Millennium Post

Australia star Smith scores hundred on Test return

Manchester: Australia star batsman Steve Smith marked his return to international cricket with a third hundred of the Ashes series as he reached three figures on the second day of the fourth Test against England at Old Trafford on Thursday.

Smith had missed England's dramatic one-wicket win in the third Test at Headingley after being ruled out with a concussion suffered when he was hit by a Jofra Archer bouncer during the drawn second match at Lord's.

The 30-year-old Smith, back on top of the ICC's Test batting rankings, resumed Thursday on his overnight score of 60 not but was dropped on 65 when Archer failed to hold a caught and bowled chance.

Having already extended his Ashes record of eight successive fifties, he hoisted his 26th Test century in 160 balls, including 11 fours, with a whipped two through square leg off Craig Overton.

This was former Australia captain Smith's third century of an Ashes where his lowest scores is the 92 he made after being felled by Archer at Lord's.

Smith scored 144 and 142 in Australia's 251-run win in the series opener at Edgbaston -- his first Test since completing a 12-month ban for ball-tampering.

The five-match contest is currently level at 1-1, with holders Australia looking to win their first Ashes series in England for 18 years.

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