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1 Aug, 2019 18:31

Aussie batsman Smith defies ‘cry baby’ masks & sand paper jibes to hit century on Ashes comeback

Aussie batsman Smith defies ‘cry baby’ masks & sand paper jibes to hit century on Ashes comeback

Australian batsman Steve Smith hit a superb 144 to drag his team back from the brink against England on the first day of the Ashes amid a feisty reception from fans at Edgbaston.

The Australians looked in serious trouble after slumping to 122-8 but Smith was imperious as he guided them to a far more respectable 284 all-out with a superb innings.

It was a remarkable innings from former skipper Smith, who along with teammates David Warner and Cameron Bancroft was making a Test comeback following a one-year ban for ball-tampering against South Africa in March of last year.

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English fans at a raucous Edgbaston predictably played on the scandal, with some wearing T-shirts bearing the image of Smith’s tearful face from the famous apology he made on returning home following last year's shame.

Other members of England's 'Barmy Army' also waved pieces of sandpaper in the air to goad the Aussies over their previous ball-tampering, while the atmosphere reached fever pitch as England ripped through the Aussie opening order and seemed set to restrict the visitors to a low first innings score.


However, Smith defied the jeers to steady the ship remarkably, and was helped by veteran tail-ender Peter Siddle, who hit 44.

Stuart Broad took five wickets for England, who saw pace bowler James Anderson limited to just four overs after suffering a calf injury. 

The hosts finished the day 10-0 in reply to the Australians - although most the talk was about a fine comeback knock from Smith.