Australia batsman Steve Smith on Saturday looked set for what would have been his third consecutive Test century, but his hopes eventually suffered a huge blow after being hit on the head courtesy a Jofra Archer bouncer.
Smith made a battling 92 at Lord's before Australia was bowled out for 250 on Day 4 of the second Test, eight runs behind England's first-innings total.
In a gripping middle session at the home of cricket, Archer produced an intimidating spell of bowling — his deliveries reaching speeds of up to 96 miles per hour (154 kph) — to pepper Australia's batsmen, with Smith the primary target.
The 30-year-old soon received treatment and his arm was strapped with protective pads by the Australia medical staff.
He bravely returned 40 minutes later to resume his innings on 80, and progressed to 92 before he was trapped lbw by Chris Woakes. Smith struck 144 and 142 in Australia's 251-run win in the first Test at Edgbaston and has now scored a half-century in seven straight Ashes innings.
Here's how Twitterati reacted to the former Australia skipper's hard-fought knock:
All hail Steve Smith!
I get the pantomime of @stevesmith49 arrival to the crease and the booing but please stop booing once he plays with great skill,courage and incredible discipline !!! he deserves a standing ovation for that innings ... #Ashes #Lords
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) August 17, 2019
Is this your favourite Steve Smith innings?
A busted forearm, his (alleged) left-arm kryptonite at one end, and the small matter of a bloke hitting 155kph at the other. Is this right now Steve Smith’s greatest test yet? #Ashes — Adam Burnett (@AdamBurnett09) August 17, 2019
Never write off one of Australia's best!
People booing in this situation really need to get a life, and get out of Lords to be honest.
— Trent Copeland (@copes9) August 17, 2019
The best Steve Smith innings under pressure?
The best one-on-one rivalry in the Ashes this year?
This is serious test cricket !! Archer vs Smith.
— Nasser Hussain (@nassercricket) August 17, 2019
Was this an unbelievable effort from Smith?
With inputs from AP
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Smith was sidelined from the first of a three-match series after being hit on the head batting in the nets, from a delivery by one of Australia's fast bowlers, but rather a throw-down from a member of the coaching staff.
Steve Smith, missed the first two matches of the ODI series after getting hit on the head from a throwdown by a member of the coaching staff in practice.
Morgan is anticipating a gentle turner in Manchester, where the fierce rivals will play three one-day internationals over the next week, with weather conditions conducive to slow bowlers.