The Ashes - First Test, Day Three: Smith century hands Aussies edge

Steve Smith's brilliant century helped Australia to sneak ahead in the first Ashes test.

The Ashes - First Test, Day Three: Smith century hands Aussies edge
Smith in action (photo: Getty Images / Cameron Spencer)

Australia hold the advantage after the third day of the first Ashes test in Brisbane, with a marvellous century from captain Steve Smith helping them past England's first innings score.

Having resumed four wickets down, Australia were worried they'd let England in as wickets around the taking of the new ball, taken by Stuart Broad and James Anderson, left the Aussies reeling on 209-7, trailing by 93.

Cummins and Smith star

However, a staunch partnership from Smith and tail-ender Pat Cummins significantly reduced the tourists' lead before Smith continued unbeaten to get his side over the line.

It wasn't all about Smith though for the hosts though, with Cummins scoring at a quicker rate during their partnership, blending impressive defensive resilience with some powerful shots whenever the opportunity was given up by England's bowlers. 

England were handicapped by an issue with James Anderson. The official word to the media was that their frontline bowlers was fine, but he was left out of the bowling attack after lunch just as the Australian attack were on the back-foot, pundits speculating that Anderson was looking to shake off a knock picked up when batting.

Smith would go on to bring up his slowest test century to a wild reception, a hugely impressive innings on a slow pitch.

The hosts may have thought their luck had ran out as Alastair Cook took a superb catch off Broad's bowling to remove Cummins for 42, ending a 66-run partnership, but on Smith plundered. 

Josh Hazlewood and Nathan Lyon only made a combined 15 but hung around for over 30 balls each, Smith upping his scoring rate to finish on an unbeaten 141 from 326 galls.

England toil with bat

Going in 26 runs behind with 16 overs left in the day, England would have hoped to keep it tight as they saw out day three.

However, early dismissals of two of their stars left Joe Root's men in a precarious positon heading into the penultimate day.

Cook again failed to make an impact whilst James Vince was also out cheaply, Hazlewood snaring both as he reduced England to 17-2.

Root and opener Mark Stoneman dragged the side to 33-2, seven runs ahead. Both now face a huge task in the morning session of day four as England look to build a meaningful lead.