At a time when Steve Smith scoring hundreds has become a norm, there was a surprise in store for the cricket fraternity when the Australia star did not get to the 3-figure mark in the second innings of the ongoing 4th Ashes Test in Manchester.
In fact, Steve Smith was dismissed for his lowest Ashes 2019 score by none other than Jack Leach, who made a costly error that allowed the World No. 1 Test batsman to nearly double his score in the first innings.
Steve Smith was dismissed before he got to his hundred on Saturday. He made only 82, his lowest score in the ongoing series.
Incidentally, Steve Smith’s lowest Test score of 2019 came in an innings wherein he was in complete control, toying with the England attack. Smith made 82 in just 92 balls, smashing 11 boundaries.
Smith perished when trying to clear the cover boundary in Jack Leach’s over in the final session at Old Trafford on Saturday. He was caught at deep cover by Ben Stokes and there was more relief than joy on the faces of the England players and the Manchester crowd.
Notably, Steve Smith’s tally of 293 in the ongoing Test is his highest ever in a Test match. Also, Smith scored his 9th successive fifty plus score in Ashes, thereby proving his modern legend status when it comes to the much-talked-about Test battle between England and Australia.
In fact, missed out on an opportunity to become first-ever batsman to score a hundred and a double hundred in the same Ashes Test.
Racing Post Sport (@RacingPostSport) September 7, 2019
You know you’re not having a bad series when a score of 82 is the worst you’ve posted in six innings ??
bwin (@bwin) September 7, 2019
Jack Leach in the #Ashes so far:
? The greatest ever 1*
? Lifetime supply of glasses
? The wicket of Steve Smith
William Hill (@WilliamHill) September 7, 2019
Steve Smith has finally failed. Just the 82 runs. #Ashes
Rahul Puri (@rahulpuri) September 7, 2019
Imagine only scoring 82 runs. Humiliating. #Ashes
Ben Pobjie (@benpobjie) September 7, 2019
Australia were in a spot of bother after Jofra Archer and Stuart Broad’s first spells after before Tea on Day 4 left them reeling at 44 for 4. Australia had sealed a 196-run first innings lead but England were clawing back into the match after the initial burst that saw David Warner, Marcus Harris, Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head head back to the hut in quick succession.
However, it was business as usual for Steve Smith who not only steered Australia out of trouble but was scoring at nearly run-a-ball.
Smith nullified the English threat and played some eye-catching strokes as he showed a lot of intent from the word go. As Australia were looking at declaration before the close of play, Smith had the freedom to be as quirky as he can be at the middle.
Jofra Archer and Stuart Broad who looked lethal in their first spells were made to look ordinary in their following spells by Smith who handled the two England pacers with ease. At one point in time, the Australia batsman gave himself room and smashed them all over the park, frustrating the English attack that looked tired.