LONDON, Aug 17 (Reuters) - Steve Smith continued to defy the England bowling attack and led Australia to 155 for five at lunch on the fourth day of the second Ashes test at Lord’s on Saturday.
Smith, who made 144 and 142 in Australia’s emphatic victory in the first test, moved on to 53 not out with Tim Paine unbeaten on 21 and the touring side trailed by 103 runs in the rain-affected match.
England took one wicket in the morning session, dismissing Matthew Wade for six when he edged Stuart Broad to third slip and Rory Burns held a sharp low catch.
Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes beat the bat on several occasions but Smith again proved to be an immovable force.
The right-hander dispatched the odd loose delivery to the boundary and he danced down the pitch to loft spinner Jack Leach over long-on and reach his fifty.
The first day and most of the third were lost to rain and England need quick wickets to have a chance of pressing for the victory they require to level the series.
If they cannot remove Smith, however, Australia should bat themselves into a position from which they cannot lose and they will lead the five-match series going into the third test in Leeds as they bid to win the Ashes in England for the first time since 2001. (Reporting by Ed Osmond, Editing by Christian Radnedge)