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

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83rd over: Australia 205-4 (Head 10, Marsh 8) Almost a catch! Marsh chipped one down the ground and the fielder went into a crouch when he should’ve taken a stride forward. The ball falls just short and the fielder earns a hard glare from Salman. Definitely a chance blown for Pakistan. Head bottom edges a rare leg-side delivery from Salman and scampers two.

82nd over: Australia 201-4 (Head 7, Marsh 7) Head cracks Aamer Jamal’s first delivery square but it’s straight to the fielder and going so fast they only get one. That single brings up Australia’s 200. Marsh defends well against a volley of inswingers, off-stump curlers and yorkers. Marsh works the wider final delivery away for another run.

81st over: Australia 199-4 (Head 6, Marsh 6) And we’re back. Pakistan have opted not to take the new ball due to them and will continue with Salman’s spin, little wonder when he and Sajid are finding the footmarks as they are. Head and Marsh are biffers and they’d prefer the ball coming onto the bat at pace. Instead they have to decrypt mystery balls from the spinners. A maiden to start the second session. Australia now trail by 114 runs.

LUNCH: Australia 199 for 4 chasing Pakistan’s first innings 313

What a fascinating session! Australia dug in early, grinding their way through a tense five-maiden spell to progress in ones and twos with the occasional liberating boundary. Even as they got going, the run rate never exceeded three-per-over as Smith and Labuschagne were kept in check by accurate bowling and spirited fielding in the outer. Pakistan’s pressure finally paid dividends when Smith fell into a fielding trap set by Masood and Labuschagne was undone by a vicious in-spinner from Salman. That 1-2 punch put Pakistan back in the game and Australia on their heels.

This Test is on a knife’s edge. Australia have two new batters at the crease in Travis Head and Mitchell Marsh, neither backward in coming forward with attacking cricket. And Pakistan attack have their tails up and teeth bared for the new ball that is due immediately after lunch.

Another thrilling session awaits. Grab a bite then batten ‘em down and buckle ‘em up – we’ll be back shortly with the second session of Day 3.

80th over: Australia 199-4 (Head 6, Marsh 6) Last over before lunch and Sajid Khan is brought back to tempt a big shot from these new batters. Marsh clips fine for two from the first and takes a single from the third whereupon Masood cinches the field to amp the pressure and induce something loose. Head sees it out though. And that’ll be the break.

79th over: Australia 196-4 (Head 6, Marsh 3) Head edges! But it falls just short of first slip. Very close shave there. Salman found a little detonation out of the rough and Head’s prod almost ended his innings before it really began. He then clips one just shy of silly mid-off for a quickly-run two.

78th over: Australia 194-4 (Head 4, Marsh 3) Marsh takes a single from Hamza’s first ball, tapping it to deep point. Head finally gets off the mark, swatting his 13th ball wide of mid-off. Hamza is varying his pace shifting gears between 130kph shooters and 113kph slower balls. Head doesn’t mind blocking a few before he unleashes the beast but he’ll be tested here. He whips Hamza’s final delivery square for three where there’s a fielding mixup between Jamal and Shafique that almost ends in calamity.

77th over: Australia 189-4 (Head 0, Marsh 3) Salman the part-time offie has become Pakistan’s strike weapon. He got rid of David Warner yesterday with a ripsnorter that reared off a crack and now he’s dispatched Marnus Labuschagne with a fizzer from the footmarks today. Head defends stoutly to all six, getting his eye in and carefully surveying a fielding ring where Masood has traps everywhere.

76th over: Australia 188-4 (Head 0, Marsh 1) Australia’s new batters now have an interesting challenge on their hands. Do Head and Marsh, both famously powerful counter-punchers, play their natural game and attack? Or withdraw into their shell and survive until lunch? Marsh lashes at the fifth to give us an answer of sorts, but it doesn’t get through the field.

75th over: Australia 188-4 (Head 0, Marsh 1) This Test has been turned on its head again! Australia were cruising to lunch with Smith and Labuschagne plucking singles at will and flaying the occasional four. Then Shan Masood’s cunning fielding trap lured Smith into a loose shot and Salman found the SCG footmarks to bamboozle Labuschagne. Now there are two new batters at the crease and a dangerous little period for them to negotiate before lunch.

