Steve Smith is second-quickest to tally 6,000 test runs

BY AP • January 5, 2018

SYDNEY (AP) Australia captain Steve Smith reached another milestone during an extraordinary summer of batting by reaching 6,000 career test runs during the second day of the fifth Ashes test against England on Friday.

Smith joined West Indies great Garry Sobers as the second-fastest to tally 6,000 test runs, doing so from 111 innings. Only Don Bradman reached the 6,000-run mark quicker, from just 68 innings.

''We're stoked he's on our team so we don't have to bowl at him,'' Australia paceman Pat Cummins said. ''He has no obvious weakness, no obvious time that it takes him to build into his innings. From ball one he knows his game so well.

''I think the best batsmen in the world are the most pro-active, that find a way to get off strike, find a way not to let you settle in as a bowler. He's a seriously smart batsman.''

Smith raised the latest achievement in the final session at the Sydney Cricket Ground when he reached his 26th run of Friday's innings with a paddle through square leg off test debutant leg spinner Mason Crane.

The 28-year-old Smith, in his 61st test, only briefly acknowledged the standing ovation from the near 44,000 crowd at his home SCG before resuming his innings.

Smith has scored 648 runs from eight innings in this Ashes series, including two unbeaten centuries and a double hundred, at an astonishing average of 162.

''Those big innings he has played as well, they have been really important,'' Cummins said. ''In Brisbane and Perth they were match-winning and in Melbourne it was match-saving.

''It's just incredible and I think he's been the difference between the two sides.''

When he resumes on 44 on Saturday, Smith will set his sights on yet another hundred to equal Bradman's record of four centuries by an Australian in an Ashes series.

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