Australia v Pakistan: Boxing Day Test, day four – live | Australia cricket team

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Key events

31st over: Pakistan 124-3 (Babar 31, Shakeel 9) Another stylish shot running fine from Shakeel, a pull, but this time Hazlewood collects and they only run one. Cummins has 2 for 27 as Babar ducks and weaves.

30th over: Pakistan 122-3 (Babar 30, Shakeel 8) Time for Mitch Marsh to have a Guy Rundle. A few singles, most notably when Babar flicks with gorgeous timing but hits the man at midwicket, ricocheting a run to mid on.

Speaking of ricochets, did you see Glenn Maxwell’s left-handed pinball shot for three to win a 7-over chase? That’s peak Maxwell.

29th over: Pakistan 118-3 (Babar 28, Shakeel 7) Two slips, gully, leg slip for the left-handed Shakeel as Cummins bounds to the crease like a happy pony. Flicked past that leg slip, and even though fine leg is set quite fine, Hazlewood can’t quite get there. Fumbles it sliding in. Four, then a couple more with a picturesque off drive from Shakeel.

Klaxon: psychological 200-run barrier breached.

28th over: Pakistan 111-3 (Babar 27, Shakeel 1) The new man’s duckless streak to start his Test career goes up to 17 innings, pushing Lyon for one run to the leg side, hanging back.

Don’t be so duckless, throw down your guns…

27th over: Pakistan 110-3 (Babar 27, Shakeel 0) They started that over well. Nudged a single, Babar punched three runs into the off side. But the wicket follows. Saud Shakeel emerges and blocks his first three balls.

WICKET! Masood c Smith b Cummins 60, Pakistan 110-3

The captain goes! In the way he often does, pushing at a length that isn’t quite full enough, edging to slip. Some movement off the straight. Of course, it’s Cummins. It’s always Cummins. Pure quality bowling once again. Masood with 54 in the first innings, 60 in the second, has played a lovely hand but needed to make one of those a defining score. His team’s target is 207 away.

26th over: Pakistan 106-2 (Masood 59, Babar 24) Schhhhhpanked! Last ball of the over, having been handed strike by his captain, and the previous captain Babar decides to take the attack to Lyon. Skips merrily down and lashes a drive over the bowler’s head.

25th over: Pakistan 101-2 (Masood 58, Babar 20) Two more pulls against Starc, Masood getting one run and Babar belting four over midwicket. That’s a good sign for Pakistan.

I missed this email from Kirk Docker yesterday, and it might be worth answering for broader elightenment. “At the ground, and can’t understand why the scoreboard goes with Aamir and Afridi whereas the telecast goes with Shaheen and Jamal. Clearly they’re aware of what each other would be doing, so someone is wrong but choosing to stay the way they are. Any help understanding would be appreciated.”

I don’t have the expertise to give detail, but broadly speaking the range of racial and cultural groups within Pakistan mean lots of different naming conventions. Most don’t follow the Western standard of personal first name / family last name. There might be a personal name first, or middle of three, while the final name might be the person’s father. Names like Afridi or Khan tend to represent broader clans or regions the person hails from. You don’t tend to call someone by a name like Ali or Shah because those are so commonly appended. Likewise you rarely call someone Mohammed because it’s such a common, at times ceremonial, name. You use one of their other names to distinguish which person.

So each Pakistani player has their best-use name that you have to figure out by usage and precedent and asking questions. And you get a feel for it over time.

The scoreboard operators have become confused that some players are called by first names, so they’ve gone with everyone’s first name. They had Rizwan listed as Mohammed, even. The TV operators have become a bit more savvy and started mixing it up as the series has gone on.

For reference, our OBO one-name list for this XI is Shafique, Imam, Masood, Babar, Shakeel, Rizwan, Salman, Jamal, Shaheen, Hasan, Hamza. Further intel is always welcome.

24th over: Pakistan 96-2 (Masood 57, Babar 16) Shan Masood carries on! Punishes a short ball from Lyon with a slashing cut for four, then taps a single to cover. Babar nudges a run to leg. Masood cuts another. Seven from this over.

Half century! Shan Masood 50 from 57 balls

23rd over: Pakistan 89-2 (Masood 51, Babar 15) The skipper is flying! Flicks Starc away through backward square, a low full toss that skims for four, then pushes two through cover to reach fifty for the second time in this Test. Glances a single to follow, and Babar is able to clip two from a straight ball. A nine-run over is a boon for Pakistan. 228 to win.

Masood raises his bat after making 50.
Masood raises his bat after making 50. Photograph: Asanka Brendon Ratnayake/AP

22nd over: Pakistan 80-2 (Masood 44, Babar 13) Shan Masood makes two more contributions towards that target in this over, first a laced cover drive for four, then pulling Hazlewood for three.

