Babar Azam's 196, Mohammad Rizwan's 104* help Pakistan draw Karachi Test against Australia
Brief Scores: Pakistan 148 (Azam 36, Starc 29/3) and 443/7 (Azam 196, Rizwan 104*, Shafique 96, Lyon 112/4) drew with Australia 556/9d (Khawaja 160, Carey 93, Smith 72, Ashraf 55/2) & 97/2d (Khawaja 44*, Labuschagne 44, Shaheen Afridi 21/1)
Player of the match: Babar Azam (36 & 196)
On the last day of Karachi Test, Australia fancied their chances of winning the match by removing the remaining eight wickets of Pakistan. However, unbeaten batters from yesterday, Babar Azam and Abdullah Shafique, continued to bat in the same pugnacious manner against the Australia pacers. The batting duo helped their side past the 200-run mark without much difficulty and held the Australian bowlers at bay till the fag end of the morning session.
Abdullah Shafique misses his century by 4 runs
Shafique continued milking runs and reached close to his second Test hundred. However, he edged a delivery bowled by Australia skipper Pat Cummins, as he drove away from his body which was caught by Steven Smith at slip. Shafique made 96 runs off 305 deliveries and missed his century by just four runs. He struck six boundaries and one six in his patient knock. An over after the dismissal, the umpires took lunch.
Fawad Alam joined Babar in the middle even as the latter continued to bat freely to reach 150, which got a huge cheer from the crowd in the stadium. However, his partner Fawad was removed by Cummins on a personal score of just 9. Alam looked clueless in front of a moving delivery bowled by Cummins and edged it, which was caught by wicketkeeper Alex Carey behind the stumps.
Mohammad Rizwan joins hands with Babar Azam for a 115-run stand for the fifth wicket
Pakistan wicketkeeper batter Mohammad Rizwan joined his skipper Babar in the middle. Babar Azam suffered a few close calls against spinner Nathan Lyon but he continued ticking the scoreboard. Till tea, the hosts made 310 runs for four wickets and Babar was unbeaten on 168 off 363 deliveries. Australia needed six wickets to win the Test whereas Pakistan required 196 runs to take a lead in this three-match Test series.
Rizwan completes ton, Pakistan snatched a draw despite herculean effort by Nathan Lyon
After tea, Rizwan freed his hands and smacked two back-to-back fours off leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson. The batting duo of Babar and Rizwan added most of the runs in their partnership through boundaries. They attacked spinner Lyon to collect 10 runs in an over bowled by him through boundaries. Rizwan completed his fifty off 107 deliveries. They brought up their 100-run stand for the fifth wicket soon.
Babar was cruising towards his phenomenal double ton, however, he was removed by spinner Lyon on 196. He pushed at the ball only to edge it as the cherry crushed onto the pads and was caught by Marnus Labuschagne at short leg. The audience at National Stadium in Karachi were stunned but they applauded their skipper for a spectacular knock in the fourth innings. Lyon immediately removed the next batter Faheem Asharaf for a duck to put Pakistan on the backfoot.
As Australia needed just four more wickets to win the Test in 12 overs, the match was set for a thrilling finish. Wickets falling at the other end didn’t affect Rizwan much as he continued to plunder the Australia pacers. Next batter Sajid Khan was caught by Smith at slip off Lyon on a personal score of 9 and Australia inched closer to their first win on this tour.
Rizwan, who was batting on 91, was dropped by Usman Khawaja at extra cover off Swepson. The Pakistan wicketkeeper batter grabbed this opportunity with both hands and completed his century by taking a single off Lyon after plundering two boundaries in the same over.
Pakistan secured a draw as they ended the game at the score of 443-7 due to herculean efforts by Babar, Rizwan and Shafique.
Nathan Lyon bowled a herculean spell that read as follows: 55-20-12-4.
Both teams will now move to Lahore to play the third and final Test of the Benaud-Qadir Trophy 2021-22 with the series scoreline still deadlocked at 0-0.
The Lahore Test will commence on March 21.
Here are some of the top twitter reactions from Pakistan vs Australia, Karachi Test: