MELBOURNE: England ended Australia skipper Steve Smith’s incredible three-year unbeaten run in Melbourne on Wednesday as they bowled out the hosts for 327 in the fourth Ashes Test.
England, already an irretrievable 3-0 down in the five-match series, bagged Australia’s last seven wickets for 67 runs to wrap up the hosts’ first innings shortly after lunch on day two.
Debutant Tom Curran celebrated his first Test wicket as Smith chopped a short, wide delivery on to his stumps on 76, just 30 minutes into the second day’s play.
Smith had not been dismissed in a Melbourne Test match since Boxing Day 2014, and was on track for his third century of the series on a bat-friendly MCG pitch.
In the last three Boxing Day Tests, Smith scored 192 against India, 134 not out against the West Indies and an unbeaten 165 last year against Pakistan.
Smith threw his head back in annoyance as the bails flew into the air. With his dismissal, Smith has now scored 502 runs in the Ashes series at a stunning average of 125.50.
It was an overdue slice of luck for Curran, who had David Warner caught on 99 only to have the dismissal overturned for an overstepping no-ball on Tuesday’s opening day. Warner went on to score 103.
England got more return for bowling wide of the stumps when Mitchell Marsh also dragged on a Chris Woakes delivery for nine after his 181 in the third Test in Perth.
His elder brother, Shaun, lost a leg-before-wicket review on 61 off 148 balls to Stuart Broad.
It was Shaun Marsh’s second half-century of the series after scoring an unbeaten 126 in the second Adelaide Test.
Tim Paine became the third batsman to chop on to his stumps in the session for 24, giving James Anderson his second wicket, while Jackson Bird fell lbw to Broad for four.
Pat Cummins was snapped up at slip off Broad for four on the second ball after lunch, before Nathan Lyon was lbw to Anderson for a duck to end the Australian innings.
Broad was the pick of the England bowlers with four wickets for 51 runs. In reply, the tourists were batting on 26 for none.