Oz have the edge in Brisbane

2014-12-19 09:53
Steve Smith (AP)

Sydney - Skipper Steve Smith scored a controlled 133, Mitchell Johnson a game-changing 88 and Australia's tail wagged vigorously as the hosts barged their way back into the second Test against India on day three in Brisbane on Friday.

Australia took a first innings lead of 97 after being dismissed for 505 to bring up tea and India had shaved 71 runs off the deficit by the close of play for the loss of one second innings wicket.

Murali Vijay, who contributed 144 to India's first innings tally of 408, departed for 27, leaving Shikhar Dhawan (26 not out) and Cheteshwar Pujara, who had made 15, to resume on Saturday, 26 runs behind.

Australia had looked to be facing a sizeable deficit of their own when they lost two wickets in the first hour to slip to 247-6 but Smith and Johnson combined for a Gabba record seventh-wicket partnership of 148 runs from 160 balls.

Both fell to paceman Ishant Sharma in the same over an hour after lunch but Mitchell Starc (52) continued the resistance with his fourth Test half century and partnerships of 56 with Nathan Lyon (23) and 51 with Josh Hazlewood (32 not out).

Starc was the last Australian batsman to fall but the left-armer returned after the innings break to bowl Vijay when the Indian made the mistake of leaving an angled delivery.

Smith, deputising for the injured Michael Clarke, became the first Australian to score a century in his maiden Test as captain since Graham Yallop in 1978.

It was his second century of the series after his unbeaten 162 in the opening test victory in Adelaide last weekend and a fourth in eight matches this year.

"I wanted to lead from the front with my performances so hopefully I've done that so far in this game," Smith told reporters.

"To be fair, our whole tail batted beautifully and to get us up over 500 was remarkable."

It was Johnson's pugnacious 93-ball knock, though, that turned the day in Australia's favour after Indian controlled the first hour and dismissed Mitchell Marsh and Brad Haddin cheaply.

Fired up by some sledging and short balls from the tourists, Johnson stopped the rot in no uncertain fashion by clubbing the ball around the ground with 13 fours and one six.

The lefthander looked to be heading for his second Test century when he chased an Ishant delivery only to get a top edge which Mahendra Singh Dhoni snaffled up behind the stumps.

Smith, who had brought up his century with his 10th four just before lunch, followed five balls later when he chopped on to be dismissed for the first time in the four-match series.

"We tried our best to get them out but you always have this up-and-down phase in cricket and sometimes your strategy doesn't work," India paceman Umesh Yadav said.

"The wicket is a bit slow. It's good for batting now. We will take a good lead and after that we'll see."

Read more on:    steve smith  |  cricket


Read News24’s Comments Policy publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming

Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter


The 2018/19 Absa Premiership season is in full swing. Will Mamelodi Sundowns retain their title? Or can one of Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Wits, SuperSport United - or another team perhaps - snatch glory from the Brazilians? Be sure to visit Sport24 for all the latest news!

Latest blogs

The 12-month ban handed down to Steve Smith and David Warner and the 9-month sanction for Cameron Bancroft for their ball-tampering roles, is ...

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.