Australia have tightened their grip at the Adelaide Test as Pakistan are currently tottering at 39/3 in their second innings at the end of day 3.
Pakistan started the day at 96/6 and the target for Babar Azam and Yasir Shah was to anyhow manage to reach the follow-on target of 390. The duo batted with lots of grit and determination and added hundred runs in their partnership. Babar batted brilliantly and was looking set to claim second century of the series but Mitchell Starc bowled a pitch of a delivery and a one-handed catch by Tim Paine ended Babar’s innings for 97. Despite Babar’s wicket, Yasir continued to bat. He along with Mohammad Abbas added 87 runs for the 9th wicket and scored his maiden Test century. Yasir’s special innings took Pakistan to 302 but when he was dismissed Australia still had a lead of 287 runs. Mitchell Starc finished with six wickets for 66 runs and Pat Cummins had 3/83.
Tim Paine enforced the follow-on and Pakistan lost Imam-ul-Haq immediately for a duck to Josh Hazlewood. They kept struggling as Australians bowled brilliantly under lights and Starc got rid of the captain Azhar Ali for nine. Hazlewood’s next prey was Babar who could not repeat his first innings heroics. A late evening rain ended the day early with Pakistan still requiring 248 runs to save an innings defeat.
Tomorrow morning will be comparatively easier to bat. However, Pakistan still need herculean efforts from their batsmen to save this match.
Key Players –
Mitchell Starc (Australia) – Starc already has seven wickets in this match and can easily go for a 10-wicket haul. His left arm angle is creating lots of problems for the Pakistani batsmen and how they can handle Starc will decide their fate this Test.
Asad Shafiq (Pakistan) – With Babar Azam back in the hut, Pakistan depend a lot on Asad Shafiq now. The 70-Test old guy should possess the technique of keeping these Australian bowlers at bay. If he and Shan Masood can build a partnership in the first session and guide the lower order, Pakistan still have some hope.
Australia to complete an innings victory after some Pakistan late order resistance.