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

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Key events

WICKET! Sarfaraz b Starc 3 (Pakistan 193-6)

Starc skittles Sarfaraz’s stumps! That was a loose shot with lunch in sight. He’d only been out there for five balls and he rooted himself inside the crease and was beaten all ends up by sheer speed. The stumps go flying!

76th over: Pakistan 190-4 (Shakeel 8, Sarfaraz 3) That was bad batting by Imam-ul-Haq before lunch and he’s exposed wicketkeeper-batter Sarfaraz to the Australian attack just a few overs from lunch. This could spell danger. And it does…

WICKET! Imam-ul-Haq st Carey b Lyon (Pakistan 192-5)

Lyon strikes! Imam-ul-Haq, having stood firm all day, suddenly has a rush of blood to the head and skips down to a shorter ball. But it’s a trap and Lyon zips it past the blade for Carey to collect and whip off the bails. That’s wicket No 498 for the GOAT! Pakistan officially in trouble.

75th over: Pakistan 190-4 (Shakeel 8, Sarfaraz 1) Lyon replaces Marsh and Imam-ul-Haq leans back onto his haunches to late cut for two. He tries it again on the third, backing away to tap it down and Lyon won’t mind this because The Wall is suddenly moving. And so it proves as Lyon strikes, tempting Imam-ul-Haq to lumper out of his crease and take a big swish. Carey is ready with the gloves and sweetly stumps him. New batter Sarfaraz Ahmed takes a single to get off the mark.

74th over: Pakistan 190-4 (Imam-ul-Haq 60, Shakeel 8) Starc returns and he’s bowling to Shakeel who likely hasn’t faced too much plus-140kph bowling in his one year Test career so far. How will he fare here? Cummins has moved Marnus Labuschagne into silly mid-off so the short stuff seems imminent. Just a single from this over though. Pakistan now trail by 297.

73rd over: Pakistan 189-4 (Imam-ul-Haq 59, Shakeel 8) Marsh returns but his first ball is loose and wide and lefthander Shakeel gets down low, reaches out wide and drives it for a beautiful boundary. Great shot. And so is the next one. It was hip-height and wide and Shakeel cut it to the fence. Excellent batting by Shakeel whose record is immense: seven Tests, 875 runs with a highest score of 208* and an average of 87.5. They are some sweet numbers for a man who only made his debut at age 27.

71st over: Pakistan 181-4 (Imam-ul-Haq 59, Shakeel 0) Now his bunny Babar has been dismissed Josh Hazlewood sets his sights on prising out the rock of this Pakistan innings, whistling one, then two, past Imam-ul-Haq. A maiden over ensues.

WICKET! Babar Azam c Carey b Marsh 21 (Pakistan 181-4)

Mitchell Marsh strikes! And it’s the prized wicket of Babar Azam as he feathers an edge to Carey who leaps low to his right to claim the catch. That was great bowling from The Bison. He rumbled in a little faster and Babar, who looked so composed for his 21, was tempted by the juicy length and waved his bat it with fatal results. A thick edge and Carey caught it in the fingertip webbing.

70th over: Pakistan 181-4 (Imam-ul-Haq 59, Shakeel 0) A roar from the locals as Mitchell Marsh takes the ball. The big allrounder from Attadale got four overs yesterday but as the pitch cracks start to open, his local knowledge could be crucial. And so it proves… as Babar is OUT! Great bowling from Marsh and fine fingertip control from Carey to hold it in the webbing and then extend the elbows and cushion his fall to stop it dislodging. Saud Shakeel comes to crease.

69th over: Pakistan 180-3 (Imam-ul-Haq 58, Babar 21) Hazlewood, normally so frugal, leaks a couple of twos to Imam-ul-Haq early in the over. Both shots pierced the field at pace and both times Babar turned for the third run only to find his partner plodding halfway down the wicket. Imam-ul-Haq’s dedication to energy-conservation means he only takes a halfstep from the non-striker’s end when he backs up. Clearly he means to bat all day.

68th over: Pakistan 175-3 (Imam-ul-Haq 53, Babar 20) Another maiden over for Lyon. He’s fishing outside a length, varying his pace, but there’s not a lot of turn evident and Gaz is going to have to dig deep within his bag of tricks to extract either of these two. Pakistan trail by 312.

67th over: Pakistan 175-3 (Imam-ul-Haq 53, Babar 21) Hazlewood enters his 16th over and after Babar’s bats a single, Imam-ul-Haq’s bat looks wide as a wobbleboard as. His strike rate has now slid under 30.

