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Australia amasses 459-run lead on third day

West Indies shows resistance, but Smith’s unbeaten 70 takes home side to 179 for 3 at stumps

Australia amasses 459-run lead on third day - Cricket News
Steve Smith’s unbeaten 70 took the home side to 179 for 3 at stumps.

Australia established a massive 459-run lead over West Indies with two days left in the second Test in Melbourne on Monday (December 28).

After dismissing West Indies for 271, Australia led by 280 runs but Steven Smith opted not to enforce the follow on. By close of play on the third day, Smith, who belted a run-a-ball 70, guided the host to 179 for 3.

Having posted a win by an innings and 212 runs in the Hobart opener, Australia came into the second Test with momentum on its back and it showed when they put up 551 for 3 declared in the first innings after being asked to bat.

West Indies' challenge looked to be frittering away when it was reduced to 91 for 6 at stumps on the second day. At the start of the third day, however, Darren Bravo and Carlos Brathwaite kept Australia at bay. The two added 90 runs for the seventh wicket before Nathan Lyon put an end to the alliance by dismissing Carlos Brathwaite (59) when the batsman offered him a return catch and the scoreboard then read 173 for 7.

Bravo, however, went on, adding useful runs with Kemar Roach (22), Jerome Taylor and Jomel Warrican before being dismissed by James Pattinson for a classy 81 from 204 deliveries.

Pattinson finished with figures of 4 for 72 from 22.3 overs, while Lyon was far more economical, conceding a mere 66 runs from 29 overs to scalp four wickets.

Starting the innings in the final session, Australia tried to gain some quick runs but lost the wickets of Joe Burns and David Warner by the 11th over. Burns was caught at second slip by Kraigg Brathwaite off Jason Holder, and Warner was the next to go as he steered Carlos Brathwaite to Holder at gully. Australia had lost its openers with just 46 runs on board.

Usman Khawaja stemmed the rot with a breezy 61-ball 56 before falling to Holder.
Australia was comfortably placed at 123 for 3 at the time. Smith and Marsh built on that base to put Australia ahead by a distance.

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