Ashes 2019: Steve Smith makes 92 after retiring hurt from Jofra Archer blow


Smith retires hurt after being struck on the neck by Archer

Australia batsman Steve Smith was forced to retire hurt after being struck by England pace bowler Jofra Archer, then returned to bat on an extraordinary fourth afternoon in the second Ashes Test at Lord’s.

Smith was hit on the neck just below the left ear by a 92.4mph delivery and paused his innings on 80.

He passed medical assessments and resumed 40 minutes later but was clearly unsettled, playing an expansive heave at the second ball he faced.

The former captain then committed an uncharacteristic error of judgement to play no stroke at a straight ball from Chris Woakes and was lbw for 92.

After Smith was dismissed, Cricket Australia said he had passed a head impact protocol assessment and would face regular checks.

This is the first Test series where concussion substitutes are permitted.

Australia were bowled out for 250 before England laboured to 96-4 – a lead of eight heading into the final day.

‘No shot – bizarre dismissal’ – Smith falls for 92

Smith had been batting with the serenity that had brought him a century in each innings of the first Test and 687 runs in the previous Ashes series before Archer’s ferocious spell.

During his prolific run-scoring, England have struggled to unsettle Smith, but have not before had the kind of pace possessed by debutant Archer at their disposal.

In a spell in which he topped 96mph, Archer rattled Smith with a blow to the left forearm.

In clear discomfort, Smith had his forearm taped and covered it with an armguard, but was uncertain against Archer from then on.

Off the next four deliveries he faced from the Sussex man, he played three uncontrolled hook shots and almost fended a catch to short leg.

From the next ball, he took the worrying blow beneath the left ear and sank to the turf.

The crowd, who had previously roared Archer to the crease, was left in silence as Smith was treated.

Smith, who served a year-long ban for his ball-tampering scandal last year, had been booed throughout the World Cup, the first Test and when he began his innings on Thursday morning.

After he was hurt, he was applauded when he rose to his feet and given a standing ovation as he made his way back to the pavilion.

It was a surprise when he reappeared at the fall of the next wicket, but it was immediately clear that he had been rattled.

Although a mow at Woakes was followed by a classical back-foot drive, the last of his 14 fours came off an edge to third man.

The final confirmation that Smith was not himself came when he played no stroke to a Woakes delivery that replays showed would have hit middle stump.

In the confusion, he both reviewed and walked off, as some sections of the crowd once again opted to boo.

Smith did not field in England’s second innings but is expected to bat if needed after an X-ray showed no break to his arm.

Smith was earlier struck on the arm by Archer
Smith was on 80 when he was hit on the neck by Archer
Smith was struck during a sustained spell of fast bowling
Smith was knocked to the floor by the impact of the blow
He was assisted by the England fielders and his team-mate Pat Cummins
The Australian hit three fours after resuming his innings
Smith reviewed his lbw decision after playing no shot to Chris Woakes
The batsman, who has made 144, 142 and 92 in this series, was given a standing ovation

Source link