Hazlewood leads Australia fightback

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Published: Thursday 18th December 2014 by The News Editor

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Test debutant Josh Hazlewood and stand-in captain Steven Smith helped Australia fight back on day two of the second Test in Brisbane.

India were looking to post a commanding first-innings total having resumed on 311 for four on Thursday, but Hazlewood secured his maiden Test five-wicket haul at the first time of asking as Australia restricted the tourists to 408 all out at The Gabba.

David Warner and Shane Watson were dismissed after blistering starts, but Chris Rogers (55) and then Smith, leading the side in Michael Clarke’s injury-enforced absence, provided the foundation for what they hope will be a solid Australian innings.

Smith finished the day unbeaten on 65 alongside Mitchell Marsh (seven not out) and they will resume on Friday on 221 for four – 187 runs behind.

Hazlewood, who removed Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli on his first day of Test cricket on Wednesday, then accounted for Ajinkya Rahane, MS Dhoni and Ravichandran Ashwin on Thursday to join a select group of bowlers to take five wickets on Test debut.

India will be ruing their missed opportunity after finishing day one in such a promising position, with their final six wickets falling for just 87 runs to prompt an early lunch.

Rogers and Warner made a bright start in reply after the interval but, having accumulated six fours in a knock of 29, Warner tried to pull Umesh Yadav and succeeded only in spooning to long-leg.

Watson picked up where his fallen team-mate had left off and raced into the 20s with a succession of boundaries.

The veteran Queenslander looked destined for a big score but was dismissed by a fantastic low catch at mid-on that Shikhar Dhawan had no right to cling on to as Ashwin picked up the wicket.

Watson’s dismissal brought Smith to the crease, but Rogers departed in the over before tea after he registered his sixth Test half-century by cutting Ashwin to the ropes.

With Australia seemingly stuttering on 121 for three, Smith and Shaun Marsh set about repairing their side’s innings after the interval and having played himself cautiously in, Smith went after Ashwin with two sixes and a four in one run-laden over before notching his 10th Test fifty.

Shaun Marsh was proving to be a capable ally but his dismissal – caught at first slip off Yadav – brought his brother Mitchell to the crease and he and Smith guided Australia to stumps without further loss to set up what should be an intriguing third day’s play.

Published: Thursday 18th December 2014 by The News Editor

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