66th over: Pakistan 174-3 (Imam-ul-Haq 53, Babar 20) Babar takes a single from Lyon’s first ball but with the ball landing dangerously in that danger zone, Pakistan won’t chance it and there’s no further scoring.

65th over: Pakistan 173-3 (Imam-ul-Haq 53, Babar 19) Hazlewood runs in to Imam-ul-Haq and he’s forward and slashing. There’s enough bat on it to take three runs down to gully. Babar steps out to the fourth, driving down the ground. Labuschagne stops it inside the rope and then almost steals a runout as Imam-ul-Haq dawdles again and has to stretch to make it.

64th over: Pakistan 165-3 (Imam-ul-Haq 50, Babar 15) Lyon to Babar. After losing their nightwatchman Shahzad, Pakistan have been steady. Now, with a double bowling change in Lyon and Hazlewood, they must reset. A single to Babar and a legbye from this over.

63rd over: Pakistan 165-3 (Imam-ul-Haq 50, Babar 15) Here comes The Hoff. With Babar looking evermore comfortable, Cummins has decided it’s high time his nemesis is introduced. Babar and Hazlewood have been facing off since they were teenage tearaways. Hazlewood won their encounter at the Under-19 World Cup and has had the wood on Babar ever since, dismissing him on six occasions with Babar averaging just over 11 against him. Hence the maiden.

62nd over: Pakistan 165-3 (Imam-ul-Haq 50, Babar 15) There’s a roar from the crowd and it’s because Nathan Lyon has been thrown the ball. The offie from Young bagged his 497th Test wicket yesterday and needs three more to become the third Australian into the 500 club after Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath. Babar won’t be cowed though. He skips out and slides the first ball around the corner for a single. Imam-ul-Haq doesn’t look anywhere near as comfortable. He plays an awkward scissor-legged shot to the third and there’s an apeal for lbw. Hearty enough but not rooted in enough truth for Cummins to review. Imam-ul-Haq brings up his fifty on the next. It’s been slow but solid and survival is success enough today.

62nd over: Pakistan 162-3 (Imam-ul-Haq 49, Babar 14) Cummins to Babar. We’ve had eight overs, 28 runs and one wicket so far. Great cricket it’s been too. Australia’s skipper and Pakistan’s No 1 batter fighting it out. Bat wins out on ball three as Babar finds space through midwicket for two runs. Cummins is into his 15th over and has been miserly as usual with just 31 runs from them so far. But Babar is showing positive intent by batting way out of his crease. He drives the final ball down the ground but Cummins gets a foot to it on his follow-through and it saves a boundary.

61st over: Pakistan 160-3 (Imam-ul-Haq 49, Babar 12) Starc is wide again and Imam-ul-Haq reaches out and swats it away for three. Babar taps an easy single off the next as runs start to flow for Pakistan. Josh Hazlewood can’t be far off here. His record against Babar is magnificent and Australia won’t want to let the No 4 batter in the world, now 20-odd deliveries into his innings, get too settled. Starc digs a short ball at 140kph into Imam-ul-Haq’s ribs but it’s fended away for another run. Babar drives for another single on the fifth and he wants too but those leaden feet of Imam-ul-Haq prevent it. Just as well too as Labuschagne throws down the stumps.

60th over: Pakistan 154-3 (Imam-ul-Haq 44, Babar 10) Cummins to Babar. What a duel this will be. And the first ball is all drama as Babar attacks and Cummins counters. The result is a French cut which runs to the fine leg boundary for four. There’s an appeal to the second as Babar advances and misses, but the ball was running down leg and there’s no review. Cummins is mixing it up alright. He digs too deep on the next ball and it bounces over the batter, over wicketkeeper Alex Carey and down to the rope for four byes. Babar edges the fourth ball short of Steve Smith at slip and that’s enough drama and sufficient runs for Babar as he leaves the last two.

59th over: Pakistan 144-3 (Imam-ul-Haq 44, Babar 6) Starc to Imam-ul-Haq again and he hurls down a bouncer. The batter leans way back, like Muhammad Ali giving the ‘rope a dope’ to George Foreman in Zaire, and lets it whistle through his chest hair. And his comeback is just as striking, stepping down to the next one and whipping it through square for his first boundary of the day. Pakistan have come alive. The fightback is on.

58th over: Pakistan 139-3 (Imam-ul-Haq 39, Babar 6) Finally a boundary! And what a shot it was from Babar, stepping down to Cummins fourth ball and cover-driving it to the boundary. The 29-year-old from Lahore is off the mark in style. He chips another two from the last to take six from the over.

