Australia v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Day 3, Adelaide: Preview, prediction

Australia v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Day 3, Adelaide: Preview, prediction

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Day 2 ends at Adelaide with the hosts completely dominating the visitors. Although Pakistan’s most dependable batsman remains unbeaten at stumps on Saturday, there is less chance of his team being able to avoid the follow-on.

Australia began the day with Marnus Labuschagne and David Warner looking to accumulate more runs. The duo eventually separated after a grand partnership of 361 runs when Shaheen Shah Afridi once again came to rescue Pakistan. Marnus Labuschagne left for 162 but Warner did not stop. Steve Smith (36) and Matthew Wade (38*) lend support and Warner went on to score an outstanding unbeaten 335 runs. He became the 7th Australian to enter 300-club in Test cricket. He surpassed Don Bradman’s 299 which was the highest Test score at the venue. Warner looked all set to cross even Brian Lara’s 400 but Tim Paine decided to declare with Australia’s score on 589/3. Afridi took all three wickets of Aussie innings and remained the most economical bowler for Pakistan.

Pakistan began with a lot of pressure indeed which was visible from the beginning.  Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins struck and scalped two openers by the 12th over of Pakistan innings. Post that it was a single man show by Mitchell Starc. From 22/2 Pakistan were reduced to 89/6 in 32 overs. Babar Azam survived as a lone fighter and remained unbeaten on 43 against some top-class fast bowling.

No wonder Babar will try to reduce the margin and save the follow-on. Australia, on the other hand, will look for a quick wrap-up.

Key players

Mitchell Starc (Australia)- Mitchell Starc already picked up four wickets and will try to bag more on Day 3. Starc will be a key player for Australia tomorrow to gain a massive lead on board to defend.

Babar Azam (Pakistan)- The mainstay of Pakistan line-up Babar Azam is still in the middle and that is the only ray of hope for Pakistan. The young lad has to put huge efforts to save Pakistan from a follow-on.

Prediction

Pakistan to face a follow-on.