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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Watch: Pakistan’s Azhar Ali Fails To Take DRS In Time In Bizarre Dismissal vs Australia

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Pakistan are currently taking on Australia in the ongoing second Test at the National Stadium in Karachi. Pakistan have been asked to chase a mammoth target of 506 after Australia declared their second innings at 97/2. Chasing the daunting target, Pakistan lost two early wickets, and were reduced to 21 for two at one stage on Day 4. Nathan Lyon provided Australia with the early breakthrough, dismissing Imam-ul-Haq. However, Azhar Ali’s bizarre dismissal in the 23th over of the second innings got the internet talking.

Cameron Green, who was bowling his first over of the innings, dug it in short and Azhar tried to duck under it, expecting the ball to bounce. However, the ball kept low and Azhar was beaten.

As a result, the ball appeared to have hit his body and the Australians went up in a huge appeal. The on-field umpire raised his finger. Azhar had a long chat with partner Abdullah Shafique, who was at the non-striker’s end and in the process ran out of time to use the DRS. Pakistan had two reviews up their sleeves.

As it turned out, the ultra-edge showed that the delivery had brushed his gloves and the experienced right-hander would have survived had he signalled for DRS in time.

Notably, a team gets 15 seconds to opt for the DRS from the moment the incident takes place. In this case, the timer went off before Azhar Ali could make a decision and hence had no choice but to walk off.

Watch: Azhar Ali Fails To Take DRS In Time Despite Being Given Out After Ball Brushing His Gloves

Notably, Pakistan had already lost a review, after the DRS had given Imam his marching orders earlier on Day 4.

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Meanwhile, Pakistan staged a gallant fightback through captain Babar Azam and opener Shafique. Babar got to his 6th Test century as he and Shafique continued to give the hosts belief. At stumps on Day 4, Pakistan were 192 for 4, still 314 runs behind an improbable win.

Both teams would look to take the bragging rights ahead of the final Test, which will be played from March 21-15 at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore.

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“…Then We’ll See Who Goes To Play IPL Over PSL”: Pakistan Cricket Board Chief Ramiz Raja Wants PSL To Adopt Auction Model

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PCB chief Ramiz Raja wants PSL to adopt auction model just like IPL.© AFP

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman Ramiz Raja has said that he wants to move on from the draft system to the auction model in the Pakistan Super League (PSL). The former Pakistan cricketer said that the “market forces” were conducive for it and that the board would sit with PSL teams owners to discuss the matter. Raja said that an auction model, and an increased purse in the PSL could put the tournament “in the IPL bracket”.

“We need to create new properties to be financially independent. We have nothing for now but the PSL and ICC funds. There’s an argument over the model from next year; I want to switch it to an auction model from next year,” Raja was quoted as saying on ESPNcricinfo.

“The market forces are conducive, but we’ll sit down with the franchise owners to discuss it.

“This is a game of money. When the cricket economy grows in Pakistan, our respect will rise. The main driver of that financial economy is the PSL. If we take the PSL to auction model, increase the purse, then I’ll put it in the IPL bracket. And then we’ll see who goes to play the IPL over the PSL.”

PSL 2022 ended last month with Lahore Qalandars’ beating Multan Sultans in the final to win their maiden Pakistan Super League title.

Mohammad Hafeez starred for Lahore, scoring a fighting 46-ball 69 to guide Qalandars to 180 for five after they won the toss and batted before a packed 30,000 Gaddafi stadium.

Hafeez then chipped in with wickets of in-form opener Mohammad Rizwan (14) and Aamer Azmat (six) to bowl the defending champions for 138 in 19.3 overs.

Once the league’s eternal wooden-spoon — finishing last in the first four editions before reaching the final in 2020 — Qalandars finally completed the set of winners. All six teams have now won the league.

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Islamabad United won in 2016 and 2018,  Peshawar Zalmi in 2017, Quetta Gladiators in 2019, Karachi Kings in 2020 and Sultans (2021) last year.

