Babar Azam scores 6th Test century, Pakistan need 314 runs to win Karachi Test
Brief Scores: Pakistan 148 (Azam 36, Starc 29/3) and 192/2 (Azam 102*, Shafique 71*, Green 15/1) require 314 runs to beat Australia 556/9d (Khawaja 160, Carey 93, Smith 72, Ashraf 55/2) & 92/2dec (Khawaja 44*, Labuschagne 44, Shaheen Afridi 21/1)
On the morning of the fourth day, Australia stretched their lead beyond 500 runs and declared immediately after one down batter Marnus Labuschagne got bowled by left-arm seamer Shaheen Shah Afridi on 44. They posted a huge target of 506 runs in front of Pakistan in approximately two days.
Australia put hosts on the backfoot by removing Imam-ul-Haq
Pakistan opening batters - Imam-ul-Haq and Abdullah Shafique - didn’t start well in front of a nearly unachievable target of 506 runs. In just the sixth over of the innings, veteran spinner Nathan Lyon trapped clueless Imam in front of the wickets on a personal score of 1. The batter challenged the umpires' decision, however, the third umpire upheld the decision of the umpire and Imam had to return to the pavilion.
Azhar battled hard but succumbed in front of Cameron Green
One down batter Azhar Ali batted patiently till lunch break. After lunch, the cumbersome innings of Azhar Ali came to an end as pacer Cameron Green trapped him in front of the stumps. Azhar walked out of the ground without reviewing the decision, however, replays show the ball brushed the gloves, something which could have saved him had he used DRS. Azhar made just 6 runs off 54 deliveries.
Babar Azam and Abdullah Shafique rescue their side
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam joined Shafique in the middle. Pakistan batters looked stuck against opposition bowlers. Fortunately for Shafique, Steven Smith dropped his catch at slip off pacer Pat Cummins, when the batter was on a personal score of 20. Both batters then started to free their hands and smashed a few boundaries to help their side reach 50. Babar Azam looked in his groove and dealt in boundaries against leggie Mitchell Swepson and Cummins. The hosts reached 104 for two till Tea.
Batting duo registered 150-run partnership
After tea, Babar brought up his 20th fifty off 83 deliveries. Later his partner Shafique also completed his fifty from 153 deliveries. Both batters looked set on the pitch and started milking runs easily against visitor bowlers. The batting duo completed their 150-run partnership for the third wicket.
Babar Azam struck his sixth Test ton
Babar Azam looked in sublime form and struck boundaries at regular intervals. He reached his sixth hundred under immense pressure by taking a double off Swepson.
Pakistan reached 192 for two at stumps on Day Four; Babar and Shafique are unbeaten on 102 and 71, respectively.
What Lies Ahead on Day Five
Day Four set up this Test for a thrilling finish on the final day due to the fighting knocks of Babar and Shafique against the threatening bowling arsenal of Australia. It will be interesting to see how much longer this batting duo will carry the Pakistan innings to avoid defeat.
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