Ashes 2019: Smith passes fifty to frustrate England again

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England were facing the familiar problem of just how to get the wicket of Australia's Steve Smith on day four of the Ashes Test at Lord's.
England were facing the familiar problem of just how to get the wicket of Australia's Steve Smith on day four of the Ashes Test at Lord's.

Steve Smith was frustrating England again on day four of the second Ashes Test as Australia made inroads into the hosts' first-innings total.

Former Australia captain Smith made centuries in both innings of the first-Test hammering at Edgbaston and passed his half-century at Lord's on Saturday.

With rain having washed out the final two sessions of Friday's play, England were seeking quick wickets against an Australia team who resumed on 80-4.

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But Joe Root's side made just one breakthrough in the morning, with Matthew Wade going for just six, and Smith (53 not out) was again proving an ominous figure at the crease as Australia reached 155-5, 103 runs in arrears.

Stuart Broad probed well in the first hour and gained a just reward when he tempted Wade into the drive, which yielded a thick edge towards Rory Burns, who took a sharp catch at slip.

There were scarce opportunities for wickets from there, though, as Smith and captain Tim Paine (21no) dug in to frustrate England.

Paine saw out a few testers and settled with a crunching drive through the covers for four off Chris Woakes.

Smith coasted his way towards fifty and brought up the half-century with a clubbing loft over midwicket into an unguarded area of the field, which bounced away to the ropes.

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