Smith has luck on side as Aussies take charge
1st Test, Brisbane, Dec 15
AUSTRALIA dominated the start of their series against Pakistan with captain Steve Smith leading from the front with a century.
Winning the toss, and choosing to bat in the first Test of the series, a daynighter in Brisbane, Matt Renshaw and David Warner put on 70 before Warner was trapped lbw by Mohammad Amir. Usman Khawaja only lasted seven balls before he was caught off the bowling of Yasir Shah.
But that only brought Smith to the crease and he reached his century off 184 balls – his first ton against Pakistan – as Australia reached 288-3.
Smith had his lucky moments, though. He was fortunate to survive on 53 when he played back to the part-timer Azhar Ali and edged behind, only to be put down by Sarfraz Ahmed. Then, when on 97, he nicked an Amir delivery to the wicketkeeper but Pakistan’s players did not appeal.
Ali said: “It would have been a wonderful wicket for us, Steve Smith we all know is a very good batsman and he was quite well set.
“If we got him the first time, it could have changed, a little bit, the course of the game but these things happen and you just have to go on and look forward. He batted brilliantly today.
“Obviously we got information from outside that the nick had happened. No one really noticed anything, not even a sniff. None of our guys went up slightly, even. It was just one of those situations where no one realised what had happened.
“It has happened in the past also, that we don’t get any noise or anything, any idea of having an edge. I think it’s just a bit of luck for the batsman.”
Peter Handscomb also ended day one unbeaten, with 64. The 137-partnership between Handscomb and Smith is the joint highest for Australia in three day-night Tests so far.