Published: Sun, December 17, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Steve Smith 229*, Mitchell Marsh 181

Steve Smith 229*, Mitchell Marsh 181

Jonny Bairstow kept his head with a fine century for England but Steve Smith showed a captain's poise to guide Australia to 203 for three at the close of day two of the third Ashes Test yesterday.

On an agonising day for Joe Root's team, Smith broke English hearts with his second double-century after recalled all-rounder Marsh celebrated his maiden ton. The home side took total control of the match and were 549 for four in their first innings by stumps, with Smith on 229 and Marsh on 181, leading the hapless tourists by 146 runs with six wickets still in hand.

Brief scores: England 403; Australia 549 for four (Steve Smith 229 batting, Mitchell Marsh 181 batting). This time, for his record-breaking double century in the third Ashes Test against England today (December 16).

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Get full cricket score of Ashes third Test between Australia vs England, Day 4 here.

"I'll let dad know that I passed him", Mitchell said, having surpassed his previous high of 87.

Two-nil down in the five-Test series, the tourists' hopes of claiming their first win at the WACA in almost 40 years appear bleak.

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All that leaves England praying for rain in Perth, as they look to salvage an unlikely draw and move to the fourth Test with a tiny chance of drawing the series.

England assistant coach Paul Farbrace said the weaknesses in the English attack, particularly in foreign conditions, were being cruelly exposed. We've got what we've got. But Steve Smith is the best in Tests.

Smith's 17th boundary brought up his 1,000th run for the year, emulating former Australia opener Matthew Hayden by achieving the feat in four consecutive years. The second hundred came with a single off all-rounder Moeen Ali, and he bounded down the wicket roaring in triumph to the delight of a big day three crowd.

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