BIRMINGHAM: Ben Stokes secured the prized wicket of Australia talisman Steve Smith, after Stuart Broad had earlier taken two wickets in two balls, leaving the tourists on 78-3 at lunch on day two of the first Ashes test, trailing England by 315 runs.
Saturday’s overcast conditions at Edgbaston favoured swing bowlers, movement that opener David Warner could not handle as he played onto his stumps having scored nine – falling to Broad for the 15th time in his test career.
Not done there, veteran Broad swung another into Marnus Labuschagne the very next ball, catching the edge of the top-ranked test cricketer’s bat, with the catch brilliantly taken by Jonny Bairstow behind the stumps.
Having inflicted Labuschagne’s first-ever golden duck in international test cricket, Broad could not complete the perfect hat-trick, with Smith coming in and steadying the ship as he often does for his country.
Alongside Usman Khawaja, Smith helped Australia recover well and they looked to be heading into the lunch break without further loss, only for England skipper Stokes to trap Smith leg before wicket for 16.
The moment was doubly sweet for Stokes as it had not been clear prior to the series whether he would be fit enough to bowl much given the knee problems he had suffered in the run-up.