Australia batsman Steve Smith continued his brilliant run of form in Ashes 2019 as he slammed his 26th Test ton against England on the second day of the fourth Test at Old Trafford in Manchester. In doing so, Smith added a fresh feather in his already illustrious cap as he went past legendary India cricketer Sachin Tendulkar in an illustrious list led by Aussie great Don Bradman. Smith became the second fastest cricketer in the history of the sport to hit 26 tons in its longest format. Smith pushed Tendulkar to the third spot as he reached the milestone in 121 innings while the ‘Master Blaster’ got to this mark in 136 innings.
69: Don Bradman (Aus)
136: Sachin Tendulkar (IND)
144: Sunil Gavaskar (IND)
145: Matthew Hayden (AUS)
Smith made a scintillating return to the side after missing the third Test due to injury. Smith was ruled out of the Headingley Test after being ruled out with a concussion suffered when he was hit by a Jofra Archer bouncer during the drawn second match at Lord’s.
The 30-year-old resumed the innings on his overnight score of 60 and was dropped on 65 when Archer failed to hold a caught and bowled chance. Having already extended his Ashes record of eight successive fifties, he hoisted his 26th Test century in 160 balls, including 11 fours, with a whipped two through square leg off Craig Overton.
Earlier in the series, Smith scored 144 and 142 in Australia’s 251-run win in the series opener at Edgbaston — his first Test since completing a 12-month ban for ball-tampering. The five-match contest is currently level at 1-1, with holders Australia looking to win their first Ashes series in England for 18 years.