Smith cashes in through thick and thin

Australia

Batsman Steven Smith emerged the proud recipient of a fine century, as Australia moved to 326 for six on day one of the third Ashes Test at the Western Australia Cricket Association Ground in Perth on Friday.

Batsman Steven Smith emerged the proud recipient of a fine century, as Australia moved to 326 for six on day one of the third Ashes Test at the Western Australia Cricket Association Ground in Perth on Friday.

Smith arrived at the crease during a crucial juncture, after a run-out and seamers James Anderson and Stuart Broad had reduced the total to a precarious 106 for three.

While captain Michael Clarke and fellow right-hander George Bailey fell shortly thereafter, Smith proceeded to procure important partnerships alongside wicketkeeper-batsman Brad Haddin and all-rounder Mitchell Johnson.

The talented Smith, during a 124-run alliance with Haddin and unbroken 59 stand with Johnson, graduated to a superb 103 not out, 13 boundaries and a couple of sixes included.

"I think I summed up the conditions pretty well and it paid off in the end. I think it was a pretty tough part of the game. They had taken a few wickets and they were pretty high," said Smith.

"To dig through there and get through a few of their big bowlers' spells and really start to cash in late in the day, that was the plan. Obviously I was under a little bit of pressure there losing a few wickets in the middle, but I was lucky enough to build a partnership with Haddin and Mitchell.

"It's probably right up there for me in my career. I was obviously under a little bit of pressure coming into this game, having not scored very many runs and I guess the position of the game as well."

The 24-year-old Smith anticipated more success on Saturday, when the hosts will target a satisfactory first-innings total to genuinely justify Clarke's decision to bat first after winning the toss.

"I was really happy with the way I was hitting the ball in the nets and from ball one today I felt pretty good. We are in a decent position, hopefully. If we start well on Saturday, we can post a really good score," added Smith.

"It is probably about even, I think. The wicket iss pretty good. Hopefully we can cash in in the morning, get 400, 450. You know, really be able to set the game up from there."

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