By Ian Ransom
MELBOURNE (Reuters) – England’s debutant paceman Tom Curran ended Steve Smith’s epic unbeaten run at the Melbourne Cricket Ground by bowling the Australian captain for 76 early on day two of the fourth Ashes test on Wednesday.
Playing away from his body, Smith dragged a wider ball onto his stumps to be dismissed for the first time since the Boxing Day test against India in 2014, having scored 445 runs in four innings.
Smith’s previous scores at the MCG were unbeaten knocks of 165 against Pakistan last year, and 70 and 134 against the West Indies in the 2015 test.
Introduced about half an hour into the morning session, 22-year-old Curran grabbed his maiden test wicket with the second ball of his first spell of the morning to leave Australia 260 for four.
It was a huge relief for the Surrey seamer, who had Australia opener David Warner caught on 99 after lunch on day one, only for the batsman to be recalled when the replay showed Curran had overstepped for a no-ball.
“It was horrible – the worst feeling I’ve had but looking at the positive I get to get my first wicket twice,” said Curran after the no-ball denied him Warner’s wicket
Australia hold an unassailable 3-0 lead in the series after reclaiming the Ashes in the third test in Perth.
(Editing by Greg Stutchbury)