England's Ben Stokes and Jofra Archer in action during the first Ashes Test at Edgbaston. Photo: Andrew Boyers/Reuters

BIRMINGHAM  A second successive century from former captain Steve Smith swung an unpredictable Ashes opening test in Australia's favour as the tourists set England a daunting 398 runs to win, having declared on 487-7.

England, in reply, reached 13-0 at stumps on day four.

Resuming the second innings of the Test  on 124-3 at Edgbaston, Smith, following his 144 in the first innings, continued to put England to the sword, passing 50 in the fourth over of the day, with Travis Head (51) providing excellent support.

Without injured bowler James Anderson, England toiled as Smith became only the fifth Australian to make centuries in both innings of an Ashes test before departing for 142, with Matthew Wade's ton contributing to an imposing Australian total.

Jason Roy and Rory Burns emerged unscathed from seven overs at the end of the day as the home side bid to save the game.

Reuters