James Anderson and Stuart Broad have paid tribute to "true great" Bob Willis after the ex-England captain died at the age of 70.

Willis passed away on Wednesday after a short illness, prompting an outpouring of recognition for his career and warm words from those who had known him in the cricketing world.

When he retired in 1984, Willis was England's record Test wicket-taker with 325.

Along with Ian Botham, Anderson and Broad surpassed that tally and the duo were aware cricket had lost a huge force following the news about Willis, who had a long broadcasting career after his playing days came to an end.

"Incredibly sad to hear the news about Bob Willis," Anderson, who sits top of the list for England with 575 Test wickets, wrote on Twitter.

"He was a true great, generous in sharing his knowledge about the game and a lovely man."

Broad, who has 471 Test wickets to his name, wrote on social media: "Gutted to hear the news of Bob Willis passing. 

"A lovely person with a great humour who was so proud of England cricket. Legend."

Former England captain David Gower worked closely with Willis, both as a team-mate during their on-field careers before joining forces again at Sky Sports.

"It is very sad and it is equally sad that the end seemed to come very quickly," Gower said.

"The last time I saw Bob was a few weeks ago and he was still fighting heroically. He did his best to ignore what was happening to him. 

"He was still on television up until very recently. He was still very forthright and it brings to an end, in my case, a friendship that has lasted happily for 40 years or so."

Willis was perhaps most recognised for his contribution to England's famous Ashes series win over Australia in 1981, including figures of 8-43 in a dramatic Headingley Test.

Gower added: "Bob's performance at Headingley in 1981 - without that, England come second in that game and we probably wouldn't have had the wherewithal to win the next couple of games as well. 

"Ian got top billing in 1981 because of three stellar performances, but Bob's one performance at Headingley was as crucial because without that win, we would have lost that series."

New Zealand's score of 375 in the second and final Test was arguably "300 under par", according to England bowler Stuart Broad.

England endured a tough day in the field at Hamilton's Seddon Park as a sixth-wicket partnership of 124 between BJ Watling and Daryl Mitchell frustrated them after two wickets fell in the morning session.

Broad finally ended their stand, removing each batsman within the space of four overs, though New Zealand's tail wagged and cameos from Mitchell Santner (23) and Tim Southee (18) added valuable runs.

New Zealand's hopes of clinching the two-match series 2-0 were furthered when England lost Dom Sibley and Joe Denly cheaply in their 18 overs before the close. Rory Burns and Joe Root reached stumps with England 39-2.

The Black Caps won the first Test by an innings and 65 runs on the back of a score of 615-9, and Broad believes their failure to do the same again on a batting-friendly surface means England are in a decent position.

"We won the toss and bowled – not to bowl New Zealand out for 150, we were aiming [to dismiss them] for 330-350 and then bat big once to try and win the game," said Broad.

"We thought our best chance to take 20 wickets in five days was by bowling first.

"These pitches, you've got to change your mindset a little bit. If you win the toss and bowl in England and concede 370 you'd be distraught, but here the opportunity is to bat big and bat big once.

"For us to win this game, we'll need a batter to get 150 plus, and someone else to get 100, and leave ourselves a day to bowl them out on day five. That's how New Zealand won the last test they played [in Hamilton], when they got [715]-6. So arguably, they're 300 under par.

"When you come away from home you look at what the opposition do in their home conditions – and New Zealand bowl. It's pretty rare that they win the toss and bat.

"It will be proven if it was a good decision tomorrow [Sunday] really – if we bat through the whole of tomorrow and go past New Zealand, we can apply some pressure on them in the second innings. If we don't go and get 400, we can't.

"I think our opportunity is there tomorrow. There's not a huge amount of pressure, there's not a lot happening in the pitch, there's not a big scoreboard pressure – there's a chance for a couple of people to get hundreds tomorrow.

"We need someone to go and get a big hundred for us to win this game – and we've got the players to do it."

Tom Latham drove New Zealand with an unbeaten century before rain halted proceedings on day one of the second and final Test against England.

