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Twitter reactions: Steve Smith lights up Birmingham as the Aussies disturb the English party

An action-packed opening marked an unforgettable commencement of the inaugural World Test championship.

Steve Smith celebrates his century in Birmingham. (Photo Source: Twitter)

One could not have written a better opening script for the World Test Championship. Beginning from the era of Sir Don Bradman to the pyrotechnics of Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke, the Aussies always find a brilliant one-man solution to tackle their oldest rivals. Steve Smith right now is carrying the torchlight with a touch of unorthodox brilliance. His ton ensured Australia’s sinking ship was saved towards the fag end of the day.

Umpiring errors were an integral part of the opening day’s play and it cost Australia the wicket of one of their stalwarts, David Warner. He was wrongly adjudged leg-before, but the southpaw was not confident enough to review and hence found himself in the dressing room. A flurry of wickets kept the English on top, with Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes dictating terms.

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Steve Smith was always going to be a solution for some major problems, so was he on a cloudy Birmingham afternoon. While he stood tall at one end, his partners were tamed and sent back cheaply. Apart from a sturdy 64-run partnership alongside Travis Head, there was very little resistance. After skipper Tim Paine and Matthew Wade walked back, the Smith-show began alongside Peter Siddle.

Smith and Siddle counter-attack the World champions

At 122/8 just before a rain interruption, it seemed like the current World champions had slurped and burped their old rivals. But an unexpected fightback from Peter Siddle gave Smith the leverage to carry on and continue his onslaught. The fast bowler wasn’t completely comfortable in the middle, but he took his chances and reaped good rewards for the risks.

Just when the 30-year-old from New South Wales was closing in on a century, Moeen Ali broke this crucial 88-run partnership and Siddle missed out on a well-deserved fifty. But Lyon stood his ground as Smith marched his way to another century, adding to his glittering portfolio of astounding cricket knocks. It was his 24th in Tests and also the 9th in Ashes.

Smith was in carnage mode after reaching three figures as the new ball was soon approaching. He accumulated plenty of important runs and steered his side past the 280-run mark. Stuart Broad picked up his 100th Ashes wicket almost immediately with the new ball as he knocked over the centurion’s stumps. With boos ringing around amidst a few cheers, Smith walked back after a flabbergasting 144 off 219 deliveries.

England got to play just two overs before stumps on the first day and as one would expect, even these two overs had its share of drama. England will continue their pursuit at 10/0 with James Pattinson and Pat Cummins handling the new ball.

Here’s how Twitter reacted to the Aussie fightback

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