Bite-sized Ashes: Everything you need to know from last night

Steve Smith confirmed his status as a titan of the game with another extraordinary century (142, this time), while fellow comeback kid Matthew Wade (110) hit a brilliant ton of his own as Australia finished day four firmly on top.

England now faces the mammoth task of batting out all of day five in search of a near-impossible chase of 398 after Australia's monster 7 (dec)-487.

The hosts will resume at 0/13 with Rory Burns and Jason Roy escaping a tricky seven-over examination from Australia's bowlers.


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Here's what you missed on another rollercoaster day of Test cricket.




Stop us if you've heard this before.

But Steve Smith has broken new ground and joined rare company with his day four heroics, so indulge us for a second as we run through some of his unbelievable records of the past four days.

There's only two blokes (Sir Donald Bradman and Jack Hobbs) with more Ashes centuries than Smith's 10, while the last Australian to hit two centuries in an Ashes Test in England was Steve Waugh in 1997.

Can you believe it took him 12 Tests before he hit a century? Since then he's hit 25 tons in 54 Tests. He's a freak of nature. In a good way.



A sure sign of one sides dominance over the other can often be found in how they approach the DRS process - teams that are being pommeled can convince themselves DRS is the answer.

That was England on Sunday, with two Moeen Ali LBW shouts turned down and reviewed.

Both were terrible reviews, with one turning so sharply it essentially hit Steve Smith in line with leg stump - and would've missed leg by an inch.

"It's tired, scrambled brains - they're desperate and wishing for a wicket," says Geoffrey Boycott.



Six years after his last Test ton, Matthew Wade saluted the dressing room after reaching three figures in a gritty, vital century.

Most figured Wade's Test career was done and dusted, but through sheer weight of runs the Tasmanian bullied his way back in.

He thoroughly deserved his comeback to the team and well and truly validated his selection with a fine 110, brought up with a cheeky reverse sweep for four.

Despite his mountain of runs in first class cricket recently, Wade's spot would've come into question for the Lord's Test with all-rounder Mitchell Marsh looming - but this has put an end to that debate.



Nine Tests into his career, Travis Head notched his sixth on Sunday - with the 51 coming in a crucial rebuild and forming one of his most impressive performances.

Head entered these Ashes with several question marks hanging over his head after a poor showing in the warm-up match.

But any fears about his talent and fight have been extinguished with two dogged, backs-to-the-wall knocks in Birmingham to dig Australia out of trouble. Australia is starting to reap the rewards of blooding the youngster in last year's rebuild.



In the first innings it was Peter Siddle who provided the valuable lower-order runs, but in Australia's second innings it was James Pattinson (47 not out) and Pat Cummins (26 not out) who got the job done.

The pair added 77 for the eighth wicket before declaring, with Pattinson unleashing four powerful sixes as England fell to pieces late in the day.

Runs from the tail will be vital for both teams in this series and Australia has landed some early blows at Edgbaston.


James Pattinson rubbed salt in to English wounds with some lower order fireworks.
James Pattinson rubbed salt in to English wounds with some lower order fireworks.



There were a few raised eyebrows around the ground as Australia's declaration dragged on late in the day, with locals noting the weather forecast for tomorrow suggests bucketloads of rain overnight - and possible showers throughout the day.

For all of Australia's remarkable efforts to drag themselves not only back into the contest but firmly into favouritism, it would be a shame to have rain interfere with the all-important final day.



The burning of reviews was always going to cook someone: and it turned out to be Stuart Broad, who had Pat Cummins caught behind with an effort-ball bouncer which took a faint tickle through to the keeper.

But it was given not out and with no reviews left, England had to cop the decision sweet - even as replays showed a little nick.

Things didn't get any better for Broad, who had every right to have his head in his hands after first-innings centurion Rory Burns grassed tough, low chance at fine leg again off Cummins.

It is, we're told, the 100th chance to be spilt off Broad's bowling in his Test career.




With the fourth ball of the day, Moeen Ali signalled that it might be a rough one for England - and for himself personally.

The out-of-sorts allrounder was given the opening over of the day and responded with a wild full toss that sailed over the head of a bemused Steve Smith, who still had the presence of mind to attempt a tennis-style shot.

It foreshadowed a bad day for Moeen, who finished with figures of 2-130.



This match has been on a knife edge for the first four days, but it has been the England fans who have been making all the noise - as they often do.

However after tea, with Australia's score blowing out somewhat and England's hopes fading fast as Matthew Wade charged towards a century, the normally raucous Hollies stand was decidedly flat.


Australian fans were outnumbered but not outsung on day four at Edgbaston.
Australian fans were outnumbered but not outsung on day four at Edgbaston.


One of the Aussie fan touring groups took notice and offered up a classic English soccer chant of "it's all gone quiet over there".

It hit the mark and woke the Barmy Army up, and they delivered the typical response tune: "you only sing when you're winning".

1-0, England on that front.



England toiled manfully in the absence of their talismanic leader, Jimmy Anderson, who was able to send down just four overs on Thursday before being struck down by a calf injury.

But the effect of being a bowler down took its toll, as evidenced captain Joe Root needing to bowl himself and fellow part-time spinner Joe Denly for long stretches while strike bowler Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes spending large chunks out of the attack.

Smith showed no mercy, and looked to break the spirit of the England bowlers - which could have a telling impact over the course of a long season.