Latham posted 101 by tea to have the Black Caps 173-3 when the rain hit Hamilton and ended play prematurely on Friday.

Stuart Broad and Chris Woakes had New Zealand 39-2 after claiming the scalps of Jeet Raval (5) and captain Kane Williamson (4).

But Latham, with some help from Ross Taylor (53), helped steady the ship as New Zealand look to seal a series win over touring England.

Reeling after a humbling to the Black Caps in the series opener – beaten by an innings and 65 runs in Mount Maunganui – England handed a debut to Zak Crawley in place of the injured Jos Buttler.

Woakes (2-41) was also called up at the expense of Jack Leach and it appeared to be an inspired change after England won the toss and bowled first.

After Broad (1-33) sent Raval back to the pavilion in the seventh over, Woakes justified his selection with two wickets against New Zealand.

Williamson's stay at the crease was also brief after giving Joe Root his second catch of the morning off an angling Woakes delivery.

Latham stepped up and Taylor's arrival helped upped the ante for New Zealand – the latter bringing up a 99-ball fifty before Woakes struck the very next delivery prior to tea.

But Latham continued on, celebrating his 11th Test ton and fifth in his last 10 innings to put the Black Caps in a strong position before the weather wreaked havoc late in the afternoon.

Australia coach Justin Langer believes opener David Warner will benefit from playing cricket away from Stuart Broad in the coming months after the England bowler got "into his head".

Warner endured a miserable Ashes series despite Australia retaining the urn in a 2-2 draw, making double figures only twice across 10 innings.

He had three consecutive ducks at one stage and was dismissed by Broad seven times, making him the batsman dismissed most often (12 times) by the Nottinghamshire star in his Test career.

Langer still believes Warner is a "champion player", though, and hopes he can now recover following the series, with the next Ashes not until 2021-22.

"I think, talking frankly, he let Stuart Broad get into his head and he thought way too much about it," said Langer.

"I've seen it before, even with the great players, every now and then they have a series [like this] – and I'm talking about the all-time great players. I remember Gilly [Adam Gilchrist] with Andrew Flintoff.

"I remember seeing Steve Waugh sit on the team bus in South Africa and the guy had been a run machine for so long, he got out just before stumps and I, in a sick sort of way, thought it was the best thing I'd ever seen.

"I didn't think great players had lean runs. I used to have lean runs all the time but even great players have lean runs and David – we know he's a very good player, there's no question about that – had it tough, particularly against Stuart Broad.

"I used to have it against Murali [Muttiah Muralitharan] and I couldn't solve the issue and it's so hard when you try to problem solve and then you're in the middle of a big series trying to solve the puzzle.

"In this instance, I don't think David solved the puzzle, and he'll be first to admit that.

"He'll probably be very relieved he gets on the Qantas flight in a day's time and doesn't have to face Stuart Broad for a while, I reckon. But there's plenty of upside still to his batting.

"I've learned over a long period you never write off champion players – it doesn't matter what sport, you never write off champion players. They tend to come good, don't they?

"So he's had a tough series, no doubt about that, but he's also a champion player, so usually with champion players, they get a bit more time to come good."

The Ashes battle is over for this year - England fought hard and made sure they avoided a series defeat on home soil, but a 2-2 result sees Australia retain the urn.

Steve Smith was the catalyst for triumphs at Edgbaston and Old Trafford but, in the main, ball dominated bat.

Pitches offered some assistance to the two high-quality seam attacks and with the English weather occasionally getting involved, there was rarely a dull moment across the five matches between the old rivals.

After the first drawn series since 1972, we have picked some of the notable numbers from Opta...

 

2 - In making scores of 144 and 142 in the opening Test in Birmingham, Smith became the fifth player to record two centuries in the same Ashes Test.

4 - Nathan Lyon is just the fourth Australian bowler to reach 350 Test wickets. He moved above Dennis Lillee into third place on the all-time list for his country, with just Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne now above him.

5 - With victory at The Oval, England are still unbeaten in a Test series on home soil since June 2014. Sri Lanka were the last visiting team to prevail, recording a 1-0 triumph under Angelo Mathews.

