England 403 (Malan 140) v
Australia 203-3 (Smith 92no)
Third Test, Perth, day two
Steven Smith scored a fluent unbeaten 92 run knock to help Australia bounce back and post 203 for three at stumps on day two after they bowled out England for 403 runs in the third Test in Perth.
Earlier, it was England, who resumed their innings with a score of 305 for four. The overnight pair of Dawid Malan (140) and Jonny Bairstow (119) started the session with a lot of caution scoring just one run off the first five overs.
The pressure though was released when they saw through Mitchell Starc (4-91) and Josh Hazlewood (3-92). Bairstow greeted Pat Cummins (2-84) with back to back boundaries and with another four in the next over from Mitchell Marsh (0-43) the 200-run partnership came.
The boundaries came more freely with Malan hitting two more in the 100th over following which Bairstow reached his first century in 18 months.
With not much option available, skipper Smith turned to his premier off-spinner Nathan Lyon (1-73) and the move immediately paid off as Malan failed to get to the pitch off the ball and the leading edge was taken at the point, bringing an end to an England Ashes record 237 run stand for the fifth wicket.
That was the opening Australia were looking for as Moeen Ali (0) lasted just two deliveries before edging one off Cummins and soon rest of the batting collapsed with Starc and Hazlewood picking two apiece in the final five wickets.
As a result, England lost six wickets in a span of 35 runs and were bowled out for 403 runs. Starc picked four wickets while Hazlewood and Cummins snared three and two respectively.
James Anderson (0-31) and Stuart Broad (0-50) failed to provide any breakthrough for England with the new ball as they were safely negotiated by David Warner (22) and Cameron Bancroft (25).
But it was Craig Overton (2-46), who revived England's hopes when he had Warner caught behind in his second over and then trapped Bancroft LBW in the fourth. England had to review to overturn the decision. Australia were left reeling at 55 for two when Smith (92 not out) entered the crease.
Smith and Usman Khawaja (50) saw the remaining overs in the session through without much discomfort and Australia went into tea with a score of 88 for two.
The duo signalled their intention clear as they plundered 20 runs off the first two overs in the final session, that also brought the fifty run partnership.
Smith raced past his partnership and was going at run a ball but a delayed response from England skipper Joe Root handed Khawaja a reprieve when he was on 28. Smith's fifty came off just 58 deliveries and Khawaja who slowed down considerably brought his milestone off 121 balls as Australia looked comfortable with a score of 179 for two on the board.
At the run of play, Woakes (1-42) managed to have Khawaja LBW in the 52nd over, ending his 124 run stand with Smith but the Australian skipper and Shaun Marsh (7 not out) ensured there were no further casualties as the host ended the day with a score of 203 for three.
© Cricket World 2017