Australia made a tremendous comeback in Rawalpindi’s run-fest
Seven hundred and forty-six runs for the loss of six wickets in nine sessions. So far, the Rawalpindi Test between Australia and Pakistan has been a run-fest. Day 3 was no different, with Australia finishing on 271 for 2, 205 runs behind when the stumps were drawn.
On Day 3, the only time the ball appeared to have the upper hand over the bat occurred during the opening hour of the morning session, when both Naseem Shah and Shaheen Afridi bowled incisive spells. Afridi twice smashed David Warner’s bat and also saw an edge scurry away to the third man boundary. He then came close to receiving a reward for his persistence, only for Fawad Alam to squander an opportunity at gully. Usman Khawaja received the reprieve. Naseem, on the other hand, exploited the yorker-short ball combo to keep the openers guessing.
Between the drives, Khawaja and Warner both executed some nice horizontal-bat strokes. Khawaja, in particular, performed with a positive attitude when the spinners were inserted. The southpaw employed the loft, reverse sweep, and cut in order to reintroduce pressure on Nauman Ali and Sajid Khan. Warner, too, looked active at the crease, collecting three boundaries off Iftikhar Ahmed in a single over.
Pakistan made the breakthrough shortly after the lunch break when Warner attempted to cut Sajid and was cleaned up for 68. Marnus Labuschagne, who took over for Warner, kept the scoreboard ticking with his drive, glance, and cut. Pakistan took another wicket against the run of play at that stage when Khawaja gloved a reverse sweep to the short leg fielder. Pakistan was forced to use the DRS to overturn the decision after Khawaja fell three runs short of a well-deserved century.
Just as Labuschagne completed his fifty, Pakistan’s spinners were unable to put together maiden overs. His innings have been defined by his ability to pick the length swiftly, which has enabled him to make efficient use of the crease. He and Steven Smith stitched another 50-plus stand before the final session was ruined by terrible light and drizzle. Afridi was unquestionably Pakistan’s greatest bowler on display. Despite the fact that he has failed to claim a wicket for his efforts thus far.