7 - Stuart Broad dominated his personal duel with David Warner, dismissing the Australia opener seven times while conceding just 35 runs against him.

8 - England's eight-match unbeaten streak in Tests at Edgbaston came to an end; the last time they had previously tasted defeat at the venue was in 2008 (against South Africa).

10 - An impressive run of successive half-centuries in Ashes games for Smith came to an end in his final knock of the series. The right-hander was caught at leg slip off the bowling of Broad for 23 in the fifth Test.

16 - Broad got more left-handers out than anyone else (16); he averaged just 13.7 against them, compared to 56.3 against right-handed batsmen. 

20 - England had played 20 successive Tests without a draw before the game at Lord's, where rain wiped out the entire first day's play of the second Test.

29 - Pat Cummins set an unusual record - his tally of wickets is the most in a Test series by a bowler without claiming a five-for in any innings.

135 - Ben Stokes posted his highest Test score against Australia with an unforgettable match-winning knock at Headingley that included eight sixes.

390 - Left-hander Rory Burns was easily the top-scoring opener for either team. Australia's trio of David Warner (95 runs), Marcus Harris (58 runs) and Cameron Bancroft (44 runs) all struggled for the visitors.

England clinched the fifth and final Ashes Test by 135 runs on Sunday to draw the series in a fine response to Australia retaining the urn.

Another Steve Smith masterclass saw the tourists move 2-1 in front at Old Trafford to ensure the Ashes would be heading back to Australia, yet they could not end an 18-year wait for a series win in England.

Joe Root's side dominated at the Oval this week and Australia scarcely looked like troubling the target of 399 they were set when the hosts were bowled out early on day four.

Stuart Broad was in excellent form and, as well as continuing to dominate against the openers, he got the crucial wicket of Smith for a relatively paltry 23.

That set Australia up for a long, hard chase and Matthew Wade did the heavy lifting with a knock of 117.

But Root joined Broad and Co. in the attack and got Wade himself, as well as seeing his calls in the field - questioned earlier in the series - rewarded with good use of the other bowlers at his disposal.

Australia were struggling simply to see out the day and Root made catches from consecutive balls, giving England victory in their final match under Cricket World Cup-winning coach Trevor Bayliss.

Steve Smith finally fell cheaply to Stuart Broad and Joe Root struck to leave England needing five wickets to beat Australia and draw the series on day four of the final Ashes Test at The Oval.

Broad dismissed David Warner (11) for a record-equalling seventh time in the series and Marcus Harris (nine) after the tourists were set a mammoth 399 to win the series 3-1 on a glorious Sunday in London, with England all out for 329 early on.

Marnus Labuschagne fell to Jack Leach and Broad (3-40) ended the prolific Smith's run of 10 consecutive Ashes half-centuries, removing the former captain for 23 early in the afternoon session.

Root saw the back of Mitchell Marsh and although Matthew Wade was unbeaten on 60 at tea, Australia were 167-5 still needing another 232 to avoid failing to secure a first Ashes series win in England since 2001 a week after retaining the urn.

England added only 16 runs to their overnight total after resuming on 313-8, Jofra Archer gloving Pat Cummins (2-67) behind and Nathan Lyon (4-69) seeing the back of Leach to end the innings.

Broad smashed Cummins for two sixes into the leg side before Leach fell and the paceman did more damage with the ball to leave Australia in trouble on 29-2.

Australia's highest opening stand of 18 was ended when Harris – who needed seven stitches in his left hand after splitting the webbing when dropping Joe Denly on day two – lost his off stump to Broad.

Warner was unable to end a miserable series with the bat on a high note, edging a fired-up Broad to Rory Burns in the slips and departing to a chorus of boos.

Jonny Bairstow produced a sharp piece of work to stump Labuschagne (14) off Leach and Smith was given a standing ovation as he followed soon after lunch, Ben Stokes taking a fine diving catch at leg gully when the top-ranked batsman tried to steer Broad around the corner.

