The Ashes round-up: Smith hundred and Hazlewood burst rattle England

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A magnificent unbeaten century from Steve Smith gave Australia a lead on day three of the first Ashes Test before Josh Hazlewood struck twice to put England on the back foot at the Gabba.

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

 

THE HEADLINES

- 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 302.

- Hazlewood (2-11) dismisses Alastair Cook (7) and James Vince (2) with the new ball, England closing on 33-2 with a lead of only seven runs.

- Joe Root required a change of helmet and a check from the doctor after Mitchell Starc struck him on the head with a rapid bouncer, but the England captain was still there on five at stumps with Mark Stoneman on 19.

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

 

MOMENT OF THE DAY

England were always likely to have their work cut out facing a probing spell from the Australia quicks with the new ball, but Cook threw his wicket away with an uncontrolled hook off Hazlewood which was superbly taken by Mitchell Starc at long leg in the fourth over of the tourists' second innings.

OPTA FACTS

- 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 has more, the South Africa opener reaching three figures five times.

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

 

REACTION

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."

LOOK OUT FOR...

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