Flaccid England punished by Smith

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Australia skipper Steve Smith partnered by Mitchell Marsh made light work of the England bowling attack to seize control of the third Ashes Test.

The pair came together in the morning session when Shaun Marsh (28) edged Moeen Ali to slip to leave Australia 248 for 4.

But that would prove to be the final wicket of the day with Australia largely untroubled by what England had to offer.

Australia were 314/4 by lunch with Smith having moved to 139 with Mitch Marsh on 39 at the other end.

James Anderson thought he had Smith shortly after lunch but the review showed that while the ball would have hit the stumps after striking the skipper’s pad the England quick had overstepped.

The younger Marsh notched his maiden Test century after earning a contentious call-up and bowling just a handful of overs in England’s first innings.

At tea Australia were 424 for four leading 21 runs and well and truly on top.

Both Smith and Marsh turned their hundreds into ‘daddy’ hundreds punishing an England bowling attack that looked uninspired at best.

Smith passed 1000 runs in Test cricket in 2017 making it the fourth year in a row where the unorthodox batsman has broken the four figure mark.

Marsh went past 150 and Smith beyond 200 and England must now have hit a low point.

At the close of play Australia were 549/4 leading by 146 runs, Smith had gone to 229 while Marsh is threatening a double ton on 181 not out.