Marsh (24) failed to make Chris Woakes pay for overstepping when he edged to Burns, the all-rounder prodding Root to Jos Buttler at short-leg soon after that reprieve.

England wasted a view a review when they thought Tim Paine should have been given leg before facing Archer and Wade held them up with an attacking knock, striking nine boundaries in a fifth Test half-century.

Stuart Broad continued his dominance of David Warner as England took three wickets before lunch on day four at The Oval after Australia were set a mammoth 399 for a series victory.

England were bowled out for 329 early on a glorious Sunday in London, setting the tourists – already assured of retaining the urn – an unlikely target to secure a 3-1 triumph.

The wondrous Steve Smith was unbeaten 18 on at the end of the morning session, but Australia – seeking a first series win in England since 2001 – were up against it on 68-3 after losing Warner, Marcus Harris and Marnus Labuschagne.

Broad matched a Test record by dismissing Warner (11) for the seventh time in the series and also got rid of Harris (nine) before Jack Leach sent Labuschagne (14) on his way.

England added only 16 runs to their overnight total after resuming on 313-8, Jofra Archer gloving Pat Cummins (2-67) behind and Nathan Lyon (4-69) seeing the back of Leach to end the innings.

Broad smashed Cummins for two sixes into the leg side before Leach fell and the paceman did more damage with the ball to leave Australia in trouble on 29-2.

Australia's highest opening stand of 18 was ended when Harris – who needed seven stitches in his left hand after splitting the webbing when dropping Joe Denly on day two – lost his off stump to the paceman.

Warner was unable to end a miserable series with the bat on a high note, edging Broad to Rory Burns in the slips and departing to a chorus of boos.

The prolific Smith got off the mark with a glorious cover drive off Archer and was still there at lunch along with Matthew Wade (10no) after Labuschagne was smartly stumped by Jonny Bairstow when Leach got one to turn past his outside edge.

Australia have been set 399 runs to win the Ashes series 3-1 after England were bowled out early on day four of the final Test at The Oval.

England were dismissed for 329 in their second innings after resuming on 313-8 on a glorious Sunday in London, Jofra Archer falling for only three before Jack Leach (nine) was dismissed by Nathan Lyon (4-69).

Australia successfully reviewed after Archer was given not out by umpire Marais Erasmus when he gloved Pat Cummins (2-67) behind in the second over of the day.

Stuart Broad smashed Cummins for two sixes in an over but was left stranded on 12 when Leach was taken by Josh Hazlewood attempting to hit Lyon for a boundary.

Australia face a huge run chase under blue skies as they eye a first Ashes win in England since 2001, with Joe Root's side strong favourites to salvage a 2-2 draw a week after a defeat at Old Trafford gave them no chance of regaining the urn.

Two wickets apiece from Stuart Broad and Jofra Archer gave England a glimmer of hope but Steve Smith was unbeaten at tea with Australia building a substantial lead on day four of the fourth Ashes Test.

Australia bowled England out for 301 after lunch to take a first-innings lead of 196, Mitchell Starc (3-80) and Pat Cummins (3-60) doing the damage on Saturday.

The magnificent Broad and Archer gave England a chance with brilliant new-ball spells, reducing the tourists to 44-4.

Broad removed David Warner for a third consecutive duck - the sixth time he has dismissed the opener in the series - with the sun out at a raucous Old Trafford. 

First-innings double-centurion Smith was still there at the end of a captivating afternoon session, though, with Australia 63-4, leading by 259 runs and firmly on course for a win that would enable them to keep the urn.

In the morning, Starc cleaned up Jonny Bairstow with the second new ball before claiming the big scalp of Ben Stokes, who edged to Smith at second slip.

Archer and Broad departed either side of lunch and England would have been all out if Australia had any reviews left when Starc trapped Jack Leach in front, only for Marais Erasmus to keep his finger down.

Jos Buttler saved the follow-on by driving Starc for his seventh boundary but Cummins bowled him for 41 - his highest score of the series - to end the innings. 

