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Steve Smith wears neck guard in first match since horror Ashes bouncer

Steve Smith has scored 23 in a low-key return from concussion on day two of Australia's Ashes tour match in Derby.

Smith spent 47 minutes at the crease on Friday, rarely getting out of second gear against Derbyshire's attack.

The former skipper went down swinging at legspinner Matt Critchley, with Hamidullah Qadri holding a low catch in the deep to complete the prized wicket.

Australia declared at 5-338 during the final session on day two of the three-day clash.

Marcus Harris (64) and Usman Khawaja (72) both registered half-centuries in their selection showdown but Mitch Marsh, batting at first drop, top-scored with 74.

All seven batsmen reached double figures.

Smith donned a StemGuard in his first match since being struck on the exposed neck by a Jofra Archer bouncer in the second Test at Lord's.

Smith had previously refused to wear the clip-on neck protector because he said it made him feel claustrophobic.

Several members of the crowd followed Smith as he immediately hit the nets after being dismissed.

David Warner gave the right-hander some throwdowns using a wanger, the plastic dog-ball thrower that cricket coaches use to replicate the pace and bounce of fast bowlers.

Steve Smith lies on the ground after being hit on the neck. Source: Associated Press


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