Steve Smith’s batting heroics against England have been the talk of the Ashes series so far but it was another of his extraordinary catches that stole the headlines at The Oval on Saturday.
Australia will have to complete a momentous chase to win the fifth Test, with England to resume at 313-8 with a 382-run lead going into day four.
Smith’s sublime form will give his teammates hope, while the remarkable right-hander will be keen to tick off a career first.
The former Australian skipper continued to prove the man of the moment for the visitors on day three, clutching four catches.
It included a stunning one-handed effort late in the day, when the 30-year-old flung himself sideways and the ball stuck in his outstretched hand to dismiss Chris Woakes.
Here’s the video:
Great catches from the Aussies tbf
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) September 14, 2019
After the end of the day’s play, Aussie skipper Tim Paine heaped praise on Smith’s ability to influence a game from the slips cordon and the crease.
“He’s just a freak. We were actually chatting about it out there, batsmen like him seem to always be in the game,” Paine said.
“(Ben) Stokes is the same, they’re just in the contest and in the game all the time. Whether they’re at slip or at point or with the ball or with the bat.
“That’s what makes great cricketers, great.
“It was a pretty special catch late in the day after he’s been batting for seven weeks straight.”