Brisbane Test, Day 4: Australia extend lead despite Smith's dismissal
Steve Smith brought up his 31st fifty as Australia extended their lead in the second session on Day 4 of the ongoing Brisbane Test. However, his dismissal turned out to be the turning point for India, who now trail by 276 runs in the second innings. The likes of Cameron Green and Tim Paine followed him to the pavilion soon. Here is the session report.
After losing four wickets in the morning session, Australia resumed Session 2 on 149/4. Thereafter, Smith and Cameron Green added another 47 runs before Siraj dismissed the former. Notably, Smith was also dropped by Siraj in the 50th over as he tried to smash one over long-on. Later on, Shardul Thakur sent back Green and Paine as Australia managed 243/7 till tea.
During the session, Smith raced to his 31st Test fifty. He racked up 55 off 74 runs, a knock studded with 7 fours. The middle-order batsman was rather aggressive in his approach in order to better Australia's lead. En route to his fifty, Smith (7,540) also got past the runs tally of former batsmen Mark Taylor (7,525) to become Australia's eighth-highest run-scorer in Tests.
As stated, Siraj dismissed Smith with a ripper that took off and took a feather off Smith's bat. He made the most of the cracks that are proliferating on the Gabba track. On the very next delivery, he surprised the Australian captain Tim Paine with another such delivery. Notably, Siraj has been the pick of India's bowlers so far, having taken three wickets.
Following Smith's dismissal, fast bowler Shardul Thakur handed India two more breakthroughs in the form of Green and Paine. Interestingly, Green was deceived by a leg-cutter bowled on good length, which bounced a bit more on him. Thakur has now taken six wickets in the match (three in each innings). He was also the top-scorer in India's first innings (67).
Indian opener Rohit Sharma has now taken five catches in the ongoing match. This is the most by an Indian at the Gabba (Tests), and joint-second-most overall after former New Zealand captain Stephen Fleming (6 vs NZ, 1997).