Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test: ICC Rates Rawalpindi Pitch As “Below Average”

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ICC has rated the Rawalpindi pitch as “below average”.© AFP

The International Cricket Council (ICC) on Thursday rated the pitch at the Pindi Cricket Stadium in Rawalpindi that was used for the first Test between Pakistan and Australia as “below average”. Due to this rating, the venue has received one demerit point under the ICC Pitch and Outfield Monitoring Process. “The character of the pitch hardly changed over the course of five days and that there has been no deterioration apart from the bounce getting slightly lower. The pitch did not have a great deal of pace and bounce in it for the seamers nor assisted the spinners as the match progressed,” Ranjan Madugalle of the Emirates ICC Elite Panel of Match Referees stated in an official statement.

“In my view, this does not represent an even contest between bat and ball. Therefore, in keeping with the ICC guidelines, I rate this pitch as below average,” he added.

The first Test between Pakistan and Australia ended in a draw on Tuesday. Pakistan openers Imam-ul-Haq and Abdullah Shafique scored unbeaten centuries as Pakistan scored 252 without losing any wicket on the fifth and final day.

Both the teams will be squaring off for the second Test of the three-match series on Saturday at National Stadium, Karachi.

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Pakistan vs Australia: Former Pakistan Captain Inzamam-ul-Haq Gives Verdict On 1st Test Match

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Pak vs SL: Imam-ul-Haq plays a shot during the first Test match.© AFP

The second Test match between Pakistan and Australia ended in a draw. The hosts declared their first innings on 475/4 in Rawalpindi, with Australia responding with 459. By the time the visitors were bowled out, there was no time for a result. Pakistan went on to bat the entire Day 5 without losing a wicket as openers Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haque smashed tons. The match also received plenty of criticism regarding the pitch conditions and former Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq branded the game as “really strange”.

Speaking on his YouTube channel, Inzamam said, “In this Test, there were a lot of complaints over the wicket condition. ‘What is this pitch?’ asked a lot of people. I believe the pitch in the next Test will be better, one that can yield results”.

Giving his take on the Rawalpindi pitch, he said, “When there is a drawn Test nowadays, it feels really weird. I can’t recall the last time we had a Test like this, where you knew it was going to be a draw from the first day. As a result, the pitch will undoubtedly be more sporting (in next Test). You help spinners by making a turning pitch. You take advantage of the home field advantage, but don’t make a dead pitch”.

The 52-year-old also praised Australia for doing a “fantastic job adapting to the pitch”. He also stated that the hosts can win the series “if they curate the pitches according to their strengths.”

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“Even Australia did a fantastic job adapting to this pitch.” In the first innings, I expected Pakistan to lead by 100-150 runs, but Australia came close to matching Pakistan’s total. “Australia has never backed down, but I still believe Pakistan can win this series if they curate pitches according to their strengths”, he said.

Pakistan host Australia in the second Test of the three-match series at the National Stadium in Karachi beginning March 12.

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Pakistan vs Australia: Shaheen Shah Afridi Gives Mitchell Starc A Taste Of His Own Medicine With Lethal Delivery. Watch

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PAK vs AUS: Shaheen Shah Afridi dismissed Mitchell Starc with a brute of a yorker.© AFP

Be it Test cricket or any other format, Mitchell Starc is one of the best exponents of bowling yorkers and cleaning up the tail. On Day 5 of the ongoing 1st Test against Pakistan in Rawalpindi, the Australian pacer, however, got a taste of his own medicine. Starc was on the receiving end of a lethal yorker bowled by Shaheen Shah Afridi and had no answers to it. The Pakistan left-arm pacer did to Starc what the Australian has done to numerous others as he went wide of the crease to angle the ball in, getting it to reverse a bit.

Starc missed the ball completely and it thudded into the pads. The umpire took no time to raise his finger but the Australian decided to review it, more in hope than anything else.

Watch Shaheen Afridi’s lethal yorker to dismiss Mitchell Starc:

Pakistan didn’t take too long to wrap up Australia’s first innings on Day 5 morning.

Australia added just 10 more runs to their overnight score before being packed off. Nauman Ali was the wrecker-in-chief for Pakistan, taking six wickets, including two on Day 5.

Shaheen Afridi took two while Naseem Shah and Sajid Khan chipped in with one wicket apiece.

With Australia bowled out for 459, the hosts took a 17-run first innings lead, but it probably will matter little, with the match headed for a draw.

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In their second innings, Pakistan made a solid start with Imam-ul-Haq and Abdullah Shafique keeping the Australians at bay.

At the time of writing this, Pakistan were 66 for no loss, leading by 83 runs.

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Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 5 Live Cricket Score Updates: Nauman Ali Takes Fifer, Australia Bowled Out For 459

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PAK vs AUS, 1st Test Live: Nauman Ali celebrates after taking a wicket.© AFP

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 5 Live Updates:Nauman Ali struck early on Day 5 to remove Australia captain Pat Cummins in the ongoing first Test in Rawalpindi. It completed a five-wicket haul for the left-arm spinner. However, Pakistan’s first home Test against Australia in nearly a quarter of a century looked headed for a draw despite Nauman Ali. When umpires called off play on Day 4 with three overs still to be bowled, Mitchell Starc was on 19 and skipper Pat Cummins four — with Australia just 27 behind Pakistan’s first innings total of 476-4 declared. Australia are on their first tour to Pakistan since 1998, having previously refused to visit over security fears. (LIVE SCORECARD)

Pakistan Playing XI:Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (c), Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Iftikhar Ahmed, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi

Australia Playing XI: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 5 Live Cricket Score, Updates From Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium In Rawalpindi​

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Pakistan vs Australia: Fan Has A Special Message For Virat Kohli During Rawalpindi Test

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Virat Kohli achieved a massive landmark last week as he played his 100th Test for Team India.© Twitter

Virat Kohli achieved a massive landmark last week as he played his 100th Test for Team India during the 1st Test against Sri Lanka at the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali. It was a special moment for the former India skipper as he walked out to bat in the first innings. Kohli, who has not scored a century in over two years in any format, though, failed to reach the triple figures as he was dismissed by Lasith Embuldeniya on a score of 45.

Kohli’s fans have been eagerly waiting for him to score his 71st ton in international cricket.

During the ongoing Test between Pakistan and Australia in Rawalpindi, a fan had a special message to the 33-year-old.

The fan was seen holding a poster of Kohli, urging him to score his 71st century in Pakistan.

“We want your 71st century in Pakistan,” the placard read.

With just one day remaining in the match, the Rawalpindi Test is heading for a draw.

At stumps on Day 4, Australia were 449/7, trailing Pakistan by 27 runs.

Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne missed out their respective centuries after being dismissed on 97 and 90.

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Steve Smith also played a fine knock 78 before he was dismissed by the star of the day, Nauman Ali, who took a four-wicket haul.

Earlier, Pakistan had posted a total of 476//4d, thanks to Azhar Ali and Imam-ul-Haq’s marathon knocks of 185 and 157, respectively.

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