SPORT

Steve Smith One Of Just Four Men To Notch A Stunning Cricket Feat

His batting average after 50 Tests is now 60.15

06/01/2017 11:09 AM AEDT | Updated 06/01/2017 6:55 PM AEDT
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Onya, skip.

Only four men have averaged 60-plus with the bat after 50 Test matches. One was Don Bradman. The other two were the Englishmen Herbert Sutcliffe and Jack Hobbs. To that list you can now add Australian captain Steve Smith.

An interesting aspect of Smith's record is that he's amassed the highest average of anyone who's played 90 innings or more. Don Bradman is regarded as the greatest batsman of all-time, and will likely remain so forever with his Test average of 99.94. But the Don played just 80 Test innings in a career punctuated by WWII.

Smith was out -- ironically enough for 59 -- a run short of his average of 60.15 in Australia's second innings in the third Test between Australia and Pakistan at the SCG.

But he'd done his part to ensure his place in cricket history, and more importantly, added super quick runs to ensure his team has every chance of bowling out Pakistan as Australia chases a 3-0 clean sweep.

Smith declared Australia's second innings closed at 2/241, leaving Pakistan 16 overs to bat on day four, 90 on Saturday (weather permitting) and a mountainous 465 required for victory.

Usman Khawaja was not out 79 and Peter Handscomb not out 40. And everyone got excited about Khawaja's "dab" celebration upon reaching 50.

At stumps Pakistan was 1-55, still requiring another 410 runs to win. Nathan Lyon grabbed the wicket of Sharjeel Khan for 40, after enticing a false stroke of a nicely lofted delivery.

EARLIER...

Dave Warner just went bananas, berserk, ballistic, bonkers -- and a whole lot of other words that may or may not start with b -- in Australia's second innings of the third Test between Australia and Pakistan at the SCG. Again.

In reaching 50 from 23 balls, Warner made the second fastest 50 in the history of Test cricket. Only current Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq has gone quicker, racking up 50 off 21 balls against Australia two years ago.

Warner made 113 in the first innings of this Test, a record knock which was the first time a batsman in Australia had made a century before lunch. And then he showed that he was still in the mood. A highlight was when the 30-year-old leftie swiped two successive sixes over long-on off Yasir Shah's second over.

They landed within a metre of each other.

He then cut a ball for four and followed up with a reverse sweep to the boundary, in what felt like like the artistic swirl at the end of a signature.

Warner reached 44 off 21 balls after hitting four fours in four balls. Yeah, you read that right. Then raced to 50 off 23 with a six the following over. Because was he ever going to bring up 50 any other way with his tally on 44?

At tea, Australia was 1/117. Usman Khawaja was on 30 and Steve Smith on 25. The skipper looked like he might just be getting into a Warner sort of mood.

Live scores are here.

EVEN EARLIER...

Pakistan were bowled out for 315 on day four of the third Test between Australia and Pakistan at the SCG.

Play took a while to get underway, due to early morning rain and a weird period of an hour or so when the pitch sat there in the sunshine waiting to be "inspected" even though a man with a blindfold facing the other way could tell it was ready to play on.

When we finally had some cricket, Pakistan scored freely, centurion Younus Khan adding 39 to his overnight score before he was stranded on 175 not out as Josh Hazlewood snared the last two wickets.

Australia has now commenced its innings. Dave Warner nonchalantly flicked the first ball he faced for four. He has been joined in the middle by Usman Khawaja due to the unavailability of Matt Renshaw, who has been ruled out of the rest of this match with concussion.

Pakistan elected to bowl leg spinner Yasir Shah in just the second over of the innings, which no one saw coming.

A WHOLE BUNCH EARLIER...

Matt Renshaw made a mature, measured 184 in the first innings, but the 20-year-old opener has been forced out of the third Test due to concussion.

Renshaw was struck on the helmet twice in three days. His initial blow came via a bouncer on the first day of the Test.

The second knock occurred while he was fielding at short leg on Thursday.

It was the second one that caused concussion, which prompted Australian team medical staff to rule him out of the Test as a precautionary measure.

"Matthew Renshaw was struck on the helmet fielding close-in on Thursday afternoon and came off complaining of a headache," said team doctor Peter Brukner.

"He rested in the dressing room and then, when we returned to the hotel, we performed concussion tests and his cognitive, balance, co-ordination and reaction times were all within normal limits.

"However, on Friday morning he was still symptomatic and so we have taken the decision to withdraw him from the match as he is suffering from concussion. We will continue to monitor him over the coming days and work with him to produce a gradual return to play."

In better news, the rain appears to have cleared in Sydney, and play is expected to resume in the early afternoon. Pakistan are 8-271, still 267 in arrears of Australia's first innings of 8 (declared) for 538.

This is day four of the Test, but as the Melbourne Test showed, anything can happen on the fifth day of play. We'll update this story during the day. Live scores are here.

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