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Saturday 22
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Cricket

Smith frustrates England in Perth

15th December 2017, 11:35 by Chris Rivers

Australia ended day two of the third Test on 203-3 as Steve Smith once again frustrated England's bowlers with his knock of 92.

Smith, who frustrated the Three Lions in the series-opener in Brisbane, was once again the lynchpin of Aussie innings as his controlled play helped them end the day in Perth 200 runs behind the tourists.

Earlier in the day, Jonny Bairstow (119) had completed his first Ashes century as he shared a fifth-wicket stand of 237 with Dawid Malan.

Having looked well set for a giant first-innings score, Malan's dismissal for 140 sparked a batting collapse as England lost their final six wickets for 35 runs, finding themselves bowled out for 403 before lunch.

Australia's response got off to a bad start as Craig Overton removed both openers cheaply, firstly having David Warner caught behind on 22 and then trapping Cameron Bancroft (25) lbw to leave the home side on 55-2.

Smith's arrival at the crease sparked a fightback as he and Usman Khawaja put on a stand of 124 on a flat Perth track.

Khawaja was eventually dismissed lbw for 50, but Smith and Shaun Marsh (7no) comfortably made it to stumps without further drama.

Given they still have a sizeable lead, Bairstow believes England can be happy with how the third Test has begun as they fight to keep the Ashes series alive after falling 2-0 behind.

"We've got 400 on the board. From 100-4, we could have been out for a lot less than that," Bairstow told BBC Sport. "For us to get 400 from that position was a great effort from the guys.

"We're happy so far. Tomorrow the first couple of sessions are massive for us. There's no reason why we can't come out and take a couple of wickets.

"If we can take a lead into that second innings, who knows what can happen down the line?"

This article originated on sportinastorm.com

Chris Rivers is an experienced reporter who closely follows both Arsenal and Wales Rugby Union team. As well as in-depth football and rugby knowledge, Chris is an avid American Football, Formula One and boxing fan.

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