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Rediff.com  » Cricket » PHOTOS, Day 3: Smith, tail-enders inspire Australia's fightback

PHOTOS, Day 3: Smith, tail-enders inspire Australia's fightback

Last updated on: December 19, 2014 15:05 IST
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India lost the crucial wicket of opener Murali Vijay after Steven Smith led Australia's fightback with a magnificent century on his captaincy debut. He received able support from Mitchell Johnson and Mitchell Starc, who both scored half-centuries. At close of play on Day 3 in the second Test , India were 71 for one in their second innings.

Check out some images from the day's play.

Mitchell Starc celebrates with teammates after dismissing Murali Vijay on Day 3 of the 2nd Test at The Gabba in Brisbane on Friday

Mitchell Starc celebrates with teammates after dismissing Murali Vijay on Day 3 of the second Test at The Gabba in Brisbane on Friday. Photograph: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

India were 71 for 1 in their second innings at stumps on Day 3 of the second Test against Australia at the Gabba on Friday.

First-innings centurion Murali Vijay (27) was snared by pacer Mitchell Starc after the batsman had hit a few boundaries, but Shikhar Dhawan and Cheteshwar Pujara then saw off the last few overs of the day without any further casualty.

Australian captain Steve Smith celebrates scoring a century on Day 3 of the second Test against  India at The Gabba in Brisbane on Friday

Australia captain Steve Smith celebrates after completing his century. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Earlier, Steven Smith completed a valiant century on captaincy debut as Australia fought back to take control of the proceedings on Friday, Day 3 of the Test.

- Scorecard

Australia’s tail-end batsmen partnered with Smith to give the hosts a valuable 97-run lead in their first innings after they were all out for 505.

Taking a cue from Smith, the tail-enders fought well and hard to give themselves a strong total to bowl to.

Ishant Sharma celebrates with teamates after taking the wicket of Mitch Marsh 

Ishant Sharma celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Mitchell Marsh. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

After tea, pacers Mitchell Johnson (88) and Mitchell Starc (52) struck counter-attacking fifties and Josh Hazlewood (32 not out) joined in the party to give the Aussies a big lead.   

All 11 Australians in the batting hit a boundary in this innings, while India’s Varun Aaron conceded more than 20 boundaries, proving the most expensive bowler, going at 5.58 runs an over.

Even though Australia lost the wickets of Mitchell Marsh and wicketkeeper Brad Haddin early in the morning session, Australia's captain went about his job gamely.

Mitchell Johnson of Australia bats

Mitchell Johnson plays a cut short. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Johnson also took a special liking towards Ishant Sharma and Aaron, taking 37 runs off only 19 balls faced from the two bowlers.

Australia batted brilliantly in the post-lunch session, the second new ball not bothering the attacking duo of Smith and Johnson.

They stitched up a brilliant 148-run partnership which was broken in the 88th over as Johnson edged behind to Mahendra Singh Dhoni off Ishant Sharma (3-117).

Australian captain Steve Smith is bowled by Ishant Sharma of India during day three

Steve Smith is bowled by Ishant Sharma. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Smith followed soon after in the very same over when he was bowled playing the ball on to his stumps – his brilliant innings comprising 13 fours and two sixes.

Smith became only the ninth Australian captain to score a hundred whilst leading in his first Test. He followed in the footsteps of Billy Murdoch (1880), Harry Trott (1896), Monty Noble (1903), Clem Hill (1910), Warwick Armstrong (1920), Lindsay Hassett (1949), Greg Chappell (1975) and Graham Yallop (1978).

Mitchell Starc of Australia bats

Mitchell Starc. Photograph: Chris Hyde/Getty Images

India would have hoped to finish off the Aussie innings by wiping off the tail, but all those hopes were dashed when Starc (52 off 59) walloped the bowlers around the park, hitting six boundaries during his stay at the crease.

Nathan Lyon joined hands with Starc to extend the lead after the 400-run mark came up in the 89th over.

Nathan Lyon of Australia ducks under a ball

Nathan Lyon ducks under a ball. Photograph: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Starc was dropped by Yadav off his own bowling in the 91st over, the batsman on 17 not out at that time. Eventually Lyon offered a chance to Rohit Sharma at mid-on and the fielder latched on to it. Starc, though, kept batting, reaching his fourth Test fifty off 53 balls in the 106th over.

He added a further 49 unbeaten runs for the last wicket with Hazlewood as the 500-run mark was crossed in the 108th over of the innings.

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