If there’s a better way for a disgraced cricketer to redeem themselves in the eyes of Australia than smashing a crisp century against England in the Ashes, we don’t want to know about it. Neither would Steve Smith, whose stellar knock against the Brits at Edgbaston has reinvigorated hopes in the Australian men’s side during the first Test.

In case you were foolish enough to sleep through it, here’s a brief recap: Smith, playing his first international Test after a lengthy ban for his involvement in 2018’s ball-tampering scandal, stepped to the crease with his side at 2/17. Faced with that dire opening and the threat of a middle-order collapse, Smith decided to wild out.

Effective partnerships with Peter Siddle and eventually Nathan Lyon allowed the former captain to do his thing, eventually ratcheting the score up to 9/229. Then, this happened:

While the majority of the ground booed Smith, the Australian contingent – including none other than Andy Lee – had a different take on his efforts.

The final score was all out for 284, with Smith himself scoring 144 before being bowled out. England faced two overs afterwards and claimed ten runs, but the resurgence of Smith in the Australian squad might have the home squad a bit jittery in the next few days.

Source: Wide World of Sport
Image: Mike Egerton / PA Images