Geoff Lemon

Geoff Lemon

Hello gang. Thanks Jim. “At what point is it game on?” was the conversation in the press box just before I took the controls. With the way this Pakistan team has collapsed through the middle this series, I’m saying this pair need to take them to 200 before I’ll entertain the idea.

James Wallace

James Wallace

21st over: Pakistan 73-2 (Masood 37, Babar 13) Close and ouch! Starc replaces Cummins and Masood drives uppishly, the ball dying awkwardly before Labuschagne at mid off and clonking him on the inside of the kneecap. Marnus doesn’t miss the opportunity to throw himself about like a freshly caught trout on a riverbank/English Premier League soccer player. The players stop for a slurp of fluorescent liquid whilst he gets some treatment. I think he’ll be fine.

Masood collects three square of the wicket and singles each to him and Babar complete the over. That’s my stint come to an end. Geoff Lemon is here to take you through what promises to be an intriguing afternoon and evening. Goodbye!

Marnus Labuschagne rolls on the ground after being hit by the ball.
Marnus Labuschagne rolls on the ground after being hit by the ball. Photograph: Joel Carrett/EPA

20th over: Pakistan 68-2 (Masood 33, Babar 12) Six runs off the over as Pakistan get fitter happier more productive. A long way from comfortable. Babar drives for two into the covers and follows up with a sublime clip through midwicket for four.

19th over: Pakistan 62-2 (Masood 33, Babar 6) Cummins once more. There’s simply no let up with this Aussie attack. Masood survives a top edge from a short ball that beat his pull shot for pace, the ball landing safe behind the keeper. Decidedly unconvincing. Babar’s feet get stuck in cement as Cummins rips one past the outside edge. Another short ball swings after the bat and Carey does well to claw it down.

18th over: Pakistan 60-2 (Masood 33, Babar 6) Hazlewood looks dangerous and almost impossible to score off, spearing the ball in on a length and nipping it around at box height. Masood just manages to jab down in time and pocket a single as the ball hits bat then thigh pad and drops into the off side.

17th over: Pakistan 59-2 (Masood 32, Babar 6) Cummins goes short to Masood who pulls confidently for wide of long on and picks up three runs. How’s that gone there?! Babar aims a flick to leg and the ball balloons off his edge and flies to the boundary at deep third. Chalk ‘em up. Cummins responds with two snorters that beat the outside edge. He takes his cap off the umpire with a rueful grin.

16th over: Pakistan 52-2 (Masood 29, Babar 2) A vociferous appeal from Josh Hazlewood who thinks he’s got Babar with an in-ducker! Umpire Joel Wilson says not out and Cummins sends it upstairs. So close but stays NOT OUT. The ball was just going over the middle bail groove by the width of a gossamer strand.

15th over: Pakistan 51-1 (Masood 28, Babar 2) Babar gets off the mark with a delicious cover drive off Cummins that runs deep into the covers – my days! – a mix up in the middle nearly sees a pointless run out! A dot ball follows. Breathe.

WICKET! Imam-ul-Haq lbw b Cummins 12 (Pakistan 49-2)

Got him at the second time of asking in the over! Full and angling in, Cummins bowls identikit deliveries to Imam. The first is given not out on the field by umpire Michael Gough but two balls later the umpire gives a nod and raises the digit of doom. The DRS shows both deliveries were pretty much hitting the same spot on the top of leg stump. Imperious from Cummins – Pakistan lose their second and Babar Azam comes to the crease, an invisible shoulder yoke of hopes and fears balanced across his shoulders.

Cummins celebrates taking a wicket
Cummins takes the wicket of Imam-ul-Haq lbw. Photograph: Morgan Hancock/CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images

14th over: Pakistan 49-1 (Imam 12, Masood 22) AyeAye! Masood dons his tap shoes and comes twinkling down the track to slap Lyon over midwicket for four. Good intent from Pakistan.

13th over: Pakistan 43-1 (Imam 12, Masood 22) Close! Cummins gets some late movement and darts one past the edge of Imam. A sketchy single sees the opener get off strike the next ball – he hasn’t settled into any kid of groove in this innings thus far.

12th over: Pakistan 41-1 (Imam 11, Masood 22) The Pakistan physio scampers out to give Masood a spritz of magic spray on his left hand, he’s taken a couple of blows so far in this innings, my mind jumps to the innings Pujara played at the Gabba a couple of years ago. This MCG pitch is zippy, but nowhere near as spicy as that one was on day 5.

A single to each batter pocketed off an ever-probing Nathan Lyon.

11th over: Pakistan 39-1 (Imam 10, Masood 21) Cummins has the ball. He thunders in with the sun on his back and induces a smart leave from Imam. A single is then punched through the leg side to bring Masood on strike. He uses the pace of Pat and opens the face to steer two runs wide of point. The Pakistan skipper leaves the next ball wide of off stump well alone but gets in a bit of a tangle pulling a short ball behind square, the ball squirting away for a single.

10th over: Pakistan 35-1 (Imam 9, Masood 18) Pakistan have come out positively! Imam clips Lyon through midwicket for three runs. Masood then rocks back and crrrunches a cut shot in front of square for four. That’s good stuff from the visitors – they have to keep the run rate ticking and try and put some pressure back onto Australia’s bowlers.

Righto, the players are emerging after the lunch break. Shan Masood scratches his guard with purpose, Nathan Lyon prowls around at the top of his mark. Crucial afternoon session from the MCG incoming.

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Time for me to pad quietly to the fridge yet again. 1.45am. Metabolism silently yearning for some respite.

Lunch – Pakistan 25-1 (require 292 more to win)

Cripes! All happening out there before lunch. Starc sends down a yorker that Imam goes to flick into the leg side – a leading edge sees the ball pop back to Starc in his follow through, the bowler hangs out a mitt but the ball hits his palm and slaps out again, falling to the turf by the bowler’s feet. Tricky but they often stick.

Eeeesht – Starc sprays one well wide of off stump and Imam leans back to try and smear it over the off side, connecting only with the Melbourne breeze. Not the shot of a man clinging on for lunch. Starc goes full again and this time Imam times it perfectly, the ball skimming to the boundary like a pebble on glass. A dot ends the over and the session. Another fascinating couple of hours in this Test – Pakistan need 292 runs and have 9 wickets remaining.

9th over: Pakistan 25-1 (Imam 6, Masood 12)

8th over: Pakistan 21-1 (Imam 1, Masood 12) Drama! Lyon pins Masood in front, the ball sliding past the batter’s forward prod and thudding into the knee roll. Lyon appeals confidently and with a giggle, the umpire raises the finger and gives the Pakistan captain OUT! Masood consults with Imam and sends it upstairs…. pitched in line, hit in line – MISSING! DRS shows the ball going just over the top of the bails and Masood survives!

7th over: Pakistan 20-1 (Imam 0, Masood 12) Well batted Shan Masood. After taking the hit in the last over he flicks a Starc yorker away with aplomb and follows that up with another boundary, guiding with velvet hands past point for four more. Nathan Lyon is coming on to bowl, we might get a couple of overs in before lunch. Can Pakistan survive to the interval without any further losses?

6th over: Pakistan 10-1 (Imam 0, Masood 2) Ouch! Hazlewood spears one in short this time and Masood misses the pull shot – the ball thwomping into his stomach. The tv coverage clocks the blow at 108kph at moment of impact. Masood takes a couple of moments to get his breath back. Let’s hope it’s just a bruise and not a broken rib or something similar. He survives the over. Just about.

5th over: Pakistan 9-1 (Imam 0, Masood 1) Pakistan skipper Shan Masood is in early at first drop and he has to contend with Mitchell Starc steaming in with his dander well and truly elevated. Starc gifts a bit of width and Masood carves with an angled bat to pick up a single. Pakistan need to make it through the next ten minutes to lunch without losing any more.

WICKET! Abdullah Shafique c Khawaja b Starc 4 (Pakistan 8-1)

The pressure does tell! Shafique is drawn into a wafty drive to a ball outside off that he could have left well alone. The edge flies at chest height to Khawaja in the slips and he makes no mistake with the catch. Poor Shafique will not look back on this match with fond memories, he could have done with a score to atone for his careless digits in the field.

Usman Khawaja takes a catch in the slips
Usman Khawaja takes a catch to dismiss Abdullah Shafique. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

4th over: Pakistan 8-0 (Shafique 4, Imam 0) Imam hangs his bat outside of off stump limply – like a beleaguered angler – and somehow manages to not edge Josh Hazlewood. Another maiden reeled* off, that’s three in a row. Pressure building, is something gonna give before lunch?

*I know. You know.

3rd over: Pakistan 8-0 (Shafique 4, Imam 0) Starc keeps Shafique honest with a sharp over – bouncer, full ball, back of a length, length – all with the threat of late movement. Another maiden.

2nd over: Pakistan 8-0 (Shafique 4, Imam 0) Josh Hazlewood starts at the other end and muzzles the chase with a probing over – skimming one past Imam’s edge.

1st over: Pakistan 8-0 (Shafique 4, Imam 0) Starc shapes the first ball back in and is met with a full face of Shafique’s bat as the opener drives down the ground for a couple to kick off the run chase. A nice clip for two through leg brings Shafique another couple and a fruitful first over for Pakistan ends with four leg-byes as Starc spears in a full ball that clips the boot down the leg side and whistles away for four.

Pakistan fans – what were you worried about?

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