Babar, Sarfraz help Pakistan tighten hold over Australia in final Test
ABU DHABI (Web Desk) –A splendid 99 from Babar Azam and a controlled 81 from Sarfraz Ahmed helped Pakistan tighten their hold over Australia on Day 3 of the second and final Test in Abu Dhabi.
Pakistan batted through the best part of the day to amass 400/9 in their second innings before declaring. That set Australia a target of 538, and they began their pursuit with Shaun Marsh opening with Aaron Finch in place of Usman Khawaja, who was off the field because of a knee injury sustained during warm-up before the day’s play.
The change didn’t really work for the visitors, with Marsh bowled by Mir Hamza in the second over.
Travis Head replaced Marsh in the middle and the two ensured that there was no further damage, taking the total to 47/1, 491 behind. Finch was on 24*, while Head was on 17*.
Pakistan started the day with Azhar Ali and Haris Sohail at the crease, armed with a 281-run lead. Nathan Lyon, who troubled Sohail with his flight, turn and spin in the morning, finally dismissed the batsman by getting him stumped in the 50th over.
Ali departed less than three overs after that, falling to one of the most bizarre run outs ever seen. The right-hander edged one from Peter Siddle down to thirdman. The batsmen – Ali and Asad Shafiq – seemed to think that the ball had hit the advertising board, and got together mid-pitch for a conference.
But Mitchell Starc retrieved the ball as it stopped inches before the line and threw it to wicket-keeper Tim Paine, who clipped the bails off to claim an extraordinary dismissal.
Ali had to return to the pavilion after adding 64 runs to Pakistan’s total. Australia had a foot in the door at this point and with a couple of quick wickets, could have put the pressure back on the hosts. Asad Shafiq, however, put the run out behind him quickly to build a solid partnership with Azam, who replaced Ali at the crease.
The two added 75 runs for the fifth wicket before Shafiq fell to Marnus Labuschagne in the 75th over. Shafiq tried to cut a short, wide delivery from the spinner, only to strike it straight to substitute Ashton Agar at backward point. His was the only wicket that fell in the second session, as Azam and Sarfraz Ahmed steered Pakistan’s lead to 487 before tea.
Azam cut, drove and flicked his way through. Ahmed played the perfect second fiddle, following up on his counter-attacking 94 in the first innings with a 123-ball 81 in the third. The Pakistan skipper frustrated the Australian bowling attack with his measured presence and helped amplify his team’s supremacy in the game.
Azam was well on course to bring up his maiden Test century in his 15th Test match, but was trapped lbw by Mitchell Marsh at 99. He reviewed the on-field umpire’s decision, but the big screen flashed three reds back at him.
Bilal Asif, who came in after Azam’s dismissal, couldn’t hang around for too long and was dismissed by Nathan Lyon off the first delivery of his late spell. Yasir Shah fell five balls later, as the Australian spinner trapped him in front of the wicket to claim Australia’s eighth wicket of the innings. Ahmed tried to accelerate the scoring thereafter but was dismissed leg-before to a full delivery from Labuschagne.
Pakistan batted for 10 more deliveries before declaring, giving themselves a chance to have a crack at Australia’s top order for 12 overs.