WICKET! Labuschagne b Salman 60 (Australia 187-4)

Bowled through the gate! What a great ball from Salman. It drifted wide of off stump and Labuschagne sensed he had to play. The instinct was correct but nothing could’ve prepared him for the spin that shot it past the blade and into the pegs. Double breakthrough for Pakistan and again they have wrestled back momentum when Australia seemed well on top.

74th over: Australia 185-2 (Labuschagne 60, Head 0) After exalting over the wicket of Smith, Hamza is now writhing in pain on the wicket after falling heavily in his follow-through. We’ll break for treatment and raise a glass to another great SCG moment where politics, brewing and cricket collided

WICKET! Smith c Babar b Hamza 38 (Australia 187-3)

Smith succumbs! He drove lavishly at Hamza’s second ball and succeeded only in chipping it to a high-flying Babar Azam in close. Big breakthrough for Pakistan and another promising start for Smith scuppered by a well-executed fielding trap.

73rd over: Australia 185-2 (Labuschagne 60, Smith 38) Salman is back into his stride now. The 30-year-old allrounder has been great in the slips, snaring catches where his teammates have grassed them. And his part-time spinners have provided handy wickets all series, none better than the ball that bit out of the rough and caught David Warner’s edge yesterday. Just two from this over.

72nd over: Australia 185-2 (Labuschagne 58, Smith 38) Hasan Ali leaks three runs from his 16th over as the Australians plonk singles and plunder the occasional boundary with ease now.

71st over: Australia 182-2 (Labuschagne 57, Smith 36) We’ve got a weird holdup here as the fourth umpire and ground officials are called on by Steve Smith to remove a screwed up black bundle of tape that’s found it’s way onto the whiute sheets behind the sightscreen. More time lost here after we frittered a session due to bad light and bung lights yesterday. The crowd show their ire, jeering the SCG’s staff’s inability to resolve the issue. Finally some intrepid soul with full sleeve tattoos clamours up and grabs the gaffa tape. He’s now walking a lap of honour around the outer, slapping palms on the fence. Enjoy your 15 minutes, sunshine but it distracts somewhat from the fact Steve Smith lofts a lovely boundary down that way to finish the Salman over. Very nice shot, very strange over.

And not as good an SCG sightscreen moment as this…

70th over: Australia 178-2 (Labuschagne 57, Smith 32) Labuschagne takes a single forward of square from Hasan’s first ball. Smith does likewise from the fourth with a drive to cover. Frustrated after a distraction in the field stops play for a few moments, Hasan puts some mayo on the fifth and Labuschagne adds the srichacha, clipping the faster ball to the fine leg boundary. Hands on hips from Hasan but he’s won some fans on this tour.

69th over: Australia 172-2 (Labuschagne 52, Smith 31) Salman comes on for his first over of the day and Smith shows due reverence, playing out a maiden. We’ve had 57 runs from the 22 overs today, not quite a torrent but better than a trickle. Good, tough cricket as the Test hangs in the balance.

68th over: Australia 172-2 (Labuschagne 52, Smith 31) Hasan Ali was on target, attacking Labuschagne’s off stump before the No 3 leaned into a cracking pull shot to the boundary. Well played Marnus!

FIFTY for Marnus Labuschagne! (Australia 172-2)

A superb pull shot brings up a lovely steady half-century for Australia’s No 3. It came from 131 balls so not his quickest but, with Pakistan’s attack applying the pressure today, it’s been an innings Australia sorely needed.

67th over: Australia 168-2 (Labuschagne 48, Smith 31) Sajid has found his line now and his long and testing spell continues with Labuschagne finding a single but Smith unable to find a gap from the following five.

66th over: Australia 168-2 (Labuschagne 48, Smith 31) Hasan returns for another spell. He’s been tighter as a turtle’s tookus thus far with just 20 overs from his 13 overs and after Labuschagne works him for a single from the first, normal activity resumes with Smith seeing off five dot balls angled onto his middle peg.

65th over: Australia 167-2 (Labuschagne 47, Smith 31) Smith goes big! But despite a ballooned shot clearing the infield, Saim Ayub goes bigger, gouging a massive divot from the outfield as he goes down on one knee to stop the boundary. Strewth! The debutant is having an ignominious Test with a second-ball duck, a dropped sitter in slips and now he’s desecrated the hallowed turf of the SCG.

