Australia’s Steve Smith took his run-spree* in this Ashes series to a new level as he returned from a concussion* with a superb double century against England in Manchester on Thursday.
Smith’s 211 set up Australia’s score of 8-497 declared on the second day of the fourth Test at Old Trafford.
England then lost opener Joe Denly for four off fast bowler Pat Cummins after he was brilliantly caught at the second attempt by Matthew Wade at short leg.
England were 1-23 at stumps, 474 runs behind, with Rory Burns 15 not out and nightwatchman* Craig Overton not out on three.
Smith's inspiring Ashes double century
Smith, the world’s No. 1 Test batsman, has now made 589 runs this series — his first series since completing a 12-month ball-tampering* ban — including three hundreds at a massive average of 147.25 (which means how many runs he is expected to hit each time he bats).
This innings followed his scores of 144 and 142 in Australia’s 251-run win in the first Test at Edgbaston, with Smith’s lowest total in four knocks this series the 92 he made at Lord’s.
“Satisfying to get a big score out here,” Smith said after play had finished.
“Obviously it was disappointing to miss the third Test at Headingley. “I wasn’t quite right, wasn’t able to play there, the right call was made. It gave me time to recover and get my head right.
“I felt good coming in to the game, was confident and fortunately I scored some runs and we got ourselves in a nice position.”
AFL: West Coast forward Josh Kennedy booted four goals and Nic Naitanui showed his magic touch in the ruck to help lift the Eagles to a 55-point AFL elimination final win over Essendon at Optus Stadium on Thursday night.
Kennedy booted three first-half goals and set up two for Liam Ryan to blow the game open early.
Naitanui, playing his first game since an injury eight weeks ago, was dominant in the ruck and produced crunching tackles as West Coast were able to survive two Essendon fightbacks to secure the 17.14 (116) to 9.7 (61) win in front of 59,216 fans.
Naitanui was reported for shoving Zach Merrett into the fence after the Bombers midfielder tugged on one of his dreadlocks. The angry exchange sparked a fight between many players and Merrett was reported for the original hair tug.
The Eagles will now take on either Geelong or Collingwood at the MCG on Friday week in a semi-final blockbuster.
NRL: South Sydney have turned the NRL premiership on its head with a fiery* 16-10 upset of the Sydney Roosters to lock up a top-four spot.
The Rabbitohs stormed home in the second half at ANZ Stadium on Thursday night as the reigning* premiers had their seven-game winning streak snapped.
- run-spree: scoring a lot of runs
- concussion: temporary unconsciousness or confusion after a hit to the head
- nightwatchman: a lower-order batsman who bats higher up the order than usual near the end of the day’s play
- ball tampering: illegally altering the ball
- fiery: passionate or aggressive
- reigning: current champions or leader
- How many runs did Steve Smith score in the 4th Test?
- How many runs has he scored in this Test series so far?
- Australia is leading England by how many runs?
- Who kicked four goals for the Eagles?
- How many games had the Roosters won in a row before last night’s loss?
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