The Ashes
England and Australia played through an exciting day at the Ashes Getty

England finished day three of the first test of the Ashes on 33 for two, leaving proceedings at the Gabba finely poised as they head into the final stages of the curtain-raiser against Australia, who now have a real foothold in the clash after recovering from a shaky start.

The hero of the day was undoubtedly Australia captain Steven Smith, whose unbeaten 141 helped the hosts to a 26-run lead as wickets fell around him. His innings may go down as one of the highlights of the Ashes rivalry in recent years, which has lost a bit of its edge due to the continued depreciation of cricket as a whole around the world.

It was an absorbing day of cricket where neither side were able to emerge clear victors, with England managing to keep Australia down to a manageable total while the hosts battled hard to take two wickets before the end of the day.

Alastair Cook and James Vince were the ones to fall as the visitors held on through Mark Stoneman and Joe Root to edge in front of Australia before being bundled out. Josh Hazlewood was the pick of the bowlers, taking both wickets before the end of play as Australia rode on the back of their captain to maintain their foothold in the game.

By tea, Australia, with the domineering Smith in control of proceedings, had reduced the lead down to a mere 15, backed by an eighth-wicket stand of 66 with Pat Cummins, whose application and determination rescued the hosts from a pre-lunch abyss of 213 for 7. As both players soaked up the afternoon heat, England struck back with five minutes remaining until tea when Chris Woakes found the edge for Cook to catch at slip, which initiated the collapse.

However, an injury scare for James Anderson threatened to undo all their fine work. He came back into action before tea, when he and Stuart Broad combined with the new ball to take two wickets in quick succession. The visitors will be hoping that Anderson will be fit and able to restrict the hosts on the penultimate day of play.