Steve Smith stayed an immovable object after Jofra Archer dented the response of Australia on day two of the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval to England 294.
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Smith (59no) headed into the match with 671 runs from the show and also expanded that to 730 by java at south London after notching his first time fifty-plus score as many innings this summer and 10th in a row against England.
Australia were 147-4 in the rest – Smith finishing his half-century by hammering Jack Leach over.
Archer has hit three times, removing the urgently out of form David Warner (5) after which Marcus Harris (3) in the opening session, even prior to ousting Marnus Labuschagne (48) at the second – Sam Curran also impregnated together with the scalp of Matthew Wade (19).
Smith and Labuschagne put on 69 for the third wicket after Warner was out caught behind on inspection and also a squared-up Harris edged to slip to leave 14-2 to the tourists.
Until Curran also ousted Wade leg but with Labuschagne final in on a fifty at six Ashes innings that he had been trapped lbw from an Archer in-swinger since he chased his attempted leg-side shot.
Warner had previously avoided the ignominy of four straight ducks but nevertheless dropped, with his dismissal asserting there have been a record-extending 18 opening stands under fifty inside this series, beating the 16 found in the four-Test, West Indies vs England series in 1934-35.
Even the left-hander is averaging only 9.33 from the series, and it has produced double figures just once in nine innings, in the initial knock at the next Test at Headingley if he battled to 61.
Smith has had no troubles – though Curran’s left-arm swing has bothered him at times on Friday, with the Surrey star with a couple of vocal lbw appeals turned down after curling pitched-up deliveries back in.
England were bowled out 31 balls to the morning session after progressing from their instantly 271-8 – Jos Buttler (70) and Leach (21) extending their ninth-wicket stand to 68.
Buttler was bowled off in edge and pad as Pat Cummins (3-84) proceeded onto 27 wickets for the series, while Leach dragged on defending to hand Mitchell Marsh (5-46) his maiden Test five-for.
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