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24 Nov 2017

Smith leads from the front as Aussies fight back

Ashes 2017: Australia close on 165/4

Talk about being a leader and Steve Smith is doing exactly that. The 28-year-old rescued the baggy greens leading the fight back after a top order batting collapse in the Ashes first Test at Gabba on Friday.

At stumps on day two, Australians were 165/4, trailing by 137 runs, Steven Smith going strong at 64 and Shaun Marsh aiding him at 44.

In context

Ashes 2017: Australia close on 165/4
Sublime Smith steps up to the challenge

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Sublime Smith steps up to the challenge

England came all guns blazing at the Aussie captain encircling the 28-year-old with fielders, trying to force out a rash shot from the batsman.

But Smith was no pushover, Test cricket's top-rated batsman stepped up to the challenge, with his brilliant 64 off 148 balls.

Marsh, who has been recalled to the squad, aided his captain to share an unbroken 89 run stand.

Costly error

England's batting collapse didn't aid their cause

The day began with the visitors losing their last six wickets for just 56 to close their first innings at 302.

The stable 83 run partnership between debutant Malan and Moeen Ali was broken and it didn't take the likes of Starc and Cummins long to tear into the tail end of the visitors.

Root's team tumbled from 246/4 to 302 all out.

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Australia's hopes rest on their captain

Equally poised

Australia's hopes rest on their captain

Smith bailed his team out mounting a fightback but he will have to stay strong on day three if they have to take the lead against England at Gabba.

England had the match in control after taking Australia's first four wickets for 76, before Smith and Marsh steadied the ship. They will be looking to strike early on day three.

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