The big story: Ton-up Steve Smith steers Australia to 22-run lead at Tea on Day four

Australia skipper Steve Smith hit his 17th Test century to hand Australia a 22-run lead over Pakistan at tea on day four of the Boxing Day Test in Melbourne on Thursday.

Smith carried on from where David Warner (144) had left off on day three and continued Australia’s forward charge, steering them 465/6 at tea. Smith’s unbeaten knock of 100 came off just 108 balls and included nine boundaries.

Resuming on 278/2, Australia were handed a blow early in the day as Usman Khawaja fell for 97 after adding just two runs to his overnight score.

Smith, though, kept the innings together. He pieced together crucial partnerships of 92 and 59 with Peter Handscomb (54) and Nic Maddinson (22) respectively.

Brief scores:

Pakistan 443/9 decl. trail Australia 465/6 (David Warner 144, Usman Khawaja 97, Steve Smith 100*; Sohail Khan 2/86) by 22 runs.

Other top stories

  • Stephen Cook’s 117-run knock helped South Africa extend their lead to 432 against Sri Lanka on day three of the first Test on Wednesday. South Africa were 351/5 when stumps were drawn. The visitors were bowled out for 205 earlier in the day.
  • Bangladesh bowlers restricted New Zealand to 251 in the second one-dayer at Nelson on Thursday. The hosts struggled to launch, with only Neil Broom applying himself to score his first ODI century in six years. Bangladesh were 100/1 after 22 overs in their chase.
  • Former Test fast bowler Jason Gillespie was on Thursday appointed as Australia assistant coach for the three Twenty20 internationals against Sri Lanka in February, PTI reported.
  • Teenage batsman Prithvi Shaw has been selected in the Mumbai squad for their Ranji Trophy semi-final against Tamil Nadu, starting on January 1 in Rajkot. The 17-year-old Shaw shot to fame with an innings of 546 runs in a Harris Shield match in 2013, which was the highest score by an Indian batsman in junior cricket. Shaw was also part of the Indian U-19 team, which recently won the Asia Cup.