Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 4 Report: Ton-Up Babar Azam, Abdullah Shafique Foil Australia’s Victory Bids

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Skipper Babar Azam cracked a fighting century with great support from opener Abdullah Shafique Tuesday as Pakistan thwarted Australia’s hopes of a quick win in the second Test in Karachi. Set a daunting 506-run target, Azam knocked his sixth Test century — and second against Australia — to guide Pakistan to 192-2 and raise hopes of an improbable victory, or even a fighting draw. At the close Azam was unbeaten on 102 and Shafique 71 as the pair added 171 for the third wicket, leaving the home team needing another 314 runs in the 90 overs of the final day for a win, or bat out three sessions for the draw.

Pakistan lost Imam-ul-Haq (one) and Azhar Ali (six) before Shafique and Azam led the fightback, leaving Australia wicketless in the last session — despite taking the second new ball after 80 overs.

Azam top-edged a sweep off spinner Mitchell Swepson towards short fine-leg for two to reach the three-figure mark, his first in 21 innings since his 143 against Bangladesh in Rawalpindi in February 2020.

Azam’s hundred came in 247 minutes with 12 boundaries.

Shafique was as solid as his skipper, having so far hit four boundaries and a six as he and Azam batted defiantly for 265 minutes.

No team has ever chased more than the 418-7 that West Indies did against Australia at Antigua in 2003, while Pakistan’s highest successful chase was 377 against Sri Lanka at Pallekele in 2015.

Australia, resuming their second innings at 81-1, batted for just 26 minutes at the start of play to add 16 runs before declaring on 97-2.

The visitors scored 556-9 declared in their first innings then dismissed Pakistan for 148.

The home team had hoped Azhar would anchor the second innings but the senior batsman was trapped lbw by Cameron Green when trying to evade a short-pitched delivery.

Azhar chose not to review as he trudged off but was left to regret it as television replays showed he had gloved the ball.

At 21-2, Australia seemed to have the upper edge and were looking to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series but their efforts were thwarted by a slow turning pitch and the brilliance of Pakistan’s batting pair.

Australia could have had Shafique on 20 but the experienced Steve Smith spilled a straightforward catch in the slips off pacer Pat Cummins.

Despite cracks on the National Cricket Stadium pitch, Australian spinners Nathan Lyon and Swepson failed to get vicious turn.

Earlier, Haq and Shafique were all caution as it took them until the fifth over to score the first run, before Lyon struck.

The in-form Haq, who scored a hundred in each innings of the drawn first Test in Rawalpindi, was trapped lbw for one as he failed to connect with a sliding delivery.

Earlier, Marnus Labuschagne was bowled off a sharp Shaheen Shah Afridi delivery for 44 to prompt skipper Cummins to call the innings to a close with first-innings century-maker Usman Khawaja, who was born in Pakistan, remaining 44 not out.

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Australia are on their first tour of Pakistan since 1998, having previously refused to tour the country because of security fears.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 3 Report: Australia In Command Of Second Test After Mitchell Starc Wrecks Pakistan

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Spearhead Mitchell Starc led the Australian pace attack with three wickets Monday to put the visitors in the driving seat on day three of the second Test against Pakistan in Karachi. The lanky left-armer used reverse swing to devastating effect, taking 3-29 as Pakistan were bundled out for a paltry 148 in reply to Australia’s mammoth first innings of 556-9 declared. Despite a big 408-run lead, Australia did not enforce the follow-on and at close were 81-1 in their second innings to take their lead to 489 with nine wickets intact.

Opener Usman Khawaja was unbeaten on 35 and Marnus Labuschagne 37 after David Warner fell to Hasan Ali for seven.

Australia have two full days to enforce a big win and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series on their first tour of Pakistan for 24 years.

Pakistan’s collapse in 53 overs was in complete contrast to Australia, who stayed out for 189 overs, plundering runs at ease.

Starc, who went wicketless in the drawn first Test in Rawalpindi last week, had Azhar Ali (14), Fawad Alam (nought) and Sajid Khan (five) out as Pakistan lost six wickets in the space of 62 runs after being 38-1 at lunch.

Debutant leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson finished with 2-32 including the wicket of Azam, who miscued a drive and was caught at long-off.

