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Australia's Steve Smith scores Ashes century on Test return

The former captain was playing his first match at this level since completing a 12-month ban for his role in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa last year.

Australia's Steve Smith plays a shot during a World Cup cricket warm-up match against New Zealand in Brisbane on 10 May 2019. Picture: AFP

BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom - Australia's Steve Smith marked his return to Test cricket with a hundred on the opening day of the Ashes series against England at Edgbaston on Thursday.

The former captain was playing his first match at this level since completing a 12-month ban for his role in a ball-tampering scandal in South Africa last year.

Australia were struggling at 17-2 when Smith walked into bat after current captain Tim Paine won the toss.

But Smith, with just last man Nathan Lyon for company, completed his 24th Test century and ninth against England when he cover-drove all-rounder Ben Stokes for his ninth four in 184 balls faced.

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