Steve Smith scored his third double century on Thursday as he went on combating English bowling attack in the current series. After seven hours of batting he reached the landmark and expressed his joy by roaring and punching in the air.

Notably, Smith’s all three double centuries have been scored against England.

Smith though whose lowest score in this series is 92 at Lord’s, brought up his double century off 310 balls when he whipped a full delivery from Craig Overton past mid-on. Steve Smith also became the first Australian since Allan Border in 1981-85 to score 500+ runs in consecutive Ashes series in England.

Steve Smith was handed a reprieve when he was batting on 118 on Thursday after Jack Leach bowled a no-ball. Smith was caught at first slip by Ben Stokes but following replays, the in-form Australia batsman was called back to the middle.

England will rue that missed opportunity to remove the world’s top-ranked test batsman, who has looked in form despite missing the last test due to concussion.

The ton was Smith’s 11th in Ashes cricket but he should not have gone much further. The 30-year-old right-hander had looked more frenzied than usual at the crease after lunch and had already had a moment of fortune when he skied the ball high into the offside off Leach, only for it to drop perfectly in the gap between two fielders, prior to edging the spinner to slip.

This was Smith’s third hundred of a series where he made 144 and 142 in Australia’s 251-run win in the opener at Edgbaston-his first Test since completing a 12-month ball-tampering ban.

His lowest score of the current campaign was the 92 he posted at Lord’s after being felled by Archer.

Australia resumed on 170-3 after Wednesday’s rain-marred first day in Manchester. Smith was 60 not out-his eighth successive Test 50 against England extending the 30-year-old’s Ashes record.


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