It was a familiar story at Old Trafford on day four as Australia’s incredible talisman Steve Smith tormented England by once again piling on the runs.
Smith crafted a magnificent 211 in Manchester on Thursday and took the wind out of England’s sails with 82 on day four after the tourists had been reduced to 44-4 in a pulsating afternoon session.
Australia’s lead was up to 345 when the former captain, who missed the third Test at Headingley due to concussion, was dismissed by Jack Leach 18 short of reaching three figures for the fourth time in the series.
Smith 293 runs in the match are the most he has ever amassed in a Test and, with one game to come, he is only 17 short of bettering the 687 he registered in the last Ashes series, despite not playing in Leeds.
With the help of Opta, we look at some of the incredible numbers the top-ranked batsman in Test cricket has racked up in the Ashes.
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) September 7, 2019
– Smith’s has scored 239, 76, 102 not out, 83, 144, 142, 92, 211 and 82 in his last nine Ashes knocks.
– By passing 50 in each of his last five Test innings, he has registered his best run of half-centuries in the longest format.
– He has passed 600 runs in a Test series for only the third time – previously managing it in 2014-15 against India and in the 2017-18 Ashes.
– Smith has 671 runs in the series and looks set to better his personal record of 687 from the last Ashes. Only three players have ever passed 800 runs in an Ashes series: Don Bradman (974 in 1930 and 810 in 1936-37), Wally Hammond (905 in 1928-29) and Mark Taylor (839 in 1989).