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Ashes: Smith's ton takes Aussies to 245/5 at lunch on Day 2
Returning from a concussion injury, Steve Smith once again rises to the occasion to stabilize Aussie batting with his 26 ton in the rain affected 4th Ashes test being played in England.
Days after overtaking Virat Kohli as the number one ranked Test batsman, Steve Smith produced another batting master-class to rack up his 26th hundred in the longest format as Australia rode his heroics to reach 245/5 at lunch on Day 2 of the rain-affected fourth Ashes rubber on Thursday.
Resuming on 60 with the team score reading 170/3, Smith showed no signs of relenting although he was troubled on a few occasions by Jofra Archer to continue his prolific run-scoring spree and bring up his third Ashes century in 160 balls by clipping Craig Overton off his pads for a couple of runs.
Smith raised his bat as his teammates from the dressing room applauded in a fashion which showed the inevitability of yet another landmark from this run-machine who returned to the team on the back of a concussion injury.
Skipper Tim Paine was batting with him on nine from 31 balls.
A light drizzle once again played spoilsport in the first session, but it was for a short while as the packed crowd at Old Trafford were treated to another Smith special.
Overnight batter Travis Head was the first wicket for England as Stuart Broad (3/47) trapped him in front.
Mathew Wade (16) played a poor shot to be caught at mid-on by England captain Joe Root. But Smith, at the other end, was batting at another level as he negotiated left-arm spinner Jack Leach's spinning deliveries well and showed superb technique against Broad and Overton to work his way through.
Brief scores: Australia 1st innings: 245/5 (Steve Smith 101 batting, Marnus Labuschagne 67, Stuart Broad 3/47)