Sun | Aug 20, 2017

Aussies take 2-0 series lead

Published:Sunday | December 21, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Australia's Mitchell Johnson (left) and Mitchell Marsh celebrate victory on day four of the second cricket Test between Australia and India in Brisbane, Australia, yesterday. - AP

BRISBANE, Australia (AP):

Steve Smith claimed the victory he craved in his first Test as Australia's captain, even though he had to leave it to Mitchell Johnson to complete a nervous run chase in the second Test against India yesterday.

Chasing 128, the Australians reached 130-6 to win by four wickets with a day to spare and take a 2-0 lead in the four-match series. Johnson was unbeaten at the non-striker's end when Mitchell Marsh hit the winning boundary late on day four.

Two big contributions

The see-sawing match turned on two big contributions from Johnson. His 88 from 93 balls in a 148-run partnership with century-maker Smith was crucial to Australia recovering from a middle-order slump in its first innings to reach 505 - a 97-run lead. He followed with a destructive opening spell of three wickets in 11 balls yesterday to trigger India's batting collapse, restricting the tourists to 224 in the second innings.

"It was just amazing. The way that Mitch came out and took the bowlers on from ball one was outstanding - that was a big turning point in the game, to get that partnership there with Mitch," Smith said.

The bowlers revelled on a fourth-day pitch at the Gabba, with 15 wickets tumbling in all, leaving India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni wondering what could have been if his team had scored an extra 50 runs.

Ishant Sharma (3-38) removed David Warner (6), Shane Watson (0) and Chris Rogers (55) and Umesh Yadav ran out Smith (28) and had Shaun Marsh (17) and Brad Haddin (1) caught to briefly renew India's victory hopes.

Smith became the first Australian in 39 years to score a century in his first Test innings as captain, having been elevated to the role after Michael Clarke was injured during the 48-run win at Adelaide

"It's nice when you win any Test match, for me it's extra special being the first one as captain," Smith said.