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Smith defies England as Australia fight back in Ashes

Brisbane: Skipper Steve Smith led a rescue mission to revive Australia´s fortunes after a top-order batting collapse in the Ashes Test against England in Brisbane on Friday.
Home hopes rested on Smith to mount a fighting rearguard after the loss of four wickets in a faltering chase after England´s first innings of 302 at the Gabba.
At the close on the second day, the Australians were 165 for four and trailing by 137 runs, with Smith unbeaten on 64 and Shaun Marsh not out 44.
It left the match intriguingly poised once again after England ended day one in a similar position before collapsing before lunch on Friday.
Smith was then thrust into another high pressure situation after Australia suffered a now-familiar batting malfunction.
England had done their homework, encircling Smith with fielders and trying to frustrate the fidgety Australian captain into playing a rash shot.
But Smith, Test cricket´s top-rated batsman, stepped up to the challenge with a defiant knock off 148 balls.
Marsh, 34, recalled for an eighth time to the Test team, provided stout support to his skipper off 122 balls to share in an unbroken 89-run stand.
The tourists had the Australians on the ropes with three batsmen out in the middle session, including the prized scalp of David Warner.

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