It’s aright young fella, happens to the best of ‘em…

64th over: Australia 164-2 (Labuschagne 49, Smith 29) Jamal returns to Labuschagne but despite extra bend in the back the attempted bouncer stays low and Labuschagne parries it away for a strolled single. Smith paddles one at half-steam around the corner for another run as the chase goes below 150. There’s been a bit of talk about Smith replacing Warner as an opener. Are you up for it? Do you prefer the idea of allrounders Mitch Marsh or Cameron Green stepping into the role? Or is a specialist opener like Cam Bancroft or Marcus Harris the answer? Have a drink and a think.

63rd over: Australia 162-2 (Labuschagne 45, Smith 28) Smith runs one as Sajid strays wide. Now comes a big shout from Sajid! It can’t be for an edge from Labuschagne because the “catch” flew wide of first slip. But despite the on-field decision of NOT OUT Sajid convinces his captain to review. Turns out there’s a faint inside edge on it. One review up in smoke for Pakistan but a more probing over by the spinner there.

Sajid Khan and Pakistan teammates wait for a DRS decision against Marnus Labuschagne
Sajid Khan and Pakistan teammates were unsuccessful with a review against Marnus Labuschagne. Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/AAP

62nd over: Australia 158-2 (Labuschagne 45, Smith 24) Aamer strays with his first two and Smith punishes the second, hammering it to deep cover where Pakistan captain Shan Masood makes a valiant dive to save the boundary. Labuschagne runs a legbye. Another bouncer to Smith but he won’t fall into the trap. He fidgets through 40-odd safety checks of pads, gloves, helmet, box and then unleashes a wild swipe he doesn’t quite middle. Danger! But it clears a high-leaping infielder Shafique and stops dead to allow a single.

61st over: Australia 153-2 (Labuschagne 45, Smith 20) Pakistan persist with the profligate Sajid Khan and Smith and Lasbuschagne pick off another couple of easy singles. He’s been spanked for 58 runs from his 16 overs so far and Australia are closing in on the halfway mark in their chase of 313.

60th over: Australia 151-2 (Labuschagne 44, Smith 19) Aamer Jamal digs in a brutish first delivery that squares Labuschagne up. He tries to repeat the dose but the second bouncer flies wide. So does the third as Smith resists the inkling to hook it into the ladies lounge of the Doug Walters Stand. Cracks are opening up on this Sydney pitch and Pakistan are zeroing in on them.

The dasher from Dungog turned 78 the other day. Worth a toast I reckon.

59th over: Australia 149-2 (Labuschagne 43, Smith 19) Sajid’s first delivery draws shouts from the Pakistani fielders but Smith has rolled his wrists superbly and dropped it short of the silly mid-on and snaffles a single. Another Labuschagne single means the Marnus-Smudge union has yielded 41 runs so far, 31 of them coming today.

58th over: Australia 147-2 (Labuschagne 42, Smith 18) Bright Sydney sun is lighting up the Ladies Stand, today renamed the Jane McGrath Stand. And Labuschagne adds some sparkle to the spectacle, standing up to a short ball from Aamer to pound it to the midwicket boundary. No stopping that one. After a run of five consecutive maidens at the start of the day, Australia have broken the shackles and now trail by 166 runs.

57th over: Australia 143-2 (Labuschagne 38, Smith 18) Smith and Labuschagne pick off easy singles before Smudge smacks another benign 84kph Sajid delivery down the ground. Good fielding on the rope saves the boundary and keeps it to three but this is loose from Sajid. The batters lean on the final three, easing them to long on for three more singles.

56th over: Australia 136-2 (Labuschagne 35, Smith 14) Bowling change for Pakistan as Aamer Jamal enters the fray. He has had a good series after debuting in Perth with a six wicket haul and he’s on target here, Labuschagne content to show a full face to the five he faces after a Smith single from the first delivery. Australia trail by 178.

55th over: Australia 135-2 (Labuschagne 35, Smith 12) It’s a flood of runs as new bowler Sajid Khan shucks the rust with a wide one outside off stump that Labuschagne picks off for three. Smith then bashes an on drive for a single. Sajid, a magnicently moustachioed allrounder from Pakhtunkhwa, has 22 wickets from his seven Tests so far but none in this Test. Labuschagne certainly likes what he sees of the 30-year-old tweaker, cover driving another loose one to the pink-fringed fence for four.

