Aussies out for 328, take 26-run lead | daily-sun.com

Aussies out for 328, take 26-run lead

Sun Online Desk     25th November, 2017 12:42:01 printer

Aussies out for 328, take 26-run lead

Steve Smith has built a 26-run lead for Australia in the Ashes opener, dragging his side to a total of 328 with arguably the most determined of his 13 Test tons as captain.

 

Momentum has shifted regularly throughout an enthralling first Test at the Gabba, but Smith's composure and concentration throughout an unbeaten knock of 141 - spanning almost nine hours - have been a class above any other batsman.

 

Combined with a wagging tail that added 119 runs for the final three wickets, it allowed the hosts to nudge ahead on the scoreboard when they were bowled out in the final session on day three.

 

There is about an hour of play remaining on Saturday.

 

Smith, who reacted with typical fervent to every wide, wicket, boundary and blunder in Brisbane, has attracted comparisons to Allan Border in the past because of his negative body language.

 

The ongoing match has offered more-positive parallels. Smith has carried the run-scoring burden without blinking, blunting an on-song attack to reach three figures after 261 deliveries.

 

The milestone every bit as resolute as Border's 273-ball ton in 1987 was celebrated with a flurry of emotions.

Smith roared as he beat the coat of arms on his chest, willing his teammates in the stands to step up.

 

Smith was summoned to the middle on Friday after only 10.3 overs and would have been struck with a sense of deja vu as his side slipped to 4-76 and threatened to collapse into ignominy yet again.

 

The right-hander rebuilt the innings with the help of Shaun Marsh, only for Australia to slip on Saturday morning to 7-209.

 

Aided by Pat Cummins' knock of 42 and the fact Moeen Ali and Jimmy Anderson both appeared to be restricted by niggles, the world's top-ranked batsman again settled proceedings.

 

Smith's counterpart Joe Root often asked his quicks to bowl short to Smith, while he tinkered with fields like a crazed professor searching for the formula that would conjure the elusive wicket.

 

A meagre 48 runs came in Saturday's morning session, during which the second new ball brought about the downfall of Tim Paine (13) and Mitchell Starc (6), but Smith was never flustered.

 

Source: AAP


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