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Smith's century guides Australia to 288-3 on day 1

Associated Press logo Associated Press 15/12/2016 By JOHN PYE, AP Sports Writer
Australian batsman Steve Smith plays a shot during play on day one of the first cricket test between Australia and Pakistan in Brisbane, Australia, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard) © The Associated Press Australian batsman Steve Smith plays a shot during play on day one of the first cricket test between Australia and Pakistan in Brisbane, Australia, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2016. (AP Photo/Tertius Pickard)

BRISBANE, Australia — Steve Smith turned two lucky breaks into his 16th test century and first against Pakistan, guiding Australia to 288-3 at stumps after the opening day Thursday of the three-match series.

Smith was unbeaten on 110 when the first night session ever in a Gabba test concluded, his 192-ball innings including important partnerships with newcomers Matt Renshaw (71) and Peter Handscomb (64 not out).

The 20-year-old Renshaw scored his first test half century and shared a 76-run stand with Smith, and Handscomb produced his second half century in as many tests.

The crowd built up in the night session to a non-Ashes record of 26,434, but the run-rate slowed down as the batsmen were beaten time and again by the new pink ball under lights.

Mohammad Amir returned to take the new ball after 80 overs, after spending almost a half hour off the field getting treatment on his right knee following a tumble in the outfield, and was unlucky not to dismiss Smith for 97.

Smith appeared to feather a catch through to the wicketkeeper, according to hot-spot and snicko technology used for television reviews, but none of the Pakistan players appealed for the dismissal and the Australia captain reached triple figures in the 87th over with his 15th boundary of the innings.

Smith had another reprieve just before the dinner interval on 53, when he got a faint edge to a delivery from part-time legspinner Azhar Ali but wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed was unable to glove the catch.

Conditions were perfect for batting on a warm, dry afternoon in subtropical Brisbane where Smith won the toss and elected to bat, retaining the same XI which ended Australia's five-test losing streak with a win against South Africa in Adelaide last month.

Renshaw, who made his international debut in Adelaide, stroked nine boundaries in 125 balls before running out of patience against the consistent line from Wahab Riaz (1-52) and getting caught behind.

It was the only wicket to fall after the first session, when Pakistan struck twice in 10 balls.

Amir ended the 70-run opening stand by trapping David Warner (32) lbw in the 24th over, and Usman Khawaja (4) hit one boundary before stepping down the pitch and chipping legspinner Yasir Shah to Pakistan skipper Mishab-ul-Haq at short mid-wicket.

Australia suffered series losses to South Africa and Sri Lanka, but is growing in confidence and has an enviable record at the Gabba, where it hasn't lost a test since 1988.

Pakistan, coming off a series loss in New Zealand, has lost nine straight tests in Australia and has never won a test in Brisbane.

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