Smith foils England again

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By 2017-12-16

Australian captain Steve Smith again proved to be a major obstacle as England wasn't able to capitalise on their overnight momentum on the second day of the third Ashes Test in Perth on Friday.
England first innings centurion Dawid Malan urged his team to ramp up the pressure on the home side at the end of the first day's play, but a late order collapse by the visitors and the broad bat of Smith ensured the match was evenly poised at the end of the second day.

At stumps Australia were 203 for three, with Smith on 92 and Shaun Marsh on seven, a deficit of 200 runs with seven wickets in hand after dismissing England for 403.
England had looked set to post a massive score when they were 368 for four with Malan and Bairstow seemingly in total control, but then lost six wickets for 35 runs in a stunning collapse before lunch.

Second-gamer Chris Overton (2-46) then raised English spirits again by removing openers David Warner (22) and Cameron Bancroft (25) in quick succession, before Smith again proved a major stumbling block.
He paired with Usman Khawaja to add 124 for the third wicket, and was poised to score his 22nd Test century when play resumes on the third day.
Australia lead the series 2-0 and can regain the Ashes with victory at the WACA Ground, although heavy rain is forecast for the final two days. England started the day in total control, but ultimately failed to capitalise on a record fifth-wicket partnership by centurions Malan (140) and Bairstow (119).
Scores:
England: 403 (Stoneman 56, D. Malan 140, Bairstow 119, Starc 4/91, Hazlewood 3/92, Cummins 2/84)
Australia: 203/3 at close (Khawaja 50, S. Smith 92 n.o. Overton 2/46)

Malan's wicket was the first to fall Friday, with his breakthrough innings finally came to an end when he was brilliantly caught by substitute fielder Peter Handscomb from the bowling of Nathan Lyon. Bairstow's century was a welcome knock for the English batsman after a controversial tour, with a headbutt incident at a Perth bar causing unwanted attention, and a war of words with the Australians on and off the field.

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