LONDON (Reuters) – India’s seam-heavy attacked prised out four wickets, including those of centurions Travis Head and Steve Smith, in the second day’s morning session to keep themselves in the contest in the World Test Championship (WTC) final at The Oval on Thursday.
Australia were still sitting pretty on 422-7 at lunch after Head and Smith forged an epic 285-run stand, the highest fourth wicket partnership at the venue, to provide the bedrock of the innings.
Alex Carey was batting on 22, with skipper Pat Cummins on two in his 50th test.
Smith resumed day two on 95 and duly brought up his 31st test hundred with back-to-back fours off Mohammed Siraj. He also equalled Joe Root’s record of nine test hundreds against India in the process.
Head also crossed the 150-mark soon before Siraj broke the marathon partnership.
The left-hander gloved a short ball down the leg side giving wicketkeeper KS Bharat his third catch of the match.
Head’s 163 off 174 balls included 25 fours and a six.
Mohammed Shami had Cameron Green, who made six, caught in the slip for six and Smith departed after dragging a delivery from Shardul Thakur on to his stumps.
Smith’s patient 121, which contained 19 fours, was his third hundred at The Oval.
Mitchell Starc made five before being run out.
(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty in New Delhi; editing by Christian Radnedge)