London - Steve Smith's maiden Test century led Australia to 397 for six at tea on a rain-affected second day of the final Ashes Test against England at The Oval on Thursday.
Smith lofted Jonathan Trott for six to bring up three figures and had moved on to 112 not out at the interval as Australia, seeking a consolation victory in a series they trail 3-0, turned the screw on England.
Australia resumed on 307 for four when play started three and a half hours late due to rain and England fast bowler James Anderson soon bowled nightwatchman Peter Siddle for 23 with a peach of a delivery.
But Smith and Brad Haddin shared an untroubled sixth-wicket partnership of 65 as the England fast bowlers failed to take full advantage of overcast conditions.
Smith, 66 not out overnight, continued to find the boundary at regular intervals and England captain Alastair Cook was forced to turn to part-time medium-pacer Trott.
Smith launched Trott over long-on with a crisp strike to get to his first hundred in his 12th test, an innings spanning five hours and including two sixes and 14 fours.
Trott did force Haddin, on 30, to chop the ball on to his stumps but Smith was joined by James Faulkner, making his test debut, and the pair took the touring side safely through to tea. – Reuters