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Friday, August 23, 2013

Smith continues where Watson left off to put Australia on top and in race against weather: T5D3


England 0/32 (17.3 ov) trail Australia 9/492d (128.5 ov,Watson 176, Smith 138*/241b/2x6 16x4, Anderson 4/95) by 460 runs with 10 first inns wickets in hand:  T5/5 D2/5 at The Oval, London.

Rain prevented play for the first session and beyond, and bad light truncated a day in which Steve
Smith followed Shane Watson's example and led Australia to an imposing first innings total.

Smith's century was well deserved. His imperious driving of Jonathan Trott (a modest bowler maybe, but he took a rare Test wicket - Brad Haddin's - today) for 6 to move from 94 to 100 was the stroke of the match so far, and confirmed the young man's transition from leg spinning allrounder to frontline batsman (who, like Trott, can still bowl a bit).

His temperament is, as he showed earlier this year in India, good and ,while he fidgets at lot at the crease, he seems to have the ability to get into position to defend or leave the good and hit the bad, and sometimes not- so-bad, ball. 

Jimmy Anderson was the pick of the almost exclusively pace England attack, which took its time bowling to increasingly defensive fields. Chris Woakes took his first Test wicket - James Faulkner - amid the pre- declaration buffing, but Simon Kerrigan wasn't trusted with the ball. Will he get another chance?

Alistair Cook and Joe Root held out for 17.3 overs before the umpires, despite the floodlights, called time for bad light. England's resolution (ie determination to draw) and the weather, in whatever proportion, may well combine to force a draw: a victory for them is out of the question, and will be hard  for Australia to achieve in what the weather forecast suggests will be the limited time available.

<a href="http://www.espncricinfo.com/the-ashes-2013/engine/match/566936.html">Scorecard </a>
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