Top cricbuzz prediction: Smith’s 30th Test 100 extends Australia’s dominance.

Steve Smith topped Don Bradman’s tally of hundreds of Tests and equaled for the 30th as Australia’s batting reign continued in the second session. Usman Khawaja also advanced to the next milestone, posting his unbeaten 172 at the tea break and Australia reaching his 3-for-394.

The SCG situation continued to be on the side of the hosts as Khawaja and Smith advanced from the morning session from a stand of over 100 men, creating disastrous conditions for South Africa. With the South African pacesetter barely leaving the field, Dean Elgar turned to his spinner, Simon Hamer. He was just four overs after taking the new ball. Smith gave Hamer the attack and early on he struck out six, making things worse for South Africa. Kagiso Rabada was neither Elgar’s first choice nor second choice to share the new ball role with Nortje, indicating Kagiso Rabada’s minor influence in the game. When he finally came out for the second session, the reason was clear: Rabada lost 22 runs on a three before Elgar turned to Keshab Maharaj, the other spinner. I only got Over spells. 14 of those runs conceded by Rabada saw Khawaja first slice a short, wide ball past the point, then send an outside edge to the third-man fence before ending the over with a dub between slips. I finished with a single over when I did. and gutter.

For a while Elgar also used spins from both ends, but without the desired results. After the drink broke, he regained Nortje, who was trying to make something out of nothing at all on a monotonous surface. It didn’t pay off.

Smith soon celebrated his centenary with his 190 deliveries, placing him third on the list of Australian Test Centurions along with Matthew Hayden. Three balls later, however, followed by a soft dismissal, completely against the flow of play, hitting a high-throw delivery returned to the bowlers by Maharaj to give South Africa their first wicket of the day. The quiet celebrations conveyed what they had been through over the last six months of the session up to this point. Khawaja continued the same streak even as Smith scored 104. Shortly before Smith’s release, he surpassed his 150 in one stretch and had foursomes up to 17 by the tea break. Travis Head also hit the number of 4 since arriving as Australia came close to his 400 run mark.

Brief scores: Australia 394/3 (Usman Khawaja 172*, Steve Smith 104, Marnus Labuschagne 79; Anrich Nortje 2-55) vs South Africa

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