Men’s Ashes: First Specsavers Test, Edgbaston (day four of five)
284 (Smith 144, Broad 5-86) 487-7 (Smith 142, Wade 110)
England 374 (Burns 133) 13-0
England target: 398

batsman said his return to Test has been like “Christmas morning every morning”.

Making his comeback after a ban for his part in last year’s ball-tampering scandal, Smith has made a century in each innings against England at Edgbaston.

“I have lots of friends and family that stood by me and helped me get through a difficult stage in my life,” he said.

“My wife is in the stands and was close to tears when I got the first hundred.”

Smith’s efforts saw England set 398 to win. With such a chase unlikely, the best they can hope for is to bat out the final day and claim a draw, and the hosts reached 13-0 at the close of day four.

“It’s extremely special,” Smith told Test Match Special. “I’ve never scored a 100 in both innings in any form of in my life.

“To do it my first game back, in an Ashes Test, knowing how important the first Test is, I’m pleased. We’re in a great position now. Hopefully we can make use of that on Monday.”

Like fellow ball-tampering conspirators David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, Smith has been given a torrid time by the Edgbaston crowd throughout the first Test.

However, though there were some boos after he was dismissed for 142 on Sunday, the majority of the spectators gave him a standing ovation.

“It seemed as though there was a lot of praise and it was nice walking off to that,” said Smith.

“I’m really pleased that I have been able to do what I have done.”

With moving from 124-3 to 487-7 declared on Sunday, England endured a dispiriting day in the field.

They were once again without James Anderson, who has a calf injury, while fellow fast bowler Chris Woakes bowled only seven overs.

However, batting coach Graham Thorpe said there were no fitness issues contributing to the decision to use Woakes so sparingly.

England’s task of batting out the final day is likely to be made difficult by off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who will have the benefit of bowling on a pitch offering plenty of turn.

“Nathan Lyon will be important – they will want him to bowl well,” said Thorpe. “He’s under pressure as well – he’s probably got to bowl 200 deliveries through the day.

“We’ve got to play positively. We’ll look to break the day down – to put partnerships together. If you do that, things start to look comfortable.

“You have to show plenty of character and plenty of skill too.”


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