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Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test Day 2: Pakistan in Command

The hospitality of the Australian team, playing its first Test in Pakistan after 23 years, it seems will be restricted to off the field. On the field the home batsmen took full advantage of a typical slow sub-continental wicket at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium.

Match Summary

Pakistan 476/4d (162 ov)

Australia *5/0 (1 ov)

Day Break : Day 2 Australia trail by 471 runs.

SCORECARD

The death of two legend Australians – Rodney Marsh and Shane Warne – has shaken the cricket world and the tourists for the second day running, walked out with black arm bands.

Having resumed on 245-1 on the second morning, Pakistan only added 57 runs in the first session without losing a wicket and were all set to enjoy the run feast. Imam-ul-Haq , with his maiden hundred in his 12th Test, has taken a positive stride in order to shake the nepotism tag that he has carried, as nephew of the great Inzamam-ul-Haq. Drafted in to the team due to Abid Ali’s heart condition, his 157 with 16 fours and two sixes against an attack featuring Starc, Hazlewood, Cummins & Lyon, is set to get him up the pecking order in selectors’ mind. He added 105 with his opening partner, Abdullah Shafique and another 208 with Azhar Ali for the second wicket.

On his day Ali Azhar can bat for ever and his calm demenaeour and experience is so crucial for a No.3 batting position. There was a hint of reverse swing and spin on day one but Australians knew early on, losing the toss had put them on the back foot, particularly on a batting track. Some of the half chances didn’t go to hand and Pakistan batsmen flourished in these near-perfect batting conditions. At tea with the score having reached 394-2, Pakistan needed to up the tempo and would lose captain Babar Azam run out for 36. With overcast skies necessitating lights to be switched on, Azhar was nearing his double hundred – the third of his Test career – but got out to a reverse sweep on 185 in a six-hour stay at the wicket. It was an unselfish dismissal for Pakistan’s cause and that is always good to see. 

Promoting Mohammad Rizwan showed positive intent from Babar, however the pitch did not allow for him to play his natural game. A brace of boundaries of Hazlewood in the 159th over signalled his intent and with Iftikhar Ahmed the pair added 34 quickfire runs in 38 balls. After a monumental 162 overs, Babar Azam declared with the total at 476-4.  A bizarre 15 minutes of the heavy roller delayed proceedings, which meant the juicy encounter between Shaheen Afridi vs David Warner would have to wait. Due to poor light, the umpires mutually agreed play would only commence with spin. Sajid Khan was trusted with the new cherry and found some turn in his first over which was played comfortably by Usman Khawaja for five runs. That was to be it for the day as the sun had set and light was not improving. Play has been scheduled to start 10 mins earlier at 09:50 local time. The day belonged to Azhar Ali who took full advantage of the batting conditions to nail home Pakistan’s advantage. An intriguing third day awaits with Pakistan’s bowlers having the new ball first up.


Pakistan - Fall of wickets: Fall of wickets: 1-105 (Abdullah Shafique - 33.6 ov), 2-313 (Imam ul Haq - 120.5 ov), 3-414 (Babar Azam - 147.1 ov), 4-442 (Azhar Ali - 155.4 ov)

Playing XIs

Pakistan: Imam ul Haq, Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (C), Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan (WK), Iftikhar Ahmed, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Afridi

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

Match Details
Toss: Pakistan won the toss & elected to bat
Venue: Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi
Start time: Friday, March 4, 2022 05:00
Match officials: Ahsan Raza, Aleem Dar (On-field Umpires); Asif Yaqoob (TV Umpire);  Ranjan Madugalle (Match-referee)

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