Smith century gives Australia advantage


By John Pye ,AP

BRISBANE, Australia — Steve Smith quickly got over one of his toughest days ever on a cricket field to produce a century that kept Australia in contention in the second test against India, and could prove to be one of the defining innings of his career.

On his third day in charge, Smith became the first Australian in 39 years to score a century in his first innings as test captain �X a counterattacking 133 on Friday.

��I said before the test match that I wanted to lead from the front with my performances, so hopefully I’ve done that so far and hopefully it continues for me,�� he said.

Smith had an alarming first day on the job, when his bowlers were breaking down in the intense humidity while India piled on 311-4, the highest first-day total by a foreign team in a test match at the Gabba.

Day two was even, with Australia restricting India to 408 and then going to stumps at 221-4.

Day three was quickly going India’s way when two wickets rapidly fell before Smith and Mitchell Johnson (88) combined for an innings-turning 148-run, seventh-wicket stand, taking on an Indian bowling attack intent on bouncing them out of the game.

They batted together for two hours before both fell in the same over from Ishant Sharma.

Then Mitchell Starc picked up the attack and scored 52, putting on 101 for the last two wickets with Nathan Lyon (23) and Josh Hazlewood (32 not out), to lift Australia to 505.

India erased most of the 97-run deficit for the loss of Murali Vijay (27) in the 23 overs before stumps, reaching 71-1 with Shikhar Dhawan on 26 and Cheteshwar Pujara on 15 and setting up an intriguing weekend.