Pak vs Aus, 3rd Test: Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins share nine wickets among them and help Australia take 123-run lead on Day 3
Brief Scores: Australia 391 (Khawaja 91, Green 79, Carey 67, Smith 59, Naseem 58/4, Afridi 79/4) and 11/0 (Khawaja 7*, Warner 4*) lead Pakistan 268 (Shafique 81, Azhar 78, Babar 67, Cummins 56/5, Starc 33/4) by 134 runs
Pakistan resumed proceedings from their overnight score of 90/1. Abdullah Shafique and Azhar Ali continued Pakistan’s innings on the morning of the third day.
Abdullah Shafique and Azhar Ali put up a century stand
Azhar Ali cracked two back-to-back boundaries off pacer Cameron Green. In the meanwhile, the batting duo of Shafique and Azhar completed their individual half-centuries, one after another. The batting pair continue to bat freely and completed a 100-run stand together for the second wicket.
Spinner Nathan Lyon breaks 150-run stand
This partnership forced Australia skipper Pat Cummins to bring spinners Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Swepson into the attack. Both batters continued to take singles and doubles to keep the scoreboard ticking against the spinners. Shafique and Azhar helped their side to reach 159 before lunch break.
After the break, off-spinner Lyon put an end to the partnership by dismissing Shafique on 81 off 228 deliveries. Shafique smoked 11 boundaries in his gritty knock. Pakistan skipper Babar Azam, who struck a historic knock of 196 in the previous Test in Karachi, came to bat at two down. He pounced on the spinners to smash a few boundaries early in the innings. In the meantime, Azhar completed 7000 runs in his Test career while taking a single off Lyon.
Pat Cummins took an exceptional catch to remove Abdullah Shafique
Babar continues his assault on the spinners by smashing back-to-back boundaries off Lyon. He also clobbered two successive boundaries off pacer Pat Cummins. However, in his next over, Cummins grabbed a stunning catch off his bowling to send Shafique to the pavilion on 78. He plundered seven fours and one six in his vital knock. Fawad Alam joined hands with Babar in the middle to help their side to 227 till the end of the second session.
Mitchell Starc breaks the back of hosts by taking two quick wickets
After the tea break, Australia’s spinners dried up the run flow and put the host batters under pressure. Left-arm seamer Mitchell Starc produced a jaw-dropping delivery to uproot the stumps of Fawad in his first over of the spell. Fawad could make only 13 off 56 deliveries. Starc didn’t stop there; he knocked down the next batter Mohammad Rizwan on a personal score of just one. As hosts went five down by losing two quick wickets, the visitors planned to bundle out hosts below 300 to get a considerable lead.
Australia bundle out hosts on 268; Pat Cummins completed five-for
Pat Cummins removed lower order batter, Sajid Khan, on six and trapped Nauman Ali plumb in front of the stumps on duck. Also, Cummins dismissed Hasan Ali in the same over to put Pakistan in a precarious position and completed his fifer. Immediately in the next over, Starc bagged the last two wickets of Babar and Naseem Shan to put an end to the innings of Pakistan on 268. Due to the phenomenal fifer by Cummins and four-wicket haul of Starc, Australia took a valuable lead of 123 runs in the decisive Test match of the ongoing series.
After taking a lead of 123 runs over the hosts, Australia started their second innings and finished the day at 11 for none. Read More: Pak vs Aus, 2nd Test: Lyon's superb 4-112 in vain; Rizwan's 104*, Babar's 196 help Pak draw match