It all went wrong in the first over after lunch when Haq — who scored twin centuries in the opening Test — fell to a rash shot, lofting spinner Nathan Lyon to skipper Pat Cummins at mid-on.

Starc then had Azhar caught in the slips and next ball trapped Alam with a sharp in-dipping yorker. He almost had a hat-trick when Mohammad Rizwan was beaten neck and crop, but didn’t edge.

Rizwan didn’t last long, however, as he edged Cummins for wicketkeeper Alex Carey to take a simple catch on six, and next over Cameron Green trapped Faheem Ashraf leg before for four.

Starc then had Sajid caught behind, taking 3-24 in 10 incisive overs as wickets fell in a cluster, in contrast to Australia’s run-spree on a low bounce National Cricket Stadium pitch.

Earlier, opener Abdullah Shafique was run out for 13 as Pakistan faltered at the start.

Shafique, who hit a brilliant unbeaten century in Rawalpindi, had made 13 of Pakistan’s 26-run opening stand when he failed to beat Swepson’s direct throw from point after being called for a sharp single.

Australia had resumed the third day on 505-8 as Cummins opted to bat on.

Pakistan struck with the second ball of the day when fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi had Starc caught at cover by Azhar without adding to his overnight 28.

But that was all the success they had as Cummins, who finished on 34 not out, added a brisk 51 for the ninth wicket with Swepson (15) before declaring.

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All-rounder Ashraf was the pick of the attack with his 2-55 from 21 overs, while off-spinner Sajid Khan took 2-167 from 57 overs.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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“It’s Ridiculous”: Waqar Younis Tears Into Pakistan’s Tactics On Day 1 Of 2nd Test Against Australia

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Waqar Younis has slammed Pakistan for their tactics against Australia on Day 1.© AFP

Former Pakistan skipper Waqar Younis slammed the team for their “tactics” against Australia on Day 1 of the ongoing second Test at the National Stadium in Karachi. This comes after the first Test had ended in a tame draw as batters dominated their counterparts. There was a lot criticism off the pitch used in Rawalpindi, and the Pakistan team had also received a demerit point under ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process. With the Australia batters being largely untroubled on Day 1, Waqar termed Pakistan’s tactics as “ridiculous”, saying that the game is already heading towards another stalemate ahead of the final Test in Lahore.

“The tactics I’m seeing at the moment is like we’re looking for a draw on the first day. It’s ridiculous,” Waqar was quoted as saying on-air by cricket.com.au.

Riding on Usman Khawaja’s unbeaten century, Australia managed to reach a total of 251 for three at stumps on Day 1.

For Pakistan, Hasan Ali and Faheem Ashraf had dismissed David Warner (36) and Steve Smith (72), respectively, while Marnus Labuschagne was run out for a duck.

Meanwhile, Australia had crossed the 300-run mark after resuming play on Day 2.

Nathan Lyon, who had come in as a nightwatchman ahead of stumps on Day 1, scored a fine 38 before Ashraf castled him in the first session on Day 2.

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The third and final Test will be played at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore from March 21-25.

The Test series will be followed by three ODIs, and a one-off T20I. All four white-ball games will be played in Rawalpindi.

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Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 1 Live Score Updates: Mitchell Swepson Makes Debut As Australia Eye Win vs Pakistan

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2nd Test Live: Mitchell Swepson set for debut as both teams eye win in Karachi.© Twitter

PAK vs AUS, 2nd Test, Live Updates: Pakistan face Australia in the second Test at the National Stadium in Karachi. After the first Test ended in a dead-rubber, both teams will look to register a win ahead of the final Test in Lahore. Imam-ul-Haq was the star of the show with the bat as the Pakistan opener scored a century each in both the innings. Azhar Ali also scored a mammoth knock of 175 in the first innings while Abdullah Shafique scored his maiden Test ton in the second innings. It was a difficult outing for the bowlers, except Nauman Ali, who took six wickets in Australia’s first innings. Australia skipper Pat Cummins confirmed on the eve of the second Test that Queensland spinner Mitchell Swepson will make his Test debut in Karachi. He will replace Josh Hazlewood in the playing XI. (LIVE SCORECARD)

Here are the LIVE Updates of the 2nd Test Pakistan vs Australia Test from the National Stadium in Karachi

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