Steve Smith hit an outstanding 144 to spare Australia’s blushes during the first innings of the first Ashes Test. With Australia batting first, England’s devastating bowling attack looked dangerous from the off as Cameron Bancroft and David Warner were dismissed for eight and two respectively.
Stuart Broad was the star of the show for England taking five wickets throughout the Australia innings, but the day belonged to Smith who saved the Australians from the abyss. Batting at number four, the former captain, making his return to Test cricket following the ball-tampering scandal, outlasted nearly all his team-mates to hit a 144 to help Australia reach 284.
He was eventually bowled out by Broad but his display will give the Australians some hope after being 122-8 at one stage of the day. England had time for two overs which were survived by openers Rory Burns and Jason Roy to leave them on 10-0 going into day two.
Smith admits he is still in shock about how good his day was at Edgbaston. “It hasn’t really sunk in yet. Obviously been a while since I’ve been able to put on the whites and the baggy green,” he said. “I’m really proud of the way I was able to stand up today. We were in a bit of trouble there and we had to dig deep on a wicket that wasn’t easy.”