three in the batting order for the Ashes.

Root will come in at first wicket down as England looks to wrest control of the urn from rival Australia over the next seven weeks.

 

There has long been a clamour for the 28-year-old to take on that high-pressure role, given his status as the most gifted batsman in a team that frequently loses cheap wickets at the top of the order.

The Ashes 2019: England's first Test against Australia in numbers

England's bid to regain the Ashes starts at 'Fortress Edgbaston' on Thursday.

The Birmingham venue has provided England with home comforts in recent years and was also the site for their Cricket World Cup semi-final victory over Australia this month.

Stuart Broad and Nathan Lyon are seeking personal milestones, while James Anderson will hope to continue his fine record against David Warner.

We look at some of the numbers behind the first encounter.

8 - England are on an eight-game unbeaten streak in Tests at Edgbaston, a run that dates back 11 years to a 2008 defeat to South Africa. In total, England have lost only one of their last 14 Tests at Edgbaston, winning 10 and drawing three.

5 - Australia have failed to win any of their previous five Tests on the road - losing four and drawing one - and are on their longest winless run since a nine-match sequence throughout 2013.

4 - Each of the past four Ashes series to take place in England have been won by the hosts, who last tasted defeat to their great rivals on home soil in 2001.

 

10 - The year 2001 was also when Australia last won a match in any format at Edgbaston, where they are on a 10-game winless run.

95 - Broad is five wickets short of 100 Ashes dismissals. Should he reach the century, he will become the ninth man to do so for England.

9 - Anderson has dismissed Warner on nine occasions in Tests. No bowler has dismissed the opener more often, with India's Ravichandran Ashwin also removing Warner nine times.

104 - With 104 Ashes wickets, Anderson is 24 behind Ian Botham, England's all-time leading wicket-taker against Australia.

343 - Australian Lyon needs seven more victims to become the seventh spinner to reach 350 Test wickets. Only three Australian bowlers - Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath and Dennis Lillee - have attained that figure.