A fired-up Broad then came steaming in to get the crowd rocking, dismissing Warner yet again lbw and getting Harris in the same fashion - the latter wasting a review.

Archer cranked up the pace to get in on the act, first removing the in-form Marnus Labuschagne - courtesy of another lbw verdict - and then castling Travis Head's middle stump.

Smith was troubled by Broad, but he hung in there once again and was unbeaten along with Matthew Wade at the end of the afternoon session, with Stokes not bowling after hurting his shoulder on day two.

Steve Smith was in formidable form once again, scoring a brilliant double century to put Australia in a commanding position on day two of the fourth Ashes Test against England at Old Trafford.

Former Australia captain Smith marked his return to the line-up after missing the previous match at Headingley – which saw the hosts draw level in the series at 1-1 thanks to Ben Stokes' heroics – due to concussion with a stunning 211.

Tim Paine (58) was put down twice and Mitchell Starc (54 not out) cut loose to add to England's frustrations on a tough day in Manchester, Australia eventually declaring on 497-8 in the final session.

Smith looked out of sorts early on and was dropped by Jofra Archer on 65, but he held firm and brought up his 11th Ashes hundred – a tally only the great Don Bradman has bettered.

Jack Leach (2-83) thought he had Smith out on 118 but the spinner overstepped, and the 30-year-old took full advantage of the reprieves to dish out further punishment.

England were dealt a late blow when Matthew Wade snaffled Joe Denly superbly at short leg off Pat Cummins, though Rory Burns and nightwatchman Craig Overton held firm in the closing overs as the hosts reached 23-1.

Smith appeared flustered when Australia resumed on 170-3 and would have been dismissed in the opening session had Archer been able to hold on to a tough caught-and-bowled chance.

Stuart Broad (3-97) got the breakthrough by trapping Travis Head (19) leg before and Australia were 224-5 when Wade (16) skied Leach to Joe Root following a short rain delay.

Paine was put down by Jason Roy at second slip on nine in the first over after lunch as the wheels came off for England, the Australia skipper and Smith building a 145-run stand for the sixth wicket.

It could have been very different for England had Leach not been pinged for a no ball when Smith edged to Stokes at slip, while Sam Curran – on for Stokes, who left the field briefly due to a shoulder issue – failed to hold on when Paine pulled Archer (0-97) straight to him when one shy of his half-century.

Starc provided the perfect foil for the expansive Smith after the losses of Paine and Cummins, launching Broad for four successive fours.

Smith received a warm ovation after reverse sweeping England skipper Root to backward point to end his superb knock, though Starc and Nathan Lyon (26no) heaped yet more misery on the lacklustre hosts.

 

SMITH PRODUCES ANOTHER MASTERCLASS

His fidgety start did not suggest his third-best score in Tests was on the cards, but Smith soon regained his composure and was in fine fettle after a rain-shortened opening day.

Smith hit 24 fours and a pair of sixes in an outstanding innings that means all three of his double centuries in the longest format have come in Ashes matches.

ENGLAND REQUIRE SOMETHING SPECIAL

Smith's work undoubtedly has England on the back foot and they will require a seriously impressive day with the bat if they are to keep their hopes of regaining the urn alive.

After a battling second-innings half-century at Headingley, Denly failed to do anything to ease ongoing questions over the state of the hosts' top order.

MOMENT OF THE DAY

Smith's double ton would not have come to pass had Archer reacted quicker to the opportunity off his own bowling in the opening session.

The paceman was down on his haunches after seeing the top-ranked Test batsman's shot down the ground slip through his fingers.  

KEY OPTA FACTS

- Starc scored his first Test half-century since February 2017 (against India).
- Archer registered his worst red-ball figures (0-97).
- Smith has more runs in four innings than anyone else in Test cricket in 2019.
- Paine ended a run of 17 Test innings without a half-century.

Ben Stokes was troubled by a shoulder injury as Steve Smith and Tim Paine heaped further pain on abysmal England to put Australia in command at tea on day two of the fourth Ashes Test.

