Aussies build lead to 276 at tea on day 4, last test v India

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Mohammed Siraj put down two catches before picking up the key wicket of Steve Smith as India’s injury-depleted bowling attack kept taking the game to Australia in the series-deciding test.

A rain shower caused an early finish to the second session on day four at the Gabba and Australia was 243-7 at tea, an overall lead of 276 with a declaration seemingly imminent.

Siraj and Shardul Thakur had three wickets apiece on Monday, and Australian pacemen Pat Cummins (2) and Mitchell Starc (1) were at the crease when the covers were put over the wicket.

Australia resumed at 21 without loss on the fourth day and, after cruising to 89-0, lost four wickets in six overs to slip to 123-4.

Smith posted 55 and combined with Cameron Green to lift the total to 196 before a sharply-rising ball from Siraj hit him on the glove and deflected away to Ajinkya Rahana in the gully.

Smith, who got a reprieve on 42 when he advanced to offspinner Washington Sundar and Siraj put down a chance in the deep, reviewed the decision, thinking his hand wasn't on the bat at the time. But replays confirmed the dismissal.

Green (37) had a reprieve when Siraj put down a sharp return catch but his 90-ball innings ended when edged Thakur to Rohit Sharma at second slip to make Australia 227-6, an overall lead of 260.

Paine scored a quick 27 before he was caught behind attempting a hook off Thakur just before the tea interval.

Thakur had earlier picked up the first wicket of the innings when Marcus Harris (38) gloved a catch to wicketkeeper Rishabh Pant in the 25th over.

David Warner compiled 48 from 75 deliveries before he was out in the following over, trapped lbw by Sundar to make it 91-2.

Siraj chimed in with two wickets in an over to remove Marnus Labuschagne, who scored 25 from 22 balls, and Matthew Wade (0) in the same over.

Australia hasn't lost at the Gabba since 1988, and the highest successful chase at the Brisbane venue was in 1951, when Australia finished 7-236.

With the series is level at 1-1, four sessions remaining and rain on the forecast, India needs only a draw to ensure retains the Border-Gavaskar trophy.

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More AP sports: https://apnews.com/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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