Sport Cricket Steve Smith has lucky escape to post 16th Test century
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Steve Smith has lucky escape to post 16th Test century

steve smith
Smith was fired up after hitting his 16th Test century, in only his 48th match. Photo: Getty
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Australia made a brilliant start to its Test series against Pakistan as captain Steve Smith remarkably managed to stay at the crease and post a century, despite technology showing he was out.

Australia finished day one of the first day-night Test match at the Gabba on 3-288, with Peter Hanscomb not out on 64 and Smith unbeaten on 110 – his 16th Test century.

But Smith arguably should have never got there.

On 97 in the 81st over, the Aussie skipper nicked a Mohammad Amir delivery to be caught behind. However none of the Pakistan players, including Amir, heard a noise and therefore didn’t appeal.

Television replays showed Smith did in fact get the faintest of touches on the ball.

He was also dropped by wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed on 53 off Azhar Ali’s bowling.

Smith notched his century with a perfectly timed cover drive off Amir after enduring a long and nervous wait on 97.

His 16th Test century came in his 48th match. That equates to a century every three matches.

Only two other batsmen made more centuries at the same point in their careers – Sir Donald Bradman, who had 28, and Indian great Sunil Gavankar with 19.

Renshaw lights up home ground

Earlier in the day, Australia’s 20-year-old rookie opener Matt Renshaw made his first Test half-century on his home ground in Brisbane.

steve smith
Matt Renshaw looked classy and assured at the crease for his whole innings. Photo: Getty

In a patient and assured innings that belied his age, Renshaw made 71 before falling caught behind to Wahab Riaz’s bowling.

His sister’s graduation prevented Renshaw’s parents from attending their son’s first home Test. They missed Renshaw’s own inauguration as a Test opener.

Two months ago, his parents told him that they would attend his sister’s ceremony – no matter what – on December 15.

“(Sister) Hannah’s graduation is a big deal for her – it’s good that they went to see her,” Renshaw said after the day’s play.

Without the Renshaws, attendance reached 26,343 on the opening day of Brisbane’s first pink-ball Test – the biggest day-one crowd for a non-Ashes clash at the Gabba.

It easily eclipsed the previous mark of 25,114 set in 2012 in the first Test against South Africa. By the opening tea break, the Gabba boasted 20,804 – and 24,851 by the dinner interval.

The crowd were also treated to an assured innings from Australia’s other rookie batsman Peter Handscomb. He supported Smith to make 64 not out off 150 balls, including eight boundaries.

The only other wicket to fall in the day was Usman Khawaja, caught by Misbah-ul-Haq off Yasir’s bowling for 4.

Amir scare

Jeers were expected for Pakistan paceman Mohammad Amir at the Gabba, given he has just returned from a long suspension for spot-fixing.

Still, few would have predicted the send-off Amir received after a nasty injury.

steve smith
Amir returned to the field and bowled despite the nasty injury. Photo: Getty

The left-arm quick was taken off the field on a stretcher after suffering what appeared to be a serious knee injury while fielding during the final session.

He eventually returned to the field and continued to bowl, albeit with a limp at times.

Amir will undergo scans on Friday.

A lively, packed Gabba crowd first delighted in Amir’s stumble when he dug his right knee into the turf near the boundary and crumpled to the ground, conceding a four to Handscomb.

However, the crowd became more subdued as Amir remained on the ground and they eventually applauded the speedster off the field as concerned teammates looked on.

– with AAP and ABC

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