PAK vs AUS 2nd Test: Babar, Shafique guide hosts’ fightback as Karachi braces for gripping final day
PAK vs AUS 2nd Test: After Babar Azam and Abdullah Shafique’s undefeated 171-run stand on Day 4 of the 2nd Test spearheaded Pakistan’s incredible fightback against Australia, the thrilling final day of Test cricket is on the cards in Karachi.
To lead Pakistan’s fourth innings charge in Karachi, Babar Azam scored his sixth Test century on Tuesday, while Abdullah Shafique is steadily approaching his second. At the end of the fourth day’s play, the hosts were 192/2, 314 runs short of the lofty 506-run mark. Australia started the day on 81/1 and kept going until 25 minutes into the game, when Marnus Labuschagne (44) chopped one on while attempting a pull off Shaheen Afridi. The visitors added 16 runs in 5.2 overs to declare their second innings at 97/2, with Usman Khawaja undefeated on 44* in the first innings.
In response, Pakistan got off to a shaky start, with Nathan Lyon dismissing Imam-ul-Haq in the opening ten overs. At lunch, Pakistan were 18/1 from 21 overs, thanks to Abdullah Shafique and Azhar Ali.
Pakistan’s No.3 Azhar was called leg-before to a Cameron Green delivery that maintained low from the back of a length during the afternoon session. Pakistan scored 86 runs in 27 overs and were 104/2 at the end of the session.
In the fourth session, the combination scored another 88 runs. With the skipper and Shafique finishing undefeated on 102 and 71 runs respectively at stumps.
Given the quality of their attack and a difficult fifth-day surface, Australia might be just one breakthrough away.
Australia 556/9d and 97/2 vs Pakistan 148/10 and 192/2 (Babar Azam 102*, Abdullah Shafique 71*; Nathan Lyon 1-50)