Steve Smith entered Sydney Cricket Ground folklore on Friday with a career defining test century to wrestle back control on the first day of the fifth Ashes test against England.
Smith’s 115 came off 142 balls and included 16 boundaries and a six over mid-wicket off debutant spinner Scott Borthwick to move to 99, followed by a four in the same over to reach the milestone.
“It’s my favourite place to play so I’m absolutely delighted to have got a hundred out here in tough circumstances and get the team in a good position,” said Smith, who has made two centuries this series after his maiden test century in the Ashes series in England in 2013.
“I haven’t played with too many nerves in this series. I’ve felt quite good every time I’ve gone to the crease and obviously I haven’t converted into big scores as much as I would have liked, but I’ve certainly felt good at the crease and today I guess was my day.”
Smith’s innings was ended by Ben Stokes (6-99) when he teased Smith into driving straight to substitute fielder Joe Root at mid-on.
Smith’s shared a 128-run partnership with Brad Haddin (75) to take Australia to 326 all out after the hosts had slumped to 97-5 shortly after lunch and swung the game heavily back into Australia’s favour as it seeks a 5-0 series whitewash which will lift it above England in the world rankings.
“Brad was great out there, he was great to bat with,” Smith said. “I sort of took a back seat and just watched him go and the way he played his shots today was brilliant to form a partnership with him and get us in the position we are now, it’s great.”