Ashes 2023: Steve Smith becomes second fastest batter to reach 9000 runs in Test cricket
Steve Smith departed early in both innings of the Edgbaston Test. He has managed to hit the ground running in the ongoing second Test at Lord's.
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Steve Smith came into the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston on the back of a fine century in the World Test Championship final against India. The star Aussie batter, however, failed to stamp his authority in the Edgbaston Test, getting dismissed for scores of 16 and 6 in the two innings. Australia, however, managed to emerge victorious as they beat their arch-rivals by two wickets.
England won the toss and sent Australia to bat first in the second Test at Lord's. With the score at 96/2, Smith walked out to bat and showed intent from the early goings. He raced to 24 off just 15 balls, with the help of three sublime boundaries.
In the first ball of the 42nd over, Smith flicked Ben Stokes between mid-wicket and mid-on for a boundary to get to 9000 Test runs. He achieved the feat in his 99th Test match. The right-hander became the fastest to reach the 9000-run club in terms of matches. He bettered the record set by Brian Lara, who had reached the milestone in his 101st Test. In terms of innings, the former Australian captain became the second fastest behind Kumar Sangakkara. Smith achieved the feat in his 174th innings, while the Sri Lankan batter reached the mark in his 172nd innings.
Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith take Australia to Tea
Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith are among the top batters in Test cricket, as per the ICC rankings. Both batters missed out on scoring in the first Test but have come back in style at Lord's.
Australia lost both their openers with the score at 96/2. Smith and Labuschagne have steadied the ship for the World Test Champions as they are comfortably placed at 190/2 at Tea on Day 1.
While Labuschagne is unbeaten on 45 runs off 80 balls, his senior partner has scored 38 in 70 deliveries. England will have to make some inroads in the third session.