LONDON, Aug 21: Steven Smith scored his second hundred of the series as Australia continued to build a strong position in the fifth Test against England at The Oval on Friday.
Australia may have lost the Ashes, at 3-1 down in a five-match series, but captain-elect Smith�s unbeaten 110 saw his side to 376 for seven at lunch on the second day.
They would have been in an even stronger position but for off-spinner Moeen Ali taking two wickets in three balls in what became the last over of the session to dismiss Peter Nevill (18) and Mitchell Johnson (nought).
This was the 26-year-old Smith�s 11th hundred in 33 Tests and his second this series after he made a career-best 215 in Australia�s 405-run win in the second Test at Lord�s.
But he would have been out caught behind on 92 had it not been for a Steven Finn no-ball. Australia resumed on 287 for three, a vastly improved batting display after they were shot out for 60 on the first morning of the fourth Test at Nottingham�s Trent Bridge � a match they lost by an innings and 78 runs as England regained the Ashes.
Smith was 78 not out overnight and Adam Voges unbeaten on 47, with their stand then worth 101. England took the new ball as soon as possible and gave it to Stuart Broad.
Australia 1st Innings (overnight: 287-3) C Rogers c Cook b Wood 43, D Warner c Lyth b Ali 85, S Smith not out 110, M Clarke c Buttler b Stokes 15, A Voges lbw b Stokes 76, M Marsh c Bell b Finn 3, P Nevill c Buttler b Ali 18, M Johnson b Ali 0; Extras (b-1, lb-18, w-4, nb-3) 26. Total (For 7 wkts, 105.5 overs, 487 mins) 376. Fall of wickets: 1-110, 2-161, 3-186, 4-332, 5-343, 6-376, 7-376. Bowling: Broad 20-4-59-0, Wood 22-7-50-1, Stokes 23-6-90-2, Finn 27-6-88-1, Ali 12.5-1-65-3, Root 1-0-5-0. � AFP