(With AFP inputs)

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Will Take Up Four-Nation Proposal With Sourav Ganguly At Asian Cricket Council Meeting, Says Pakistan Cricket Board President Ramiz Raja

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Ramiz Raja says he will discuss his proposal to launch a four-nation ODI tournament with Sourav Ganguly.© AFP

Undeterred by India’s lack of interest, Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja says he will discuss his proposal to launch a four-nation ODI tournament with BCCI counterpart Sourav Ganguly during the Asian Cricket Council (ACC) meeting in Dubai on March 19. Ramiz told reporters at the national stadium in Karachi that he has proposed the tournament, also featuring Australia and England, to ensure that players from India and Pakistan get to play each other more often and to increase revenue for other member countries in the International Cricket Council.

“I will talk to Sourav Ganguly about it when we meet for the ACC meeting in Dubai. Both of us are former captains and players and for us cricket is not about politics,” he said.

“Even if India does not go with us on this proposal, we will think about launching an annual three-nation event with Australia and England in Pakistan,” he added.

The former captain also expressed confidence that India would come to Pakistan to play in the Asia Cup next year.

“I think they will come and if they don’t travel to Pakistan we will see what can be done,” he added.

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BCCI secretary Jay Shah has already shot down the proposal by Ramiz saying that India was more inclined towards globalisation of the sport and not any short term financial incentive.

Sri Lanka is due to host the Asia Cup T20 format event this year and the final dates for the tournament will be finalised in Dubai with expectations it would be held just before the ICC World T20 Cup in Australia scheduled in October-November.

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Shoaib Akhtar Trolls Pakistan After 1st Innings Collapse vs Australia

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PAK vs AUS: Pakistan were bundled out for 148 runs in the first innings in Karachi.© AFP

Ex-Pakistan cricketer Shoaib Akhtar slammed his country’s mediocre outing with the bat as they folded for just 148 runs in the first innings in reply to Australia’s 556/9 declared in the ongoing Karachi Test. The flurry of wickets that saw the back of seven Pakistan batters for just 100 runs on the board showcased the lack of application by the home team which disappointed many, including Akhtar. Akhtar took to Twitter to bring out his frustration, he wrote, “Haanji boredom duur ho gaya sab ka including me. 100/7 must be entertaining.”

After the pitch in the first Test in Rawalpindi was criticized for having very little assistance for bowlers, the Australian faster bowlers in Karachi exploited the barren patches in the Karachi track to good effect as they combined to claim five crucial wickets.

Skipper Babar Azam top-scored with 36 runs as he turned into a spectator at the non-striker’s end, seeing wickets tumble regularly from the other end.

Left-arm pacer Mitchell Starc was the main destroyer as he took three wickets for 29 runs in 13 overs, a spell which included five maidens.

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Captain Pat Cummins and all-rounder Cameron Green took one wicket each. Pakistan were bowled out for 148 in reply to Australia’s mammoth first innings score of 556/9 declared.

In their second innings, Australia were 81/1 at stumps on Day 3 enjoying a huge lead of 489 runs.

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Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 4 Live Score Updates: Dominant Australia Aim To Bat Pakistan Out Of The Game

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PAK vs AUS: Australia will look to post a huge target for Pakistan to chase.© AFP

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 4 Live Score Updates: An in-form Australian side will look to set a challenging total for Pakistan to chase in the fourth innings of the match on the fourth day of the second Test at the National Stadium in Karachi. After dismissing the home side for a paltry total of 148 runs in the first innings, the visitors were again led by batting stars Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne despite losing openers David Warner early. (LIVE SCORECARD)

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

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, Mitchell Swepson

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test, Day 4 Live Score Updates From National Stadium In Karachi

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Pakistan vs Australia: Shell-Shocked Fans In Karachi “Can’t Believe” Pakistan’s Batting Collapse In 2nd Test. Watch

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Pakistan fans were left shell-shocked by the team’s showing on Day 3 of 2nd Test.© Twitter

It turned out to be a nightmare third day in the second Test match for the home side as Pakistan batters surrendered meekly against a relentless Australian fast bowling unit in Karachi on Monday. Pakistan were bundled out for 148 as their batters looked rattled in front of Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins. This happened after Australia declared for 556/9 in the first session of play and then had a go at the Pakistan batting line-up with the new ball. The batting side never really looked in control as they failed to deal with the skill and guile of left-arm pacer Starc early on.

The mediocre outing not only disappointed the team but also the fans who were present in the stadium to watch their team play.

The official Twitter handle of the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) shared a video that showed fans watching in horror as their team crumbled against Australia.

