Smith, Maxwell steer Aus­tralia to 299-4

New Straits Times - - Sport -

RANCHI run mark in his 52nd Test, be­came the first Aus­tralian cap­tain to score two hun­dreds in a se­ries in In­dia. He hit 109 in the opener in Pune.

West Indies’ Clive Lloyd (197475 and 1983-84) and Eng­land’s Alas­tair Cook (2012-13) are the only other in­ter­na­tional cap­tains to have scored two or more cen­turies dur­ing a se­ries in In­dia.

At the other end Maxwell, who was drafted into the XI in place of in­jured Mitchell Marsh, changed gears af­ter reach­ing his 50 with a six off Ravin­dra Jadeja.

Maxwell, play­ing his fourth Test, smashed five fours and two sixes as he took the at­tack to the op­po­si­tion in the fi­nal ses­sion of play.

The stand be­tween Smith and Maxwell is Aus­tralia’s best for the fifth wicket in In­dia, sur­pass­ing the 145-run part­ner­ship be­tween Michael Clarke and Matthew Wade dur­ing the sec­ond Test of the 2013 se­ries.

Mean­while In­dia skip­per Vi­rat Kohli in­jured his right shoul­der while field­ing and went off the field in the 40th over, leav­ing Ajinkya Ra­hane to lead the side for the rest of the day.

Kohli fell awk­wardly while try­ing to save a bound­ary at long-on and in­stantly left the field while clutch­ing his shoul­der. He was seen putting on ice packs in the dress­ing room.

Ear­lier Smith, who hit 13 bound­aries in an other­wise se­date knock, put on 51 runs for the fourth wicket with Peter Hand­scomb (19) af­ter Aus­tralia lost three wick­ets in the morn­ing.

Open­ing bats­man Matt Ren­shaw (44) gave the vis­i­tors a brisk start be­fore un­do­ing his hard work by edg­ing a wide Ya­dav de­liv­ery, with Kohli tak­ing the catch at first slip.

Ren­shaw and David Warner had put on 50 runs for the open ing wicket be­fore left-arm spin­ner Jadeja struck in his first over to get Warner (19) trudg­ing back to the pav­il­ion.

The four-match se­ries is tan­ta­lis­ingly poised at 1-1 with In­dia need­ing at least a draw to have any chance of win­ning back the Bor­der-Gavaskar Tro­phy. AFP


Aus­tralia cap­tain Steve Smith raises his bat in cel­e­bra­tion af­ter scor­ing a cen­tury dur­ing the first day of the third Test yesterday.

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