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Steve Smith remained an immovable object after Jofra Archer dented Australia’s reply to England 294 on day two of the fifth and final Ashes Test at The Oval.
Smith (59no) headed into the match with 671 runs from the show and also stretched that to 730 by tea at south London after notching his sixth fifty-plus score in as many innings this summer and 10th in a row against England.
Australia were 147-4 at the break – Smith finishing his half-century by hammering on Jack Leach over wide-long to get a six.
Archer has struck three times, removing the desperately out of shape David Warner (5) and then Marcus Harris (3) from the opening session, until ousting Marnus Labuschagne (48) in the second – Sam Curran also dissipates together with the scalp of Matthew Wade (19).
After Warner was out caught behind on inspection, Labuschagne and smith placed on 69 for the third wicket plus also a Harris edged to slip to leave the vacationers 14-2.
However, with Labuschagne final in about a fifty at six Ashes inningsthat he was trapped lbw from an Archer in-swinger as he chased his attempted shot, before Curran ousted Wade leg before.
Warner had earlier avoided the ignominy of four straight ducks but still fell cheaply, along with his dismissal asserting there have now 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.
The left-hander is averaging just 9.33 in the series and has produced double figures only once in nine innings, at the first knock at the next Test at Headingley if he battled into 61.
Smith has had no troubles – though he has been bothered by Curran swing occasionally on Friday, together using the Surrey star with a couple of lbw appeals turned down following curling pitched-up deliveries straight back in.
England were bowled out 31 balls into the morning session after progressing in their gruesome 271-8 – Jos Buttler (70) and Leach (21) extending their ninth-wicket stand to 68.
Buttler was then siphoned off inside edge and pad as Pat Cummins (3-84) proceeded onto 27 wickets for the show, while Leach hauled on hitting to hand Mitchell Marsh (5-46) his inaugural Test five-for.
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