sport

Fresh recovery delights Smith

Australia centurion Steve Smith was delighted to see the hosts stage a middle-order recovery once again against England in the fifth Ashes Test in Sydney.

The hosts were firmly on the back foot at the SCG at 97-5 before Brad Haddin and Smith put on an impressive partnership of 128 for the sixth wicket.

It was the fifth time in the series that Australia had rallied from a difficult first-innings position, this time getting up to 326 all out.

Smith was one of the main orchestrator, top scoring with 115 from 154 deliveries, his second hundred of what has been excellent Ashes for Australia, who lead 4-0.

Scott Borthwick - one of three debutants in the England team - proved particularly expensive as Australia attacked his leg-spin. He conceded 49 from seven overs, a tactic that Smith and Haddin targeted.

Pleasing

"I guess that's the most pleasing thing to have got out of that situation and be where we are now. A lot of credit has got to go to Brad Haddin," Smith told Sky Sports.

"The way he came in and just started playing his shots and I guess really change the momentum of the game. It was nice to sit up at the other end and just take a back seat for a little while and form a good partnership together.

"We had a pretty clear plan to target Borthwick when he came on to bowl. If we can get the quicks back bowling their third, fourth and fifth spells it's going to be good for us, they are tired and hopefully give us some bad balls. That was our plan I guess.

"I think their (England's) bowlers bowled slightly short at times. It was the kind of wicket where you never really felt in. It was a little bit two-paced as well. It was quite tough.

"You felt like your name was on one of the balls. I think we were just able to get through those tough periods and cash in on the balls that were in our areas."