Australia batsman Steve Smith continued his sensational run of form with the bat by scoring a double century against England in the fourth Ashes Test match in Manchester on Thursday. The right-hander’s superb 211 helped the visitors declare with an imposing total of 497/8 on the second day.
England were 23/1 at stumps, 474 runs behind, with Rory Burns 15 not out and nightwatchman Craig Overton unbeaten on three. They now face an uphill task to deny Australia a win that would see the holders retain the Ashes at 2-1 up with one to play in the five-match series.
Smith, the world’s top-ranked Test batsman, missed England’s series-levelling one-wicket win at Headingley with a concussion suffered when struck by a Jofra Archer bouncer during the drawn second Test at Lord’s.
Even so, he has now made 589 runs this series, his first since completing a 12-month ball-tampering ban, including three hundreds at a colossal average of 147.25.
The 30-year-old’s run with the bat has left fans, former cricketers and other experts of the game in awe of his genius. Smith’s effort on Thursday drew praise from all corners, with many hailing him as one of the all-time greats.
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[With inputs from AFP]