BOXING DAY TEST: Rain ruin day after Capt Smith ton gives his team lead

MELBOURNE: Rain, rain go away, come again another day, may be thousands of cricket fans watching test at MCG and across the world praying to the God as poor weather continues to ruin the Boxing Day Test as no play was possible after tea was taken 20 minutes early on day four.

By that point skipper Steve Smith beat encroaching bad weather by a matter of minutes to post his 17th Test ton and take his side 465 for six — a lead of 22 at stumps with Smith and Starc on crease scoring 100 and seven not out respectively. With 17th Test hundred, Smit not only help his team to surpass opposition score, but also join elite club. As soon as he reached milestone, umpires suspended play on the fourth day.

For Pakistan, Sohail Khan, Yasir Shah and Wahabb Riaz scalped two wickets each. Mohammad Amir failed to claim a wicket but was easily Pakistan’s best bowler. He beat Peter Handscomb time and time again, but any outside edges either landed short or flew wide of fielders behind the wicket.

With just one day left, result is highly improbable at this stage and hosts likely to be happy to sit on their 1-0 series lead.

Smith will likely look to bat until at least lunch on Friday — unless the visitors bowl the Aussies out — and will assess what he has to gain by declaring with a slender lead and sending the visitors in to survive the rest of the day.

BRIEF SCORES: Australia 6 for 465 (Smith 100*, Starc 7*) lead Pakistan 9 for 443 dec by 22 runs


KING OF THE BOXING DAY GAME: Smith’s slammed third MCG century in as many summers was more a picture of grit than stylish batsmanship, though of course he still played some impressive strokes in his innings.

1000: On the way to notching his 17th Test ton, captain Smith posted his third consecutive calendar year with 1000 Test runs. He’s become just the sixth Australian batsmen to score 1000 Test runs in a calendar year three times, having scored 1146 runs in 2014 and 1474 in 2015.

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