Ashes 2021-22: Steve Smith takes first Test wicket in five years; Watch Video
While the England tail held firm in dwindling light to secure a dramatic fourth Ashes Test draw at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG), Australia’s Steve Smith drew attention with his performance with the ball.
With only three overs remaining in the match, England skipper Pat Cummins decided to throw the ball to Smith, introducing spin from both ends.
The first five deliveries were played by Jack Leach, but the penultimate delivery was edged to David Warner at first slip, giving Smith his first Test wicket since 2016.
Vernon Philander of South Africa was Smith’s previous wicket in the longest format, which he took in November 2016. He has already taken 18 Test wickets in his career.
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— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 9, 2022
After being dismissed on the final delivery of the 100th over, the Australian players were overjoyed.
Before Stuart Broad and James Anderson batted out to give England their greatest result of the five-match series, which Australia leads 3-0, the jolt almost led to victory for Australia.
Earlier, Australia had all of its fielders in catching positions around the bat, but Broad and Leech were forced to bowl the final 10 overs, leaving the hosts to rely on Smith and Nathan Lyon for the final three overs.
It all came down to Anderson, who was surrounded by eight fielders, bowling Smith’s anxious 102nd and last over. In a nail-biting conclusion, the visitors finished on 270 for nine, chasing a 388-run total. In England’s second innings, Smith bowled four overs for 10 runs. In his two overs, Marnus Labuschagne also rolled his arms and handed up nine runs.