Smith hits ton as fourth Ashes Test ends in draw

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Smith hits ton as fourth Ashes Test ends in draw

Melbourne, Dec 30 (IANS) Skipper Steve Smith scored an unbeaten century in the second innings as Australia and England played out a draw in the final day of the fourth Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) here on Saturday.

Smith remained unbeaten on 102 as Australia posted 263/4 in their second innings by the end of play on the final day. The hosts were dismissed for 327 runs in the first innings while England posted 491 in their only innings of the Test.

Australia have already won the five-match series as they took an unassailable 3-0 lead after winning the third Test in Perth.

Smith, who notched up his 23rd Test ton, became the highest scorer in Test cricket in 2017 with 1,305 runs, surpassing India’s Cheteshwar Pujara, who is at the second spot with 1,140 runs in the calender year.

Australia off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who bagged a three-wicket in this Test, became the leading wicket taker in Test cricket this year with 63 scalps, overtaking South Africa pacer Kagiso Rabada who has 57 to his name.

Meanwhile, the MCG saw a match being drawn after 42 years and 12 Ashes series. It also ended a streak which saw the previous 13 Ashes Tests ending in a decisive result.

Resuming the final day at 103/2, overnight Australian batsmen Smith and David Warner started the proceedings well to stitch together a 107-run stand.

Warner was however, dismissed on 86 while trying to slog a delivery from England skipper Joe Root which handed an easy catch to James Vince at the covers. Warner hit eight boundaries over the course of his 227-ball knock.

Smith on the other end, kept up a steady flow of runs. His 275-ball knock was laced with six boundaries.

Although Shaun Marsh (4) failed to do much with the bat following Warner’s departure, Mitchell Marsh (29 not out) played out a cautious 166-ball innings containing three boundaries to compliment his skipper till the end of the day.

For England, pacers James Anderson (1/46), Stuart Broad (1/44) and Chris Woakes (1/62) scalped a wicket each.

Brief scores: Australia 327 & 263/4 (Steve Smith 102 not out, David Warner 86; Stuart Broad 1/44) against England 491.

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