Smith shines as England wilt in Perth heat

Australia

Australia reached stumps on day one of the third Ashes Test at the WACA on 326 for six, taking advantage of the superb batting deck as England's bowlers wilted in the 35 degree Perth heat.

Australia reached stumps on day one of the third Ashes Test at the WACA on 326 for six, taking advantage of the superb batting deck as England's bowlers wilted in the 35 degree Perth heat.

The Aussies recovered from 143 for five thanks to an unbeaten century from Steve Smith, his first Test ton on home soil, and some cracking smaller knocks from David Warner, Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson.

Michael Clarke and Alastair Cook competed for the toss, both on 100 caps, and Clarke won, opting to bat first in the hot conditions. He named an unchanged side, while Cook replaced Monty Panesar with Tim Bresnan.

The hosts got off to a quick start as the pitch played fast and true, but Chris Rogers confused the situation with an ODI and found himself run out for nine, chancing a silly single to James Anderson, who struck with a direct hit.

Shane Watson then joined Warner in the middle and they continued to go at a rapid clip, with England's over rate slowing steadily. They only sent down 24 overs in the morning session. As it was, Watson was out for 18, edging Stuart Broad to Graeme Swann in the slips.

Warner and Clarke then added 54 for the third wicket in under 12 overs, with Warner's transformation from big-bashing hulk to Test opener looking ever more complete. Clarke was also fluid, but was out for 24 just before lunch, caught by a diving Cook off Swann.

This left Smith to join Warner till the break, and the former was still on zero at the interval, while Warner had progressed to 49 off 55 balls, including seven fours and a six.

In the afternoon, Warner recorded his half century but was only able to progress to 60 before a daft shot brought about his downfall. He cut at a wider Swann delivery and was caught by Michael Carberry at backward point.

George Bailey departed soon afterwards for seven, trying to hook Broad, but only skying it for Kevin Pietersen to taken a tumbling, backwards-running catch in the deep. This brought Smith and Haddin together, and the recovery commenced.

The pair put on 124 runs together in the next 36-odd overs, going into the tea break on 220 for five as the England bowlers continued to toil. Their hard work was often not rewarded though, as Haddin was dropped twice, once by Carberry once he'd reached his 50.

The stand was broken by Ben Stokes after tea, as Haddin hit it to mid wicket where Anderson took a diving catch. Haddin marched off before the no-ball could be checked, and it was very tight, but the out call remained.

At the close, Smith and Johnson had put on 59 runs together, with the fast bowler making 39 of those as Smith took his time after reaching his ton. He brought up his century off 173 balls, and at the close was on 103 off 191.

Australia: Chris Rogers, David Warner, Shane Watson, Michael Clarke, Steve Smith, George Bailey, Brad Haddin, Mitchell Johnson, Peter Siddle, Ryan Harris, Nathan Lyon

England: Alastair Cook, Michael Carberry, Joe Root, Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Ben Stokes, Matt Prior, Stuart Broad, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, James Anderson

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