57th over: Pakistan 133-3 (Imam-ul-Haq 39, Babar 0) Starc to Imam-ul-Haq who is happy to imitate a wall, getting his front foot down and eyes over the ball. Although his stoicism has been admirable and the occasional attacking shot has caught the eyes, his abysmal running between wickets has been the most entertaining part of his game so far. Four times he’s been involved in vaudevillian mix-ups in the middle. Each time Pakistan survived but it’s clearly heridatary as his uncle Inzamam was equally woeful on the toe. Maybe that’s why Imam doesn’t trust his legs anymore, hence a maiden to Starc.

56th over: Pakistan 133-3 (Imam-ul-Haq 39, Babar 0) Cummins comes again, this time to Babar Azam a true warrior for Pakistan cricket. His 49 Tests so far have yielded nine centuries and 26 fifties for an excellent average of 47.7. He is watchful to Cumkins though who is whistling them down at 136kph and working the corridor of uncertainty outside offstump. Pakistan trail by 354 and this partnership represents the last of the Big Five. Cummins bowls a maiden.

55th over: Pakistan 133-3 (Imam-ul-Haq 39, Babar 0) What a statement over that was from Pat Cummins – pressure from the get-go (a run-out narrowly missed by Travis Head), power in spades (sowing the seeds of doubt in Shahzad with a magnificent outswinger past the edge) and finally precision (and he obliterates the timberwork). The skipper’s golden season just gets better. It’s Imam-ul-Haq facing up to Starc now. Loose yesterday and struggling with his final stride, Starc will be desperate to have an impact today, with Boxing Day Test hero Scott Boland waiting in the wings.

WICKET! Shahzad b Cummins 9 (Pakistan 133-3)

What a chaotic start for Pakistan – almost a run-out on the first ball, almost an edge on the second and finally, mercifully, Cummins smashes Shazad’s stumps with the third ball of the day. What a three card trick that was!

54th over: Pakistan 133-3 (Imam-ul-Haq 39, Babar 0) Almost a run-out first ball! Cummins whistles the next one past the outside edge of nightwatchman Shahzad. And then he goes one better, destroying Shahzad’s stumps with his third ball! That brings Babar Azam to the crease, a world-class batter who will need to draw on every iota of skill and courage if he’s to save this Test for Pakistan.

Both Australian openers have harvested plenty of headlines over the course of their long careers – Warner and Khawaja have been playing cricket together since they were six-year-olds in the Sydney suburbs) – and that continued in the lead-up this Test, albeit for very different reasons.

Here’s Daniel Gallan on that most princely (and principled) of opening bats Usman Tariq Khawaja…

And there’s plenty happening off-field too. Here’s the Guardian’s Barney Ronay with a wonderful take on the duality of David ‘The Bull’ Warner

For those who came in late, here’s a wrap of Day Two


Hello cricket fans and welcome to Day Three of the first Test between Australia and Pakistan at Perth Stadium. Angus Fontaine here with you to rattle through the early hours of play with Geoff Lemon to bring you home.

This series got exactly what it needed on Day 2 as Pakistan fought back with ball and bat. After starting the day at 346-5 courtesy of David Warner’s 164 on Thursday, Pakistan were on their knees at lunch. Hometown hero Mitchell Marsh was 90 not out and flaying the bowlers to all ends of the ground as Australia hurtled to a total beyond 500.

Instead, Pakistan blew Marsh’s stumps to smithereens with the first ball after lunch and rapidly wrapped up the tail, with Aamer Jamal’s six wicket haul marking the first five wicket haul on debut by a visiting bowler in Australia since 1967. Pakistan’s batsman then dug in and withstood an onslaught of fast, aggressive bowling from the world’s best attack, with openers Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq combining for a slow yet stoic 74-run opening stand.

Shafique fell first, chipping Nathan Lyon to Warner at slip for 42. Pakistan skipper Shan Masood then upped the tempo of the game, breaking the drought of runs with a rapidfire 30 designed to inspire his team and take the game to the home side. It worked beautifuly until Mitchell Starc picked him up 13 minutes before stumps to leave the visitors 132-2.

With the Perth pitch starting to hiss and spit, Day Three shapes as a beauty. Australia’s pace attack will be ripping in, hoping to redeem some wayward bowling yesterday and Nathan Lyon needs just three wickets to join Shane Warne and Glenn McGrath as Australians to have cracked the 500 barrier.

Pakistan will draw strength from their courage yesterday. They have the brilliant Babar Azam to bat next and he has performed against Australia before. Can they do it? Or will they crumble in the Perth heat to let Pat Cummins’ worldbeaters bat (and batter) them into submission?

Batten ‘em down and buckle ‘em up. We’re about to find out…

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