England vs Australia: Session-by-session review
Steve Smith makes Test century, but English openers bat well in reply
Day two at the Oval and Australia were looking to build upon an impressive start to their first innings.
Here's a look at each session from yesterday's play:
The whole of the morning session was rained off due to an annoying continuous drizzle.
The start of the afternoon session was slightly delayed due to the persistent rain, but when it ceased play got under way pretty quickly.
Night-watchman Peter Siddle carried on where he’d left off last night with some streaky boundaries, before he was removed by a cracking delivery by Jimmy Anderson. The gutsy Brad Haddin joined Steve Smith and together they pushed the score along.
Haddin played some gorgeous shots, but he couldn’t take the limelight away from Smith who didn’t worry about the nervous nineties on his way to a maiden Test century.
Jonathan Trott was bowling to Smith when he was on 94, but he was anything but jittery against the part-timer as he launched a six over long-on to reach three figures. Later in the over Trott had some revenge as he removed Haddin, who played onto his stumps when trying to guide the ball to third man. James Faulkner, on debut, joined Smith and together they negotiated the couple of overs that were left before Tea.
Score at Tea: 397-6 Smith 112, Faulkner 1
The Australian plan was clear after the Tea interval, as they looked to up the run rate. James Faulkner, on debut, played with real freedom to take his side well past 400 before he was caught in the deep to give Chris Woakes his first Test wicket. Mitchell Starc (13 from 8) and Ryan Harris (33 from 27) kept the runs flowing as England bowled for the declaration, a declaration which came one ball after Harris’ wicket with the score on 492-9.
This left Steve Smith 138 not out after an innings of real maturity, it could be the innings that makes him as a Test batsman.
Australia Close of Innings Score: 492-9 dec. Watson 176, Smith 138*, Anderson 4-95
Alastair Cook and Joe Root got England off to a solid reply by surviving until the close of play. The opening stand of 32 remains unbeaten overnight, after the captain and the future Captain batted stoutly in defence to thwart Australia’s evening onslaught.
Score at Stumps: 32-0 Cook 17, Root 13
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