Marnus Labuschagne plays a shot on day three of the third Test
Marnus Labuschagne starts to attack the bowlers on day three of the third Test. Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/EPA

54th over: Australia 126-2 (Labuschagne 28, Smith 11) Finally some runs! A Bronx cheer rings out from the pink masses in the crowd as 33 dot balls is broken by a flat bat push down the ground by Labuschagne and a scrambled run that shows even the batter’s feet have fallen asleep. Now Smith really jolts the crowd awake, rasping a cover drive to the boundary.

53rd over: Australia 121-2 (Labuschagne 27, Smith 7) Smith buckles! That second ball from Hasan hit a crack on a length and jagged back to hit Smith’s belt line. He folded in half before rising with a wry smile. Hasan shows some gamesmanship, going down to caress the crack in the pitch he reckons did the deed. A fifth consecutive maiden!

52nd over: Australia 121-2 (Labuschagne 27, Smith 7) Five overs, five runs so far this morning. This evenly poised Test is into a slow, tense grind. Australia are defending stoically, Pakistan are attacking skilfully. Both sides are refusing to blink. That’s another maiden by Hamza to Labuschagne, the fourth in succession for Pakistan.

51st over: Australia 121-2 (Labuschagne 27, Smith 7) Tempting fate, Pakistan have taken a slip fielder out and placed him at short leg instead. The cordon opens up to reveal the gaps David Warner found so fortuitously yesterday. Smith happy to play out another maiden.

50th over: Australia 121-2 (Labuschagne 27, Smith 7) Hamza enters his 12th over, just 16 runs from them. Labuschagne happy to leave this fifth/sixth stump line for now, waiting for the one that wafts into his strike zone. Nothing doing though. Pakistan are picking up where they left off with probing accurate bowling on this dusty, slowly cracking SCG pitch.

Marnus Labuschagne plays a defensive stroke on day three of the third Test
Marnus Labuschagne protects his wicket on day three of the third Test. Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/AAP

49th over: Australia 121-2 (Labuschagne 27, Smith 7) Hasan Ali rolls in from the Randwick end to Smith who hippity-hops sideways across the crease to bat a skidding ball at 130kph back down the wicket. Five more stalemates ensue for a maiden.

48th over: Australia 121-2 (Labuschagne 27, Smith 7) Day three gets underway with Smith gliding Mir Hamza’s second ball for a single to short third man. Marnus Labuschagne raises the stakes, rolling his wrists on a straight ball and whipping it to the midwicket fence. Lovely shot by the Australian first drop. He looks a man on a mission today.

G’day cricket lovers and welcome back to the Sydney Cricket Ground for the third day of the third Test between Australia and Pakistan. Angus Fontaine here to shepherd you through the opening session with Geoff Lemon to take you home to Stumps.

The breaking story this morning is David Warner’s baggy greens have been found. That’s the good news. The bad news is we won’t see the veteran opener wearing his prized cap for a while yet because he was dismissed for 34 in the first innings of his farewell Test. The better news is that it’s a bright, rainless day in Sydney and we will see Australia resume at 116-2, trailing by 192 runs in their pursuit of Pakistan’s feisty first innings 313.

This is the Pink Test and Day Three is Jane McGrath Day so this venerable old cricket ground is festooned in pink. Also in the pink are Pakistan, who again rocked Australia’s momentum by removing both Warner after an opening stand of 70 and, late in the day, his opening partner Usman Khawaja for 47. They did it with superb bowling. And, as has become their habit, almost undid it with abysmal fielding, Warner edging a few through slips and being dropped cold by debutant Saim Ayub when he was on 20.

Cricket’s archaic laws, Sydney’s mercurial summer weather and weirdly low-wattage floodlights cost us a full day’s play, the covers coming out before tea for bad light and rain but we are all systems go for play today. The teams have been photographed in their baggy pink caps and donated them for auction as is tradition. And very soon Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne will stroll out to continue Australia’s innings and take this twisting thriller of a Test into what should be an intriguing Day Three.

Spectators arrive dressed in pink on Jane McGrath Day, Day 3, of the Third Test between Australia and Pakistan.
Spectators arrive dressed in pink on Jane McGrath Day, Day 3, of the Third Test between Australia and Pakistan. Photograph: Dan Himbrechts/AAP

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