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England toil as Smith swings match in Australia's favour

England toil as Smith swings match in Australia's favour
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By Peter Hall

BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) – Steve Smith’s second century of the match swung an unpredictable Ashes opening test match in Australia’s favour as the tourists reached a comfortable 356-5 in their second innings at tea on day four at Edgbaston, 266 runs ahead of England.

Resuming on 124-3, Smith passed 50 before lunch, with Travis Head reaching his half century before Ben Stokes enticed an edge to make the breakthrough and see Head depart for 51.

After the lunch break, Smith remained immovable, becoming only the fifth Australian to make two centuries in the same Ashes test match.

Matthew Wade was the third successive batsman to pass 50, before the new ball finally brought Smith’s impressive innings to an end as Chris Woakes got his man for 142, but Australia remained very much in the driving seat.

(Reporting by Peter Hall; editing by Clare Fallon)

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