The tourists will start the final session on 369-5 with the astonishing Smith unbeaten on 173 - his third century and biggest score of the series so far - and Paine 58 not out in a stand of 145, but it could have been a very different story at Old Trafford on Thursday.

Smith was dropped by Jofra Archer on 65 and had a huge reprieve when he edged Jack Leach to Stokes at first slip with 118 to his name, replays showing the spinner had overstepped.

Paine was also given two lives and made England suffer by scoring his first half-century of the series as the wheels came off for Joe Root's side.

Headingley hero Stokes spent a short time off the field in an extended afternoon session due to rain on day one. While he did return, England were reeling after levelling the series in such dramatic fashion in Leeds.

Archer put Smith down in the second over of the day after Australia resumed on 170-3, but Stuart Broad - the pick of the bowlers with 3-74 - got the breakthrough by trapping Travis Head leg before.

Matthew Wade had a rush of blood and was caught by Root off Leach, yet the busy Smith reached three figures yet again before lunch after playing with increasing fluency following a somewhat shaky start.

England lost the plot following lunch, Jason Roy dropping Paine off Archer on nine at second slip before Smith was given another let-off when he nicked to Stokes, Leach paying the price for a no-ball.

Paine was spilled again, this by Sam Curran - on for Stokes, one short of a half-century and he was still there with the magnificent Smith at tea, the pair putting Australia in a great position.

Steve Smith completed his third century of the Ashes series after being dropped by Jofra Archer as England took just two Australia wickets in the morning session on day two of the fourth Test at Old Trafford.

Smith was untroubled on a dismal, weather-affected first day in Manchester after missing England's dramatic series-levelling win at Headingley due to concussion.

The former Australia captain made a shaky start on Thursday but punished Archer for failing to take a caught and bowled chance when he was on 65.

Smith, unable to play in Leeds due to a blow inflicted by paceman Archer in the second Test at Lord's, went on to score his 11th Ashes hundred - a tally which only the great Don Bradman has bettered.

The tourists were 245-5 at lunch, with Smith unbeaten on 101 after Stuart Broad (3-47) and Jack Leach removed Travis Head and Matthew Wade respectively.   

Smith was even more fidgety than usual when Australia resumed on 170-3, shuffling around the crease, edging and playing and missing early on.

The world's top-ranked Test batsman had a big stroke of luck when he drove a full toss at Archer, who put him down following through and watched the ball run away for four.

Archer generated extra pace than on day one, but it was Broad who was more threatening and he got the breakthrough by trapping Head (19) leg before. 

Australia were 224-5 when Wade (16) had a rush of blood and was well taken by Joe Root trying to launch Leach over the top following a short rain delay.

By then, Smith looked much more like himself, hitting glorious boundaries on both sides of the wicket and he kissed the Australia badge on his helmet and was given a warm ovation when he reached three figures just before the break.

Craig Overton removed Marnus Labuschagne to end a century stand but Steve Smith was still there with Australia on top when stumps were called due to rain on a gloomy day one of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford.

England paceman Stuart Broad dismissed David Warner without scoring - the fifth time he has snared the opener in a series which is level at 1-1 - before reducing the tourists to 28-2 by removing Marcus Harris.

Labuschagne (67) and Smith (60 not out) then showed why Tim Paine chose to bat on a flat pitch by putting on 116 for the third wicket on a cold, wet and windy day that saw only 44 overs bowled.

The composed Labuschagne made a fourth successive half-century since coming in as concussion replacement for Smith at Lord's, but Overton - picked ahead of Chris Woakes - dismissed him to leave Australia 170-3 when rain brought play to an early end.

Normal service was resumed by Smith after he missed England's dramatic win at Headingley due to the impact of a nasty blow from a Jofra Archer bouncer in the second Test in London as the former captain looked totally untroubled.

The out-of-sorts Warner fell in the first over, edging Broad to Jonny Bairstow when he failed to pull his bat away in time attempting a late leave.

Harris fell leg before for only 13 as the excellent Broad (2-35) built up a head of steam.

