Cricket

Sydney Test, Day 4: Australia reach 251/6 at stumps

India's Mohammed Shami (R) appeals successfully for LBW to dismiss Australia's captain Steven Smith for 71 runs during the fourth day's play in the fourth test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) January 9, 2015. REUTERS/David Gray (AUSTRALIA - Tags: SPORT CRICKET)

India's Mohammed Shami (R) appeals successfully for LBW to dismiss Australia's captain Steven Smith for 71 runs during the fourth day's play in the fourth test at the Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG) January 9, 2015. REUTERS/David Gray (AUSTRALIA - Tags: SPORT CRICKET)   | Photo Credit: DAVID GRAY

Ashwin bats well and then removes Warner early

Steve Smith scored a half-century and passed one of Don Bradman’s milestones on Friday as he led Australia to 251-6 in its second innings after four days of the fourth test at the Sydney Cricket Ground, leading India by 348 runs.

Smith made 71 off 70 balls and surpassed Bradman’s record of most runs in an Australia-India series as the hosts positioned themselves for a likely overnight declaration and pursuit of victory on day five.

Chris Rogers made 56 his sixth straight half century and Joe Burns smashed 66 off 39 balls, including three sixes in the chase for quick runs.

Ravi Ashwin bowled with guile to have 4-105.

Brad Haddin was unbeaten on 31 at stumps, with Ryan Harris yet to score.



Earlier, In a gritty rearguard action, R. Ashwin scored a half-century in India’s first innings which folded for 475 and then the off-spinner returned to remove Australia opener David Warner before tea was taken.

India conceded a 97-run lead and then Australia reached 38 for one six overs to take the over-all lead to 135 runs at the tea break.

At the break, Chris Rogers (21) and Shane Watson (13) were at the crease, the latter lucky to be there as Wriddhiman Saha missed a run-out chance in the fourth over.

Ashwin (1/21) had Warner (4) caught in slips after being handed the new ball along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (0/17).

Earlier, in the post-lunch session, Ashwin (50) and Kumar (30) playing aggressively, especially the latter as he moved from 3 at the break to quickly score 27 more runs as the 50-partnership for the eighth wicket came about quickly.

Just as they had started eating into the lead, Kumar was given out caught at first slip off Nathan Lyon (2/123) by third umpire Steven Fry even as it appeared that the ball may have hit the ground after taking a bottom-edge.

Five overs later Ashwin was caught behind off Mitchell Starc (3/106) but not before completing his 4th Test half-century off 110 balls.

Mohammad Shami (16 not out) and Umesh Yadav (4) threw their bats around to reduce the deficit below 100-runs but the latter skied a catch to keeper Brad Haddin off Ryan Harris (2/96).

For Australia, Shane Watson (2/58) and Josh Hazlewood (1/64) were the other wicket-takers while Steve Smith too rolled his arm over.

India lost skipper Virat Kohli (147) in the morning session after resuming at overnight score of 342 for 5. Kohli and Wriddhiman Saha (35), who had already put on 50 runs for the sixth wicket began the proceedings and Kohli held the key for India but Australia got rid of him quickly.

The Indian captain had added only seven runs to his overnight score when, in the fifth over of the morning, he clipped Ryan Harris (1/71) to mid-wicket only for Chris Rogers to take a low catch.

Only 10 runs had been added to the total and his partnership with Saha was worth 60 only, with the follow-on target still 21 runs away.

Ashwin walked out to the middle and batted with solidity as he and Saha put on 31 runs for the seventh wicket. They made sure that Australia will have to bat again to force a result.

Saha batted extremely well, showing a good temperament in his short but very useful innings. He was undone by Josh Hazlewood (1/58), a short delivery taking his glove on its way to Steve Smith in the slips, who didn’t make any mistake this time around after two drops on day three.

It exposed the Indian tail but Kumar showed what his team was missing in the last three Tests as he added 24 runs for the eighth wicket with Ashwin until the break.

However he was lucky to be still at the crease as Joe Burns failed to latch on to a lobbed up ball off his bat-pad off Nathan Lyon (1/102). He had not opened his account at that time. But he avoided any further hairy moments and helped India cross the 400-mark as the tail started eating away into Australia’s lead.

Scoreboard

India 1st innings:

Murali Vijay c Haddin b Starc 0

Lokesh Rahul c and b Starc 110

Rohit Sharma b Lyon 53

Virat Kohli c Rogers b Harris 147

Ajinkya Rahane lbw Watson 13

Suresh Raina c Haddin b Watson 0

Wriddhiman Saha c Smith b Hazlewood 35

Ravi Ashwin c Haddin b Starc 50

Kumar Bhuvneshwar c Watson b Lyon 30

Mohammed Shami not out 16

Umesh Yadav c Haddin b Harris 4

Extras: (4b, 7lb, 1w, 5nb) 17

Total: (all out) 475

Overs: 162. Batting time: 680 minutes.

Fall of wickets: 1-0, 2-97, 3-238, 4-292, 5-292, 6-352, 7-383, 8-448, 9-456, 10-475.

Bowling: Mitchell Starc 32-7-106-3, Ryan Harris 31-7-96-2 (3nb), Josh Hazlewood 29-8-64-1 (1w), Nathan Lyon 46-11-123-2 (1nb), Shane Watson 20-4-58-2 (1nb), Steve Smith 4-0-17-0.

Chris Rogers c Raina b Kumar 56

David Warner c Vijay b Ashwin 4

Shane Watson b Ashwin 16

Steve Smith lbw b Shami 71

Shaun Marsh c Vijay b Ashwin 1

Joe Burns c Yadav b Ashwin 66

Brad Haddin not out 31

Ryan Harris not out 0

Extras: (2b, 2lb, 2nb) 6

Total: (for six wickets) 251

Overs: 40. Batting time: 164 minutes.

Fall of wickets: 1-6, 2-46, 3-126, 4-139, 5-165, 6-251.

Still to bat: Mitchell Starc, Nathyan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood.

Bowling: Kumar Bhuvneshwar 8-0-46-1, Ravi Ashwin 19-2-105-4, Mohammad Shami 6-0-33-1 (1nb), Umesh Yadav 3-0-45-0 (1nb), Suresh Raina 4-0-18-0.

Series: Australia leads 2-0.

Umpires: Kumar Dharmasena, Sri Lanka, and Richard Kettleborough, England.

TV Umpire: Simon Fry, Australia. Match Referee: Roshan Mahanama, Sri Lanka.

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