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Pakistan vs Australia, 3rd Test: Australia beat Pakistan by 115 runs to take series 1-0

Australia win the series 1-0
Australia win the series 1-0
Imam ul Haq  and Babar Azam
Imam ul Haq and Babar Azam

With the series still in balance on the last day of the third Test match at Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, Australia snatched a hard-earned victory by 115 runs. In doing so they have recorded only their third series win on Pakistan soil, following their previous high points, back in 1959 and 1994.


Match Summary

Pakistan vs Australia, 3rd Test, Australia tour of Pakistan

Pakistan 268/10 (116.4 ov) & 235/10 (92.1 ov)

Australia 391/10 (133.3 ov) & 227/3d (60 ov)

Result - Australia won by 115 runs




Needing 278 on the last day in 90 overs, Pakistan lost Abdullah Shafique to his overnight score of 27 when he edged Cameron Green to be taken by the wicket-keeper. Runs simply dried up and Pat Cummins was not giving away anything and that pressure was telling on some indecisiveness from the home batsman. Imam-ul-Haq chose to play Nathan Lyon’s off-spin even when he could have opted to use his pad, more so when crowded with four fielders around the bat.  Azhar Ali was the second wicket to fall when third umpire – Asif Yaqoob - ruled him out caught at slip off thinnest of spikes appearing on the ultra-edge frame. The batsman was fuming which some thought was result of inconclusive evidence.

At the end of long first session due to Friday prayers, Pakistan closed on 136-2 with an equation of further 215 runs required in 57 overs @ the rate of 3.77 runs per over. On a wearing wicket that didn’t allow free scoring, it was still a challenging equation. It was on the shoulders of Lyon, who had wheeled away with good rhythm and figures of 21-6-42-1 to show for, that Australia are expected to apply relentless pressure from one end, almost all day if needed.

On resumption in the second session Imam, who had 66 off 194 balls and worked very hard for his runs, fell to Lyon for 70. It was delivery pitched outside his leg stump and with three close-in fielders, he as per his intention all the way, decided not to pad it away and was caught at silly point. Fawad Alam having a torrid time against Mitchell Strac in the series so far, walked in with his side on 142-3. The Australians, one felt, wasted their second review when Starc claimed a leg-before against Fawad, which was an obvious case of bat and pad. These two needed to be still at tea for Pakistan to have any chance of a famous Test victory but Fawad could not progress much and was trapped leg-before to Cummins and even worse was the fact that Pakistan lost its second review. It would end up as a turning point in the end.

At the fall of the fourth wicket, Pakistan needed to survive 48.2 overs, that is if they decide to shut the shop and play for a draw. An odd delivery from Lyon’s had started to spit and bounce awkwardly and without the skills of captain Babar, it would be near impossible to take on the Australians. When Cummins trapped Mohammad Rizwan with an in-swinging yorker, Pakistan was out of it. The replay showed Rizwan should have asked for a review and since he was the last recognized batsman, before the five tail-enders. It was most bizzare for the ultra-competitive Pakistan wicket-keeper is always on the ball and after a brief chat with Babar was seen storming off in the comfort of the dressing room that was not the best place in the ground right now.

Pakistan captain himself escaped on 41 when the Australians fielders did not review a bat-pad catch off his glove, ending up behind the wicket-keeper and another catch in the deep was floored by Travis Head, who picked it up late and made a mess of it. Both chances were off Lyon. Tea was taken at 190-5 after 80 overs and Cummins with a tricky option of taking the new ball immediately. Pakistan still 161 runs adrift from their target needed to survive 37 overs and their captain, as so often in the present Test series, standing alone between the two sides.

The second new ball was taken by Strac and met with two well-timed boundaries by Sajid Khan, who with a first-class hundred to his credit was determined to hang around for Pakistan’s cause. Another three boundaries got the crowd excited and went into complete silence when Babar was out to a sharp low catch to his left at slip by Smith for a well-grafted 55 (104 balls) – his 21st fifty, off Lyon who had been asked to hold his end with the new ball. 

Having played so well for his 21 off 47 balls and four boundaries, Sajid’s dismissal was a touch tame as he flicked Starc straight to Usman Khawaja to mid-wicket, leaving Pakistan on 213-7 and still 32.5 overs to be bowled. The fielder happy to erase memory of a crucial miss at short cover, in the dying moments of the previous Test at Karachi, which eventually ended in a draw.  Australia would need to prize out the last three wickets in 32 overs with the knowledge that no review available to them. Hasan Ali with fairly good ability with the bat threw away his wicket going for a slog sweep when the ball went on to his stumps, off his helmet. The last rites were fittingly completed by Cummins, who finished with 3-23, supporting Lyon’s magnificent match-winning toil of 5-83 off 37 overs.


Match Stats

Australia 1st Innings Fall of wickets: 1-8 (David Warner - 2.3 ov), 2-8 (Marnus Labuschagne - 2.5 ov), 3-146 (Steven Smith - 56.2 ov), 4-187 (Usman Khawaja - 74.1 ov), 5-206 (Travis Head - 80.6 ov), 6-341 (Alex Carey - 119.6 ov), 7-353 (Cameron Green - 124.5 ov), 8-369 (Mitchell Starc - 129.6 ov), 9-374 (Nathan Lyon - 130.6 ov), 10-391 (Mitchell Swepson - 133.3 ov)

Pakistan 1st Innings Fall of wickets: 1-20 (Imam ul Haq - 12.1 ov), 2-170 (Abdullah Shafique - 71.2 ov), 3-214 (Azhar Ali - 86.4 ov), 4-248 (Fawad Alam - 106.3 ov), 5-256 (Mohammad Rizwan - 110.2 ov), 6-264 (Sajid Khan - 113.4 ov), 7-268 (Nauman Ali - 115.1 ov), 8-268 (Hasan Ali - 115.5 ov), 9-268 (Babar Azam - 116.1 ov), 10-268 (Naseem Shah - 116.4 ov)

Australia 2nd Innings Fall of wickets: 1-96 (David Warner - 28.1 ov), 2-161 (Marnus Labuschagne - 47.3 ov), 3-216 (Steven Smith - 58.5 ov)

Pakistan 2nd Innings Fall of wickets: 1-77 (Abdullah Shafique - 30.5 ov), 2-105 (Azhar Ali - 45.2 ov), 3-142 (Imam ul Haq - 61.2 ov), 4-165 (Fawad Alam - 68.4 ov), 5-167 (Mohammad Rizwan - 70.3 ov), 6-213 (Babar Azam - 83.3 ov), 7-213 (Sajid Khan - 84.1 ov), 8-226 (Hasan Ali - 87.6 ov), 9-232 (Shaheen Afridi - 89.3 ov), 10-235 (Naseem Shah - 92.1 ov)

Playing XIs

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

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

Match Details

Date - 22nd March, 05:00 AM

Venue - Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore, Lahore

Toss - Australia won the toss & elected to bat

Umpires - Ahsan Raza, Aleem Dar

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