Pakistan 1st innings Fakhar Zaman lbw Marnus Labuschagne 94 Mohammad Hafeez c Marnus Labuschagne b Mitchell Starc 4 Azhar Ali c&b Nathan Lyon 15 Haris Sohail c Travis Head b Nathan Lyon 0 Asad Shafiq c Marnus Labuschagne b Nathan Lyon 0 Babar Azam b Nathan Lyon 0 Sarfraz Ahmed c Peter Siddle b Marnus Labuschagne 94 Bilal Asif c Tim Paine b Marnus Labuschagne 12 Yasir Shah b Mitchell Marsh 28 Mohammad Abbas b Mitchell Starc 10 Mir Hamza Not Out 4 Extras 11b 6lb 4nb 0pen 0w 21 Total (81.0 overs) 282 all out Fall of Wickets : 1-5 Hafeez, 2-57 Ali, 3-57 Sohail, 4-57 Shafiq, 5-57 Azam, 6-204 Zaman, 7-226 Asif, 8-247 Ahmed, 9-264 Shah, 10-282 Abbas Bowling Ov Md Rn Wk Econ Ex Mitchell Starc 12 3 37 2 3.08 2nb Peter Siddle 10 3 39 0 3.90 1nb Mitchell Marsh 7 2 21 1 3.00 1nb Nathan Lyon 27 5 78 4 2.89 Jon Holland 13 3 45 0 3.46 Marnus Labuschagne 12 2 45 3 3.75 ................................................................. Australia 1st innings Usman Khawaja c Sarfraz Ahmed b Mohammad Abbas 3 Aaron Finch c Fakhar Zaman b Bilal Asif 39 Peter Siddle lbw Mohammad Abbas 4 Shaun Marsh c Haris Sohail b Mohammad Abbas 3 Travis Head c Asad Shafiq b Mohammad Abbas 14 Mitchell Marsh c Asad Shafiq b Yasir Shah 13 Marnus Labuschagne Run Out Yasir Shah 25 Tim Paine lbw Bilal Asif 3 Mitchell Starc lbw Mohammad Abbas 34 Nathan Lyon b Bilal Asif 2 Jon Holland Not Out 2 Extras 0b 3lb 0nb 0pen 0w 3 Total (50.4 overs) 145 all out Fall of Wickets : 1-16 Khawaja, 2-20 Siddle, 3-36 Marsh, 4-56 Head, 5-75 Marsh, 6-85 Finch, 7-91 Paine, 8-128 Labuschagne, 9-132 Lyon, 10-145 Starc Bowling Ov Md Rn Wk Econ Ex Mohammad Abbas 12.4 4 33 5 2.61 Mir Hamza 9 2 27 0 3.00 Yasir Shah 19 3 59 1 3.11 Bilal Asif 10 3 23 3 2.30 ......................................................... Pakistan 2nd innings Fakhar Zaman c&b Nathan Lyon 66 Mohammad Hafeez c Travis Head b Mitchell Starc 6 Azhar Ali Run Out Mitchell Starc 64 Haris Sohail st Tim Paine b Nathan Lyon 17 Asad Shafiq c (Sub) b Marnus Labuschagne 44 Babar Azam lbw Mitchell Marsh 99 Sarfraz Ahmed lbw Marnus Labuschagne 81 Bilal Asif c Travis Head b Nathan Lyon 15 Yasir Shah lbw Nathan Lyon 4 Mohammad Abbas Not Out 0 Mir Hamza Not Out 0 Extras 0b 2lb 2nb 0pen 0w 4 Total (120.0 overs) 400 decl Fall of Wickets : 1-15 Hafeez, 2-106 Zaman, 3-154 Sohail, 4-160 Ali, 5-235 Shafiq, 6-368 Azam, 7-390 Asif, 8-394 Shah, 9-400 Ahmed Bowling Ov Md Rn Wk Econ Ex Mitchell Starc 7 0 32 1 4.57 1nb Peter Siddle 23 4 68 0 2.96 Nathan Lyon 43 8 135 4 3.14 Jon Holland 16 3 46 0 2.88 Marnus Labuschagne 16 1 74 2 4.62 Mitchell Marsh 13 3 39 1 3.00 1nb Travis Head 2 0 4 0 2.00 ..................................... Australia 2nd innings Aaron Finch Not Out 24 Shaun Marsh b Mir Hamza 4 Travis Head Not Out 17 Extras 0b 2lb 0nb 0pen 0w 2 Total (12.0 overs) 47-1 Fall of Wickets : 1-10 Marsh To Bat : Marsh, Labuschagne, Paine, Khawaja, Starc, Siddle, Lyon, Holland Bowling Ov Md Rn Wk Econ Ex Mohammad Abbas 4 0 15 0 3.75 Mir Hamza 3 0 19 1 6.33 Yasir Shah 3 0 6 0 2.00 Bilal Asif 2 1 5 0 2.50 .................................... Umpire Sundaram Ravi Umpire Richard Illingworth Video Richard Kettleborough Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle