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

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6th over: Australia 16-2 (Smith 0, Marsh 0) The hat-trick ball doesn’t work, the left-armer goes wide across Mitchell Marsh who is able to leave. Australia lead by only 70. Smith yet to score. Marsh edges into the gully, along the ground. The ball to Head (the only one) gets better with each replay, I should have pumped him up more.

WICKET! Head b Hamza 0, Australia 16-4

Ohhhhhh boy! Hamza is on a hat-trick! Fast and full, a bit of swing in, it’s not a totally unplayable yorker but it’s tricky to get first up, and Head plays across the line of it and is cleaned up!

WICKET! Warner b Hamza 6, Australia 16-3

Disastrous! Warner chops on! Plays a pull shot at a ball that wasn’t very short, the line was outside off stump. Is that the end that Starc got that one to keep low from to Shaheen earlier? This one does the same, bottom edge as he swings the bat around, back onto middle. Warner leaves the MCG in Australian colours for the last time, and gets a very generous ovation. With only 6 to his name, he doesn’t carry on with bat-waving, but turns in a circle to give a slightly sheepish thumbs-up as he crosses the rope.

David Warner walks off the MCG in a Test for the last time, dismissed by Mir Hamza.
David Warner walks off the MCG in a Test for the last time, dismissed by Mir Hamza. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

5th over: Australia 16-2 (Warner 6, Smith 0) Warner is away! Drives four down the ground when the bowler overpitches. Shaheen over the wicket, still getting the odd one down leg side to the left-hander, but otherwise bowling outside Warner’s off stump. The opener leaves where he can, and takes another leg bye to end the over, this one rebounding towards cover.

4th over: Australia 11-2 (Warner 2, Smith 0) Once we finally get going, Warner drops a single to leg and Smith gets a deflection off the pad for four leg byes. Hamza the bowler.

Well, this is one of the more bizarre things I’ve heard of at the cricket. We just had a delayed start to the second session by about six minutes because third umpire Richard Illingworth got stuck in a lift.


We shot our wrap of yesterday’s play in the MCC Library, by the way, if you want a look at that august institution. It is a true cricket nerd treasure trove in there, there’s an exhibition at the moment of some wonderful old documents, including the first dictionary to mention the word ‘cricket’, and some huge blown-up copies of the Sarfraz Nawaz scorecard from the famous 9-for.

Lunch on day three: Australia 6 for 2, leading by 60 in the third innings

Two early wickets, so Smith will begin with Warner after the break. Pakistan buoyant. Can they keep this coming?

Shaheen Afridi celebrates after picking up two early wickets before lunch.
Shaheen Afridi celebrates after picking up two early wickets before lunch. Photograph: Joel Carrett/AAP

WICKET! Labuschagne c Rizwan b Shaheen 4, Australia 6-2

3rd over: Australia 6-2 (Warner 1) Last ball before lunch, can you believe that!

They set him up for it, and it works at the last gasp. Shaheen’s second ball of the over has swing again, into Labuschagne, who manages an inside edge for four, one ball after he nearly gloves another attempt down the leg side. Slip and leg slip in place, and that’s where they want him to play. Shaheen bowls too wide of leg fro the fourth ball, then too wide of off. But with his last opportunity he gets it just on that leg stump line, and Labuschagne tries to glance but can’t catch up with the swing, edging it through and Rizwan erupts!

Marnus Labuschagne leaves the field after being dismissed by Shaheen Afridi.
Marnus Labuschagne leaves the field after being dismissed by Shaheen Afridi. Photograph: Joel Carrett/AAP

2nd over: Australia 2-1 (Warner 1, Labuschagne 0) Decent over from Hamza, keeps Warner quiet and makes him play at most of those balls, but can’t draw an error. Shan Masood is tweaking the field constantly. One more over until lunch.

1st over: Australia 2-1 (Warner 1, Labuschagne 0) First ball to Labuschagne, beats him handsomely too, shaping in and then seaming away from the right-hander this time. Gets too straight next ball and Labuschagne can get pad in the way outside leg stump and take an extra. Warner digs out a swinging yorker, then dabs away a single behind point.

WICKET! Khawaja c Rizwan b Shaheen 0, Australia 0-1

That’s the ideal start! Second ball of the innings, Shaheen comes left-arm over, angles it towards the stumps, swings it away, and kisses the edge of the bat. Wonderful new-ball bowling, that’s what Shaheen has struggled to achieve so far in Australia. Scrambles off the seam after it swings, at just the right length.

Shaheen Afridi celebrates the wicket of Usman Khawaja for a duck on day three.
Shaheen Afridi celebrates the wicket of Usman Khawaja for a duck on day three. Photograph: Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Australia to face a couple of overs before lunch…

Pakistan all out 264, Australia lead on the first innings by 54

Australia happy to have wrapped up Pakistan, but 54 isn’t a huge lead, the visitors have done well to haul it back to something manageable. They will still have to bowl very well to stay in this game, but that would have been the case had they been 50 in front. Batting last here will be hard. Australia in the best position, obviously.

WICKET! Hamza st Carey b Lyon 2, Pakistan 264-10

73.4 overs: Pakistan 264 (Jamal 33) Last-wicket stand, so Jamal goes laaaaarge! Charges Lyon and belts him way over midwicket for six. Not just over the rope, into the crowd. You have to hit them huge at the MCG and he does. Tries again next ball, and gets lucky. Cummins has pushed Travis Head out to that same spot, and a flat shot is spilt out there. Jamal has run a single, and may regret that, as Hamza swings at the next ball and misses. Has dragged his toe out of his ground as he gets down on one knee, and Carey has the bails off.

73rd over: Pakistan 257-9 (Jamal 26, Hamza 2) Mir Hamza gets off the mark with a sliced two. Cummins 5 for 48. Pakistan down by 61.

WICKET! Hasan Ali b Cummins 2, Pakistan 255-5

Five wickets for Pat Cummins, and that is gold-class fast bowling.

Does start with a bouncer, Hasan not having to do much as it goes down leg. Beats the outside edge with the next one, Hasan pushing at it. Couple of slips in, and Smith almost has a catch as Cummins gets the ball to rear! Horrible delivery. Hasan Ali knows nothing about it, he’s looking at the sky having yanked his head away as that ball crushes his gloves. The padding takes just enough pace off it to make it fall short. Then the fifth ball of the over goes straight through, serious inward jag off the pitch again. Hasan isn’t sure what to play, he’s hanging back, then pushes his hands down the line of the ball in a vain attempt at defence. But nowhere near it, and it hits the outside curve of the off stump.

Pat Cummins raises the ball to the crowd on Day 3 after taking five wickets.
Pat Cummins raises the ball to the crowd on Day 3 after taking five wickets. Photograph: Joel Carrett/AAP

72nd over: Pakistan 255-8 (Jamal 26, Hasan 2) Doing his bit is Hasan Ali, nudging one instead of trying a glory shot. And Jamal goes at Lyon too, a half step towards the pitch and smacks it over midwicket. The ball goes squarer than he intended but still picks up four. Then he pulls out the reverse sweep! Only gets one as Starc dives well at backward point, but an interesting shot.

Pakistan behind by 63. Pat Cummins is coming back on, eight overs short of the second new ball, four wickets in his pocket. Bumpers coming?

71st over: Pakistan 250-8 (Jamal 22, Hasan 1) At eight down, Jamal decides it’s time to go. Drives Starc square first of all, not entirely controlled but gets it past gully and away to the fence. Then gets his front foot out of the way and cannons an on drive down the ground! Serious hit, along the turf for four. That’s with a couple of singles to make it 10 from the over, and 68 behind.

70th over: Pakistan 240-8 (Jamal 13, Hasan 0) Eight down. Hasan Ali can bat, smashed a first-class ton in the Qaid comp a few years ago, as much as that was a one-off. A very risky counterattacking kind of innings, it was, and he came off. But he can smash runs for shorter periods more regularly, he’s hit 20 sixes and is in his 23rd Test. Blocks his first four balls today.

Lyon 3 for 61.

WICKET! Shaheen lbw Lyon 21, Pakistan 240-8

Off spin 101 from Lyon. Around the wicket, beats the edge of a forward grope from Shaheen, the left-hander with the off break turning away. Then bowls a straight one that hits him in line with off stump, the batter on the back foot awkwardly trying to get bat on it across the line. Hits him on the pad flap but it’s the back leg, so Shaheen’s review just shows it hitting the top of off stump.

Nathan Lyon celebrates the dismissal of Shaheen Shah Afridi on day three.
Nathan Lyon celebrates the dismissal of Shaheen Shah Afridi on day three. Photograph: Daniel Pockett/CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images

69th over: Pakistan 240-7 (Jamal 13, Shaheen 21) Nailed by Shaheen! That’s a good shot, gets on the front dog and clouts Starc out through the covers. Not the elegant timing type, more the give-it-everything type. Similar approach as he swings across the line and gets a top edge over Carey. Four more! Steve Smith from slip collects the ball and then stays on the fence, a very fine deep third rather than a true long stop behind the keeper. Next, a single to midwicket. “Good batting, good batting,” rumble the knowledgable.

That’s Shaheen’s highest Test score, and the gap between the teams is down to 78.

68th over: Pakistan 231-7 (Jamal 13, Shaheen 12) Lyon to Jamal, two through cover. Then beats the edge and then takes it in consecutive deliveries, but into the ground. Slip and leg slip. Jamal drives at width but on the bounce to cover this time. Drinks, with Pakistan behind by 87 runs.

67th over: Pakistan 229-7 (Jamal 11, Shaheen 12) Starc on for Cummins now, that long run in. Just one slip with this older ball, as well as a gully and a short leg standing a few paces back for Shaheen. Left-arm over the wicket to left-hand bat. Mostly defends, but gets surprised by a short ball that doesn’t get up and slams him on the gloves. He’s ok.

66th over: Pakistan 229-7 (Jamal 11, Shaheen 12) Vegemite on toast! Talk about a smear, Shaheen gets down on one knee and swipes Lyon over midwicket for another bouncing boundary. Unconvincing but it works this time.

65th over: Pakistan 223-7 (Jamal 10, Shaheen 7) A run going fine for Shaheen. Jamal aims a more powerful swing at Cummins but only gets one to fine leg. Cummins around the wicket to Shaheen, in at the pads but the Pakistani paceman keeps it out.

64th over: Pakistan 221-7 (Jamal 9, Shaheen 6) There goes Shaheen! Lyon back on, and the tall left-hander shuffles down and smears him over mid on. Not by much, but gets four. Keeps the strike too with a push square. The deficit is down into double figures.

63rd over: Pakistan 216-7 (Jamal 9, Shaheen 1) So it’s Shaheen Shah Afridi at 9, which is too high for him really, he’s a slapper of the ball more than a player of actual innings. Can lump a couple of sixes before he hits one up in the air, but the latter comes along soon enough. Starts with a gentle run off the hip today. Now to Jamal – does he look to advance the scoring from here, as the more accomplished batter? Not to that ball, which seams sharply, goes over leg stump, swings after it passes, and nearly beats Carey who stops it on the bounce wide to his left. That went miles off the straight. Jamal ducks the shorter one to follow. Cummins 4 for 44 so far.

WICKET! Rizwan c Warner b Cummins 42, Pakistan 215-7

There he goes. Did the lack of strike play a part? Misreads the pace off the pitch, must like Shafique yesterday. Sees a driveable length wide of the stumps, throws his hands through the line of the ball. Cummins has two covers in place, Warner squarer and closer, and Rizwan is too early on the shot, half sliced, straight into those reliable hands for the 89th catch of Warner’s Test career.

Pat Cummins celebrates the wicket of Mohammad Rizwan.
Pat Cummins celebrates the wicket of Mohammad Rizwan. Photograph: Morgan Hancock/CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images

62nd over: Pakistan 215-6 (Rizwan 42, Jamal 9) A shot! A shot from Jamal. Gets strike after Rizwan’s glance, and lays into a pull against Hazlewood. Leathers it well in front of square. Then takes a run to mid off and again flirts with a second as Marnus lines up the stumps. Labuschagne is one of the best ground fielders in the world these days, you can’t take him on. Rizwan pulls behind square to keep the strike. The deficit is down to 103.

61st over: Pakistan 208-6 (Rizwan 40, Jamal 4) There it is, not quite in the groove is Rizwan – plays it out past cover, takes the first, never a second but he takes off. Jamal sends him back. Labuschagne again fast in getting rid of the ball, and his throw from halfway to the boundary at cover only just misses as Rizwan dives in. Would have been a third umpire forensic job had it hit.

Australia with a leg slip in for Jamal now, and he’s not sure about his ducking technique anymore. Turns and gets hit by a short ball in the back of the shoulder. But then gets the bird out again to get under Cummins, and again Cummins wants the toe of the bat. Hands on head. Gets a leg bye, Rizwan another run.

60th over: Pakistan 205-6 (Rizwan 38, Jamal 4) A slightly different duck from Jamal, twisting to his left rather than bowing straight at Hazlewood, but the periscope is up again and it’s close to the ball again. Blocks the full ball to close the over and Rizwan will see some bowling next.

59th over: Pakistan 205-6 (Rizwan 38, Jamal 4) He’s hogging the strike! Beaten by Cummins a couple of times, but Jamal glances a run from the fifth ball of the over. He’s doing a lot of leaving. Good temperament in support. You just wonder if this time out of the action will unbalance Rizwan, who started so productively.

58th over: Pakistan 204-6 (Rizwan 38, Jamal 3) Rizwan pulls a run first ball, happy to give Jamal the strike, and there’s a lot more ducking. I think the Australians are interested in this periscope bat situation. Josh Hazlewood also has an “oooh” to himself after his short ball on off stump doesn’t miss the bat by much. Jamal pushes away a run to point to end the over.

57th over: Pakistan 202-6 (Rizwan 37, Jamal 2) Having kept strike, Rizwan launches a bottom-handed drive hard at mid off and can’t score. Cummins opening proceedings for the day. Hits the next one through cover on the up, diagonal bat, and is thinking of running four but Labuschagne gets rid of the ball so quickly after sliding into its path at deep cover. Three runs, Jamal on strike and he dips down like the wooden bird that fills in for Homer at the power plant, leaning forward at the waist to go under the ball. Only problem is that his action leaves the bat poking up in the air behind him, and Cummins nearly nicks the toe of it with that short ball. The look on the bowler’s face, he knew it was close. Hard dismissal to plan for.

56th over: Pakistan 199-6 (Rizwan 34, Jamal 2) Like many a long-distance swimmer, Hazlewood is straight in the channel. Rizwan is happy to go fishing in those waters, twice reaching out to steer Hazlewood away for two. Then thwacks across the line with a cross-bat shot off the front foot to get a mistimed under edge behind square for one run.

Revised start is 10:45am, which is 25 minutes away. So half an hour early becomes 15 minutes late.

The hessian covers are coming off the pitch now.

I think it’ll pass over pretty quickly.

Well, I was too optimistic. Bit of misty drizzle has come in over the MCG, so our early start will now be a late start.

General view of covers on the pitch
Overcast conditions in Melbourne delay the start of play on day three. Photograph: Joel Carrett/AAP

Or it’s some other number of minutes that I’m yet to determine. Anyway, we’ll be on soon.

Remember we start half an hour early to make up for the rain on day one. Which is in four minutes. So stand by.

Meanwhile, Andy Bull has pulled together the votes for our Guardian men’s Test team of the year. Thoughts?

Here is the wires report on yesterday’s day of play.


Geoff Lemon

Geoff Lemon

Good (Australian) morning, Christmas bike gang. I say that because I assume that you have all received bikes for Christmas, and by now you have installed the pedals and lights and reflectors and you are ready to cruise around your neighbourhoods in a big OBO phalanx.

Day three in Melbourne has dawned cloudy and dull so far, but not much in the way of rain predicted or evident, so with any luck we get the full day again. It just won’t be the gold and blue colour scheme of yesterday. Wonder if it will do anything to aid bowlers. Australia’s quicks were really good yesterday after Nathan Lyon got the first wicket, especially Pat Cummins with his burst that took out the well-set Abdullah Shafique before Babar Azam.

Pakistan slid a long way after that, from 124 to 1 all the way to 170 for 6. By stumps that score was up to 194, with Rizwan to resume on 29 and Aamer Jamal on 2. They have a lot of work to do with their team still 124 behind.

Let’s see what they can do.

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