PAK vs AUS 3rd Test: Pakistan fast bowlers Afridi, Naseem put Australia in trouble on Day 1
PAK vs AUS 3rd Test: On the first day of the deciding third and final Test in Lahore, quick bowlers Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah each took two wickets to lead Pakistan’s remarkable effort against Australia.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, Afridi, 21, struck twice in his second over. Dismissing opener David Warner for seven and No. 3 Marnus Labuschagne before he had scored, reducing Australia to 8-2.
Naseem, 19, who was drafted into Pakistan’s team to replace all-rounder Faheem Ashraf, wreaked havoc on the tourists in the last session, removing a well-set Steve Smith for 59 and Travis Head for 26 as Australia reached 232-5 at the finish.
For Australia, all-rounder Cameron Green was undefeated on 20 and wicketkeeper-batsman Alex Carey was eight not out.
After a difficult start, Usman Khawaja led Australia’s comeback with a tenacious 91. Adding to scores of 97, 160, and 44 not out in his home nation in his last three innings.
Before Pakistan captain Babar Azam made a one-handed catch at slip off spinner Sajid Khan. Khawaja, who combined 136 for the third wicket with Smith, appeared to be on his way to his 12th Test century.
After achieving his third consecutive half-century, Smith, Australia’s batting mainstay, was out leg before for 59.
The first two tests of the series, the first between the two sides in Pakistan since 1998, ended in a draw.
For the first time since a gunman attacked a bus transporting the Sri Lankan cricket team in 2009, Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium hosted a test match.
Australia should have been in even more difficulty after left-armer Shahid Afridi’s two early wickets. But Pakistan failed to take advantage of opportunities provided by Khawaja and Smith.
Khawaja, on 12, blasted a full-pitched delivery that sailed under the fingertips of Babar Azam in the lone slip position. Looking to dominate left-arm spinner Nauman Ali from the start.
On the next delivery, Nauman was unable to hold a simple return catch from Smith, who was on 19. When he was on seven, off-spinner Sajid also spilled a return catch off Head.