'You freak': Steve Smith 'stunner' leaves cricket fans in a frenzy

Steve Smith has lit up social media with another extraordinary piece of fielding on day three of the fifth Ashes Test.

The Aussie's batting heroics against England have been the talk of the series so far but it was another of his extraordinary catches that stole the headlines at The Oval.

Australia must complete a momentous chase to win the Test, with England to resume at 8-313 with a 382-run lead going into day four.

Smith's form will give teammates hope, while the remarkable right-hander will be keen to tick off a career first.

The former skipper grassed one catching chance but continued to prove the man of the moment for Australia on day three, clutching four catches.

Steve Smith's catch was the highlight for Australia on day three. Pic: ECB/Getty

It included a sensational 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.

Smith has a habit of taking incredible diving catches in slips and his latest effort had viewers in awe of his brilliance.

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."

Aussies left with mountain to climb

Despite the daunting task now facing Australia, Peter Siddle hasn't lost hope, pointing to how Ben Stokes reeled in a target of 359 in a stunning six-laden rampage at Headingley.

"We know what happened at Headingley on a nice batting strip," Siddle told the BBC.

"So if we make the most of this deck, who knows?

"There is not a lot happening with the ball, so if you're patient like they were then you can build a big innings."

Smith, who has 751 runs at 125.16 in the series after a first-innings knock of 80, needs a mammoth 223 in his second dig to reach Don Bradman's peerless tally of 974 runs in the 1930 Ashes.

A more realistic goal is a fourth-innings century; Smith has posted 26 Test tons but none in the final dig of a match.

"You wouldn't bet against Steve Smith making his first fourth-innings century, that's a start and we'll see how we go from there," Siddle said.

With AAP