Australia dominated Day 4 of the Boxing Day Test at Melbourne, ending the rain-curtailed day on 465 for 6 in response to Pakistan’s first-innings score of 443 for 9. Aussie skipper Steven Smith hit a hundred while Usman Khawaja narrowly missed out on one. Here are interesting stats from the penultimate day’s play at the MCG.
Smith has now scored hundreds in three consecutive Tests at the MCG. He ended the day not out exactly only 100. Before that, he smashed 192 against India in 2014 and followed it up with 130 not out against West Indies in 2015. Don Bradman scored seven consecutive tons at the venue. Herbert Sutcliffe, Bill Lawry, Ian Chappell and Matthew Hayden are the others to have scored centuries in three consecutive Tests at the MCG.
Smith has now crossed the 1000-run mark in Tests for the third consecutive year. He had done the same in 2014 and 2015 as well. Matthew Hayden holds the record for having score 1000-plus runs in most consecutive years – 5, from 2001 to 2005. Three other batsmen have scored more than 1000 runs in three consecutive years -- Brain Lara and Marcus Trescothick (2003 to 2005) and Kevin Pietersen (2006 to 2008).
Smith’s hundred on Thursday was his 17thin Tests. This was his 90th Test innings. Only Bradman (50), Sunil Gavaskar (81) and Hayden (82) scored their 17th Test century in fewer innings.
Smith has so far registered 2320 runs in international matches in 2016. This is so far the third most by a captain in a calendar year. Ricky Ponting amassed 2833 in 2005 while Angelo Mathews totalled 2404 in 2014.
With his 54 on Day 4, Peter Handscomb has scored at least a fifty in each of his first three Tests. He made 54 on debut against South Africa and 105 in the first Test of the ongoing series. Four other Australians have done the same before Handscomb. Herbie Collins, Bill Brown, Frank Iredale and even Michael Bevan. Collins actually got fifties in his first four Tests.
Nic Maddinson reached double figures for the first time in his short Test career. He made 22 on Thursday. In his earlier visits to the crease, he had figures of 0 (on debut at Adelaide against South Africa), and 1 and 4 in the first Test against Pakistan at Brisbane.
Usman Khawaja was dismissed in the 90s for the second time in his career. He was out for 97 at WACA against South Africa, and was dismissed caught behind off Wahab Riaz for the same score on Day 4.
This is the third highest first-innings score bettered at MCG. Australia previously bettered England's 485 in the 1965-66 Ashes and Pakistan's 470 in 1983-84.
--By A Cricket Statsman