Pakistan faces uphill battle as Australia sets challenging total


MELBOURNE: The ongoing Melbourne Test continues to unfold with Pakistan grappling against Australia’s formidable first innings total of 318 runs. At the end of the day’s play, Pakistan finds itself at 156 for 5 wickets, facing an uphill task in response to the host’s commanding performance.

Pakistan’s innings commenced with openers Abdullah Shafiq and Imamul Haq taking the crease. However, the early optimism was short-lived as Inamul Haq departed for just 10 runs, caught by Nathan Lyon. Abdullah Shafiq showed resilience, contributing a notable 62 runs to the scoreboard before falling victim to Cummins at 124 runs.

The wickets continued to tumble for Pakistan, with Babar Azam (1 run), the team captain (54 runs), and Saud Shakeel (9 runs) succumbing to the relentless Australian bowling attack. At 151 runs, half of the Pakistani team had returned to the pavilion.

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As the day concluded, Mohammad Rizwan (6 runs) and Agha Salman (1 run) remained at the crease, tasked with steering Pakistan through a challenging situation.

Reflecting on Australia’s first innings, Pakistani bowlers displayed commendable prowess on the second day of the Test match, dismissing seven Australian players. The host team, having won the toss and elected to bat, had set a total of 318 runs on the first day.

David Warner (38 runs) and Usman Khawaja (42 runs) opened the innings for Australia, facing notable challenges from Pakistani bowlers. Agha Salman’s delivery accounted for Warner’s wicket, while Hasan Ali dismissed Khawaja. Rain briefly interrupted the match with Australia at 114 for 2 wickets.

Upon resumption, the Australian batting lineup faced further setbacks, with Steven Smith (26 runs) falling to Aamir Jamal. The first day concluded with Marnus Labushin (44 runs) and Travis Head (9 runs) at the crease.

On the second day, Head added 17 runs to Australia’s total before being caught by Agha Salman off Shaheen Afridi. Labushin’s commendable knock of 63 runs was halted by Abdullah Shafiq off Aamir Jamal, while Mitchell Marsh contributed 41 runs before being caught by Amir Jamal off Mir Hamza.

Despite the lower-order resistance, the Australian innings concluded at 318 runs, with Aamir Jamal securing three wickets, and Shaheen Afridi, Mir Hamza, and Hasan Ali claiming two wickets each. Salman Ali Agha also chipped in with one wicket.

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