16 Dec 2017

Smith ton trims England lead in Perth

6:01 pm on 16 December 2017

Unbeaten centurion Steve Smith has extended his WACA masterclass, trimming England's lead to 89 runs and marching Australia to 4-314 at lunch on day three of the third Ashes test.

Steve Smith celebrates yet another test ton.

Steve Smith celebrates yet another test ton. Photo: Photosport Ltd

Smith resumed on 92 after dominating Friday's final two sessions.

The skipper was 139 not out at Saturday's meal break, having celebrated a 22nd test ton in subdued fashion that suggested he had far grander plans in mind.

Smith's staggering set of numbers will enhance his claim to being the nation's best batsman since Don Bradman; he averages more than 73 as skipper.

But yet again, the quality of the captain's runs was as impressive as the quantity. He picked gaps with trademark ease and looked in control as Australia piled on 111 runs in the morning session.

"The only way he's getting out today is getting bored. He is owning this game at the moment, bossing England around," Michael Clarke said on the Nine Network.

Smith played intelligent cricket, rotating the strike with the Marsh brothers, and weathered another painful blow.

The right-hander, having been struck on the gloves and chin on day two by a rearing ball from Craig Overton, was smacked high on the arm on Saturday morning by another Overton delivery on an awkward length.

The team physio treated Smith during the ensuing drinks break but the blow failed to rattle the world's best batsman - likewise the dismissal of Shaun Marsh on 28 shortly before the second new ball was due.

Marsh stroked consecutive boundaries off Moeen Ali then edged the offspinner's next delivery to Joe Root.

Mitch Marsh was 39 not out at lunch, having survived Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad's first spells with the second new ball.

England optimistically reviewed an Anderson lbw shout when Smith was on 135, but replays confirmed it was going a long way down leg.