There was relief for Labuschagne when he was given not out after being done for pace by Headingley hero Ben Stokes, with England's review for leg before unsuccessful as the decision remained with the umpire's call.

Play continued without bails due to the wild conditions when the afternoon session finally got under way following a lengthy delay, with several stoppages as litter and beach balls blew across the pitch.

Labuschagne reached another superb half-century but was on his way when he was bowled by a beauty from Overton after Smith had gone to 50 with a drive that left him on his knees.

England lost a review when a ball from Stokes struck Travis Head outside leg stump and no further action was possible after the players went off for a late tea.

 

FRUSTRATION FOR BROAD, ARCHER IN ENGLAND ATTACK

It looked as though this might be a day to remember for Broad and England when the bowler began by again getting the better of Warner and then adding the scalp of Harris.

That brought in Smith to resume the battle everyone had been waiting for with Archer, yet the England star, who has enjoyed an outstanding start to his career in the longest format, could not find the same pace or length as in previous Tests as the batsmen swatted away his threat.

Broad had at least looked in good nick but the adverse weather conditions appeared to take their toll, with the wind hindering his deliveries and even blowing the bails across the pitch to his increasing frustration.

ACCIDENTAL AUSSIE PARTNERSHIP PROVES EFFECTIVE

Labuschagne may not have got his Ashes chance in 2019 had Smith not suffered a concussion in the second Test, but Australia appear to have tripped across a hugely effective partnership.

The decision to drop Usman Khawaja looks to have been justified already, with England continuing to enjoy themselves against the tourists' openers but finding a resolute duo at three and four.

Smith was going through his full repertoire of exaggerated leaves by the afternoon as Labuschagne dug in at the other end in another impressive outing until Overton's breakthrough.

MOMENT OF THE DAY

Smith came out looking to make a statement and headed down the track in the direction of Archer after driving the quick through the off side for four.

KEY OPTA FACTS

- Labuschagne and Smith were batting together for the first time in Test cricket as they put on 116 for the third wicket.
- Smith has managed eight consecutive scores of 50 or more against England in Test cricket.
- Broad is now outright third in the list of most Test wickets for England against Australia (Ian Botham 148, Bob Willis 128 and Broad 110).
- The England bowler (16) is now just one wicket behind series leader Pat Cummins (17). Five have come against Warner.
- Warner is averaging 11.3 in this series (seven innings); his lowest rate ever in a Test series.

Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith steadied the ship after Stuart Broad removed both Australia openers early on day one of the fourth Ashes Test at Old Trafford.

England paceman Broad got rid of David Warner without scoring in the first over – the fifth time he has dismissed the opener in the series – and Marcus Harris (13) after the tourists won the toss.

Australia were in trouble on 28-2 when Harris departed before the in-form Labuschagne (49 not out) and Smith (28no) took Australia onto 98-2 at lunch on a cool, windy day with rain on the way in Manchester.

Smith, back in the side after recovering from concussion, survived when Joe Root reviewed after he was struck on the pad by Headingley hero Ben Stokes on 21, but umpire's call was the verdict.

The excellent Broad (2-24) saw the back of Warner yet again when the left-hander drew the bat away too late attempting to leave and edged his second ball to Jonny Bairstow.

Harris followed leg before as Broad built up a head of steam in a strong breeze, but Labuschagne and Smith played with great assurance on a good pitch.

Smith came down the track in a statement of intent after driving Jofra Archer for four and handled the short stuff with confidence after a nasty blow from the England quick ruled him out of Australia's dramatic loss in Leeds.

Labuschagne, moving up to number three with Smith fit again and Usman Khawaja dropped, played glorious drives and the former captain – who he replaced at Lord's and in Leeds – was also in ominous touch.

Smith breathed a sigh of relief when Stokes did him for pace with a delivery that came in sharply, but DRS showed the ball was clipping leg stump.

Craig Overton, in for Chris Woakes, bowled with good pace before lunch but Australia – with Mitchell Starc picked for the first time in the series – recovered well from their bad start thanks to Smith and Labuschagne.

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