Australia's Steve Smith set for tour match return
Australian batsman Steve Smith is set to make his return to action in a tour match against Derbyshire ahead of the fourth Test match in Ashes 2019. The three-day tour match starts on Thursday. Smith took to the nets and faced the bowlers for the first time on Sunday since being concussed. He missed the third Test at Headingley. Here's more.
"Smith batted against bowlers for the first time today (Sunday). The session lasted 25 minutes. He also did some high intensity running. He will continue to be assessed but is expected to play in the tour match at Derby," said an Australia team spokesman.
Smith suffered the first injury when a rising ball from Jofra Archer struck his forearm. He was writhing in pain and had to bandage his arm. Despite batting on, a few moments later, Archer's short ball felled Smith. The right-handed batsman was lying flat on his back before getting up to applause from the crowd. He couldn't continue though and retired hurt.
Archer's deliver that clocked 92.4 mph hit Smith on an unprotected part of his neck. Smith returned to the field and the supporters were on their feet applauding the batsman. He was lbw to Chris Woakes for 92. Smith's helmet didn't have the additional stem guard neck protection. The batsman was ruled out of the final day, besides the Headingley Test as well.
Smith has already amassed 378 runs so far in three innings in Ashes 2019. At Lord's, he amassed his seventh successive score of fifty-plus against England in Tests. His scores in the last seven innings read 239, 76, 102*, 83, 144, 142 and 92. He also went past 6,500 runs in Test cricket (6,577). The star cricketer also amassed his 25th career Test fifty.
Smith will hope to get back strongly and the three-day tour match is a perfect opportunity to get ready ahead of the fourth Test. Marnus Labuschagne came on as a replacement substitute for the concussed Steve Smith in the second Ashes Test at Lord's. Since coming on, Labuschagne has scored three successive fifties. Labuschagne has got scores of 59, 76 and 80.