PCB tweeted the video with a caption that said:

“Fans can’t believe it. #PAKvAUS.”

Starc was the pick of the bowlers for the visitors, claiming three wickets.

Skipper Pat Cummins also impressed but had only one wicket to show against his name while all-rounder Cameron Green also took one wicket.

For Pakistan, captain Babar Azam showed some fight in the middle as he top-scored with 36 runs.

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The next best batters were Imam-ul-Haq (20) and Nauman Ali (20 not out).

At sumps on Day 3, Australia reached 81 for 1 in their second innings enjoying a healthy lead of 489 runs.

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Abrasive Nature Of Karachi Pitch Helped In Getting Reverse Swing: Mitchell Starc

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Mitchell Starc celebrates a wicket in 2nd Test vs Pakistan© AFP

Australia pacer Mitchell Starc on Monday said the abrasive nature of the Karachi pitch helped him and Pat Cummins gain substantial reverse swing as the visitors bowled out Pakistan for 148 runs in the second Test. Asked in a media interaction why Australian bowlers didn’t get much reverse swing in the first Test in Rawalpindi, Starc said for one they didn’t expect the pitch in Karachi to deteriorate so quickly.

“This track is much more abrasive and the wicket footholds will also encourage the spinners in next two days. I feel there are more cracks on this abrasive wicket and this has played a big part in us achieving reverse swing.

“Another factor is that the square and practice wickets here are also dry and basically mud and the weather is also warmer and more dry compared to Pindi so that has helped us reverse the ball both ways.” Starc also said that before coming to Pakistan for their first Test tour in 24 years, Australia had done their homework and had some thorough discussions and gone through all the scenarios they expected to face here.

“In Melbourne before flying out here we spent one full day only on bowling reverse swing because in the Ashes series mostly we had the new and hard ball and didn’t get many opportunities for reversing the ball.” The Australian veteran said he would give full credit to the Australian batters to set up a big total and put their team in the box seat over the next two days.

He also said that captain Cummins had not discussed anything with him before deciding not to enforce the follow on on Monday.

“I think probably because of the position we found ourselves in we had a lot of scenarios before us and mainly we don’t want to bat last on this pitch.” Asked when was the last time he had seen the ball reverse as it did in Karachi, Starc said it happened a couple of times, probably in the series against India.

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To a question, Starc who took three wickets and missed out on a hat trick, added: “We are searching to improve our record in the subcontinent and in away series and we have as a group had a lot of discussion and thorough conversations in lead up to this series and even after the Pindi Test on how to do this.”

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

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Watch: Mitchell Starc’s 145kph Thunderbolt Ends Fawad Alam’s Long Wait In One Ball

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Mitchell Starc was on top of his game as his spell of three for 29 saw Australia bowl out Pakistan for a paltry of 148 in the first innings on Day 3 of the ongoing second Test at the National Stadium in Karachi. However, Starc’s “blazing yorker” which got the better of Fawad Alam hogged all the limelight on a day dominated by the Australian bowlers. The delivery was clocked at 145kph and Alam was completely beaten by the pace as the ball tailed in and crashed into his pads.

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) shared the video of the dismissal on their official Twitter handle.

Watch: Mitchell Starc’s Blazing Yorker To Fawad Alam

This was Fawad Alam’s first opportunity to contribute with either bat, ball in this series. The experienced left-hander did not get an opportunity to bat or bowl in the first Test. Alam’s seven-day wait ended in a golden duck as he was dismissed off the first ball.

After rolling over Pakistan for cheap, Australia took a first innings lead of 408.

The visitors were 81 for one at stumps on Day 1, extending their lead to 489 with Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne unbeaten on 35 and 37, respectively.

David Warner was dismissed on 7 by Hasan Ali.

Earlier, Australia had declared their first innings at 556 for nine, thanks to Khawaja’s marathon knock of 160 runs, followed by a quickfire 93 by wicketkeeper-batter Alex Carey.

The first Test in Rawalpindi had earlier ended in an unentertaining draw after batters had dominated their counterparts.

The pitch used for the Rawalpindi Test had drawn a lot of criticism from several current and former players.

As a result, the Pakistan team was also handed one demerit point for it.

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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, with all the white-ball games set to be played in Rawalpindi.

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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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