Aus vs Ind: Smith century gives Australia advantage in 2nd test

Brisbane, Australia: Steve Smith completed a century in his first innings as test captain and Mitchell Starc chipped in with bat and ball to give Australia a narrow advantage after day three of the second
aus vs ind smith century gives australia...
India TV News Desk 19 Dec 2014, 13:39:27 PM IST

Brisbane, Australia: Steve Smith completed a century in his first innings as test captain and Mitchell Starc chipped in with bat and ball to give Australia a narrow advantage after day three of the second test against India here Friday.

Australia set up a 97-run first-innings lead, with Smith scoring 133, Mitchell Johnson blazing 88 and Starc hitting 52 in a late cameo to lift the total to 505 in reply to India's 408. Australia's last four wickets added 258 runs.

India had to face an awkward 23 overs between the end of Australia's innings and stumps Friday and reached 71-1, with Shikhar Dhawan on 26 and Cheteshwar Pujara on 15.

First-innings century-maker Murali Vijay (27) was bowled by Starc (1-10), giving the paceman his first wicket of the match.

Smith was central to Australia's regaining the ascendency after the top order made starts but failed to go on.

Standing in for injured skipper Michael Clarke, he became the first Australian since Greg Chappell in 1975 to score a hundred in his first innings as test captain.

Smith and Johnson shared a counterattacking 148-run partnership for the seventh wicket after Australia, having resumed at 221-4, slid to 247-6.

The pair took the momentum back from India before falling in the same over from Ishant Sharma (3-117).

Smith played second-fiddle to a degree in the partnership as Johnson plundered 13 fours and a six before he was caught behind to start the 88th over.

Smith's five-hour dig ended when he was bowled by Sharma on the last ball of the same over. He faced 191 balls and ushered the team through a precarious period in the middle of the innings.

It was the first time he was out in the series, following unbeaten scores of 162 and 52 in Australia's 48-run win in the first test.

Smith had some nervous moments in the 90s, though, surviving a strong appeal for lbw from Ravi Ashwin to a ball pitching just outside the line on 95, and getting a thick inside edge that just missed his stumps when he was on 96. He was more convincing moving past triple figures with a cut boundary off Varun Aaron, then raised his bat and looked skyward to dedicate the hundred to his late teammate Phillip Hughes, who died last month after being hit by a short ball during a Sheffield Shield match.

The tailenders ensured Australia not only passed India but established a solid lead.

Starc guided a 56-run ninth-wicket partnership off 50 balls with Nathan Lyon (23) and added 51 for the last wicket with No. 11 Josh Hazlewood, who was unbeaten on 32 in his first test innings.

All four frontline Indian bowlers conceded 100-plus runs, with Yadav the pick of them with a return of 3-101.

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