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Smith rates Gabba century one of his best

Steve Smith rates his Gabba century as one of the best of his career.

Australia were struggling on 209-7 in reply to 302 on day three in Brisbane, but Smith showed remarkable application to steer his side out of trouble with a brilliant unbeaten 141.

Smith faced 326 balls against a probing England attack that was unable to remove the resilient captain, who batted for over eight hours with support from Shaun Marsh (51) and Pat Cummins (42).

Smith led Australia to a first-innings lead of 26.

England were reeling on 33-2 in reply at stumps after Josh Hazlewood (2-11) dismissed Alastair Cook and James Vince, the tourists leading by only seven runs with two days remaining.

Smith, the top-ranked Test batsman, felt his 21st hundred was particularly special given the circumstances.

“It’d be up there, definitely. With the team in a bit of trouble I had to try and bat some time and dig really deep,” the prolific run-scorer said.

“It was nice to put on a few partnerships with Shaun and Patty Cummins at the back end there, I thought he played really well.

“I just had to fight really hard, get through difficult periods and just keep batting. There were some reasonably defensive fields set, so boundaries were quite hard to come by.

“So it was just about getting off strike and waiting for the balls in my areas and being really disciplined, and I thought I did that really well.”