LIVE: The Ashes – England vs Australia: Follow all the action from day four of the opening Test at Edgbaston
- England struggling to restrict Australia’s lead on day four at Edgbaston
- Steve Smith and Travis Head put on over 100 before Head falls to Ben Stokes
- Smith passes his half-century early in the day, adding to first innings century
- Hosts claimed three Australian batsmen during the evening session on Saturday
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Steve Smith moved within touching distance of a second brilliant century of the match as he led Australia to a handsome lead of 141 on the fourth morning of the Ashes opener at Edgbaston.
He carved out a brilliant 144 to rescue his side in the first innings and Smith once again proved a class above an England attack badly missing the injured James Anderson, reaching 98 not out at lunch.
In all, the tourists scored 107 for the loss of only one wicket as they reached 231 for four, grabbing the initiative in unequivocal fashion with every run taking the game away from England.
Smith was responsible for 42 of them quite effortlessly, the bulk coming in a stand of 130 with Travis Head, the only wicket to fall when Ben Stokes took his edge for 51.
The last player to score twin hundreds in an Ashes Test was Matthew Hayden in Brisbane 17 years ago but it would be a major surprise if Smith did not join that club early in the afternoon.
With Anderson’s calf injury ruling him out of bowling again in the match it was a surprise to see Chris Woakes not bowl a ball before lunch, particularly given he was fit enough for fielding duty. Whether he was not available to bowl or simply withheld, it was an unexpected turn of events on his home ground.
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