IMAGE: Steve Smith celebrates after completing his century. Photograph: Stu Forster/Getty Images
Australian batsman Steven Smith became the second-fastest batsman to register 24 centuries in the Test format.
He achieved the feat during Day 1 of the first Ashes Test match against England, in Birmingham, on Thursday. Smith recorded his 24th century in 118th innings as he went past Indian skipper Virat Kohli, who had achieved the feat in 123 innings
Former Indian cricketer Sachin Tendulkar had achieved the feat in his 125th Test innings.
Don Bradman’s record of 24 centuries in 66 innings remains unbeaten.
Smith scored a brilliant 144 to help Australia recover from 122 for eight to 284 all out. The former captain made his Test comeback on Thursday after being banned for his role in a ball-tampering scandal during a March 2018 Test in South Africa.
This innings by Smith was lauded by former Australian cricketer Mark Waugh.
“Went to bed at 8/142 and I wake up and we have doubled our score. Steve Smith is amazing showing tremendous concentration self-belief and skill. Aussies now back in the game after a forgettable 1st 2 sessions,” Mark Waugh tweeted.
Coming into bat at number ten, Petter Siddle showed resilience with the bat and he gave Smith much-needed support at the crease. Smith and Siddle put up an 88-run stand, taking the team past the 200-run mark.
Siddle (44) missed his half-century and was sent back to the pavilion by Moeen Ali as he had him caught at short leg. After Siddle’s dismissal, Smith changed gears and started looking for big shots to score some quick runs.
Along with Nathan Lyon, Smith stitched a 74-run stand, which saw Smith bringing up his century. Stuart Broad finally dismissed Smith, giving him a five-wicket haul and ending Australia’s innings at 284.