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Smith hauls Aussies from sticky position at the Gabba

Partner Marsh may struggle to build on overnight score

Steve Smith and Shaun Marsh shared an unbeaten 89-run stand on day two
1 of 1

Day three
Play resumes 11.58pm Friday

An unbeaten half-century from captain Steve Smith helped haul Australia from a precarious position to leave the first Ashes Test in the balance after two days at the Gabba.

Having reduced England from 246-4 to 302 all out in Brisbane, Australia made an inauspicious start to their first innings of the series and were reeling at 76-4.

But up stepped skipper Smith (64 not out) who, alongside the recalled Shaun Marsh (44 not out), revived his side's fortunes to finish the day on 165-4, a deficit of 137 runs.

Any hopes of further consolidating that position will depend on the weather as thunderstorms and showers are predicted for day three.

While England will undoubtedly want to snare Smith early as they look to maintain a first-innings lead, Marsh may struggle to add many runs to his overnight score.

The left-hander twice rode his luck as edges evaded the slips, and the prospect of cloud cover when play is possible on day three will be a welcome one for James Anderson and Stuart Broad.

Bet365 pitch Marsh's total runs at over/under 77.5 and going short of that mark looks the wisest play.

Recommendation
Under 77.5 S Marsh first-innings runs
2pts 10-11 bet365


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Any hopes of further consolidating that position will depend on the weather as thunderstorms and showers are predicted for day three
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