Pakistan vs Australia, live scores :
Australia : 113/0 (31.0 Ovs), Pakistan : 454
Australia trail by 341 runs
Pakistan’s batsmen looked to take on Nathan Lyon and succeeded in their endeavour. Misbah, the captain known for playing fine lofted strokes against spinners thwacked Lyon over wide long on for a six. Shafiq too showed fine wrist-work to essay a boundary off Lyon. Pakistan certainly are looking to blunt Johnson and take on Lyon. Misbah then completed his fifty.
Both Shafiq and Misbah continued to milk spinners to put Pakistan ahead in the game. Australia are too reliant on Johnson to take wickets here and they need others to step up to plate and deliver. Pakistan on the other hand will look to amass at least 400 runs on the board. The track is offering slow turn.
Misbah in an attempt to go after Smith’s part-time leg-spin holed out to Johnson and lost his wicket. Misbah would be kicking himself for throwing his wicket away. He looked set to get a century today. Clarke would be a happy man for sure as the game was slipping away from their grasp.
On one hand, Shafiq played with assuredness and calmness of a 50-Test veteran to aggregate a fifty. On the other hand, Sarfaz, with his pyrotechnics, gave impetus to the innings. He used his feet well to spinners and opened up his stance to guide Johnson more through the third-man to put Pakistan ahead. Pakistan ended up with 328/5 at Lunch on Day 2.
Pakistan’s batsmen continued to make Australian bowlers toil hard at the start of the second session. It must be heart-warming for Pakistan’s think-tank to see the way their batsmen have applied themselves especially against the pace and hostility of Johnson.
Finally, O’Keefe took his first when Shafiq tried to sweep him, but was caught by Mitchell Marsh at square-leg. O’Keefe has toiled hard in this Test, but perhaps didn’t get his lines right on Day 1. Shafiq and Sarfraz though, have put Pakistan in command.
Sarfraz has certainly come a long way since playing for Pakistan Under 19s in 2006. He showed that today by playing some stunning shots to leave the Australians in a state of dizziness. He used his quick hands to good effect throughout his innings. The unfettered joy with which he celebrated his hundred gave an inkling as to how much the century against Australia meant to him. Well done!
Australian then picked up a few wickets including that of Sarfraz, but Pakistan surely were controlling the proceedings at the end of the second session. Rahat was dismissed at the start of the third session as Pakistan were bowled out for 454. Babar was hit flush on the glove and retired out.
Hafeez, the off-spinner, caused a few problems especially while bowling to Rogers from around the wicket. He got a few to turn and rest of the deliveries just went straight on. Now that is when a left-hander has to show good technique and temperament to come through.
Babar bowled with good control and flight to trouble both left-handed batsmen. Rogers who likes to play back found himself in trouble and even edged one to Younis Khan in the slips but Younis dropped a catch that should have been easily caught. Pakistan may rue that missed opportunity. It meant that Warner and Rogers put on a 50-run stand for the first wicket.
Australia ended the day’s play on a strong note. In particular, Warner played with utmost ease against Pakistan’s spinners to give Aussies genuine hope of coming out with at least a draw in this game. The way he came down the wicket to thrash Yasir Ali, the leg-spinner, for a six down the ground showed his class. Rogers too gave good support and Australia finished the second day on 113/0.