The Final Word Ashes Podcast: Listen to Geoff Lemon and Adam Collins as they discuss Australia's batting on Day 1

Cricket writers Geoff Lemon and Adam Collins discuss Australia's innings on Day 1 of the Ashes Test

FirstCricket Staff, Aug 02, 2019 11:30:56 IST

Day 1 report: Steve Smith marked his first Test since completing a 12-month ban for his role in a ball-tampering scandal with a superb century to rescue Australia on the opening day of the Ashes series on Thursday.

The Final Word Ashes Podcast: Listen to Geoff Lemon and Adam Collins as they discuss Australias batting on Day 1

Steve Smith salvaged Australia in the first innings of the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston with a century. Reuters

Australia were in dire straits against England in Birmingham at 122-8 but their last two wickets more than doubled the score and Smith was last man out for 144 in a total of 284.

Rory Burns and Jason Roy then survived two overs as the hosts ended the day on 10-0.

Former captain Smith, who returned to Australia duty during the recent World Cup that England won, was subjected to repeated jeers by a partisan crowd.

But he answered the boos in style with his first international century since his ban and his 24th in Tests.

"It hasn't really sunk in yet," Smith told BBC Radio. "Obviously been a while since I've been able to put on the whites and the baggy green (cap).

"I'm really proud of the way I was able to stand up today. We were in a bit of trouble there and we had to dig deep on a wicket that wasn't easy."

Australia had slumped to 17-2 when Smith came in to bat after current skipper Tim Paine had won the toss.

Wickets fell steadily but Smith found the ally he needed in Peter Siddle, with the recalled number 10 making a valuable 44 -- the second-best score of the innings -- in a ninth-wicket partnership of 88.

It had seemed England would not suffer from the absence of James Anderson, England's all-time leading Test wicket-taker, who only bowled four overs in the innings before suffering a right calf injury.

Long-time new-ball partner Stuart Broad took 5-86 in 22.4 overs and fellow paceman Chris Woakes chipped in with 3-58 on his Warwickshire home ground.

But Australia's total may yet be enough to embarrass an England side who collapsed to 85 all out before beating Ireland at Lord's last week.

Updated Date: Aug 02, 2019 11:30:56 IST

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 4659 119
2 New Zealand 2829 109
3 England 4366 104
4 South Africa 3177 102
5 Australia 3270 99
6 Sri Lanka 3795 95
Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6745 125
2 India 7071 122
3 New Zealand 4837 112
4 Australia 5543 111
5 South Africa 5193 110
6 Pakistan 5019 98
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8366 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 5264 263
4 South Africa 4720 262
5 India 9072 259
6 New Zealand 5843 254