SYDNEY (AFP) – Steve Smith eclipsed a Don Bradman record by powering a furious Australian run chase to set a massive target for India in the final Sydney Test on Friday.
The Australian skipper with the Midas touch went helter-skelter after the runs in a bid for a declaration to pursue the home side’s third victory in the four-match series on Saturday’s final day.
Smith, backed by four centuries, passed Bradman’s 1947/48 record of 715 for most Australian runs in a series against India with a frenetic 71 off 70 balls.
The skipper, who was given out leg before wicket to Mohammed Shami, finished the series with 769 runs at an average of 128.16.
Some late fireworks from Joe Burns with 66 off 39 balls with six fours and two sixes propelled Australia to 251 for six off 40 overs and a lead of 348 with Brad Haddin not out for 31. A declaration was likely overnight.
The highest successful run-chase record in the fourth innings of a Sydney Test is currently Australia’s 288 for two against South Africa nine years ago.
Burns said Australia was in a strong position to go on and win the Test.
Chris Rogers raised his sixth straight 50 of the series with a glorious cover drive for four but he was out shortly after, hitting straight to Suresh Raina for 56 off 77 balls.
The Australians finally dislodged India for 475 after 162 overs to lead by 97 runs on the first innings shortly before tea.