Smith frustrates England

The Argus: Steve Smith celebrates his century this morning Steve Smith celebrates his century this morning

Steve Smith’s second Test century bailed out Australia and frustrated England after the tourists had threatened to sneak back into the Ashes series at the WACA.

Smith (103 not out) combined with the in-form Brad Haddin (55) to rescue the hosts from 143-5 and help them close a searingly hot first day of this third Test on 326-6, after Michael Clarke chose to bat first.

A sixth-wicket stand of 124 took the sting out of England, and Smith consolidated for a chanceless 173-ball century which he completed with a trademark front-foot pull off Ben Stokes for his 13th four.

Graeme Swann previously had a hand in three of the first four wickets as Australia made plenty of their own trouble, despite a combative 60 from opener David Warner.

But just when it seemed Australia might have opened the door an inch or so, Smith and Haddin took responsibility to make sure it was barely ajar by stumps.

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