Current Match Report – Australia vs Pakistan 2nd Take a look at 2023/24

Tea Australia 114 for two (Khawaja 42, Hasan 1-21) vs Pakistan

Recalled seamer Hasan Ali eliminated Australia opener Usman Khawaja and led an improved Pakistan bowling effort at a depressing MCG on day one earlier than rain interrupted the Boxing Day Take a look at.

Amid more and more darkish situations, with rain and thunderstorms forecast within the afternoon, Marnus Labuschagne and Steven Smith have been in survival mode within the second session towards correct Pakistan bowling on a floor providing motion.

Labuschagne, who has struggled for type not too long ago, battled to 14 off 47 balls, whereas Smith made simply 2 off 26 balls earlier than tea was referred to as early in what looms as a major delay.

With a black cloud hanging over the bottom Labuschagne was clearly displeased about play persevering with regardless of the sunshine towers being switched on.

However rain lastly fell and play was suspended after drinks with Australia having solely scored 24 runs in 15 overs.

After Pakistan’s quicks did not take a wicket within the first session, Hasan justified his choice with a probing spell after lunch and he was rewarded by having Khawaja caught at second slip with a supply that zipped off the wicket.

Hasan was one in every of three adjustments for Pakistan, who opted to once more subject an all out tempo assault with left-armer Mir Hamza additionally chosen.

Hasan discovered an correct size outdoors the off stump and bowled in sync with spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi, who threatened by bowling throughout the right-handed batters and he sometimes made the ball bounce off the wicket.

It was a greater efficiency from Afridi after a sluggish effort earlier than lunch on the again of match figures of two for 172 within the first Take a look at. However he struggled for tempo in what has been a bane for Afridi for a while.

Pakistan will really feel buoyed with their fightback after they nearly went by way of the primary session with out a wicket following captain Shan Masood’s determination to bowl on a pitch with six-seven millimetres of grass amid overcast situations.

After a 360-run pummelling within the first Take a look at on a spicy Optus Stadium floor, Pakistan’s hopes of a bounce again rested with early inroads. However they began disastrously when opener David Warner was given an formative years on two after a horrific dropped catch at first slip by Abdullah Shafique off Afridi.

Pakistan’s spirit dropped regardless of an encouraging new ball spell from Hamza. Having taken simply two wickets in three earlier Take a look at matches, Hamza did not bowl shortly however impressed by dangerously nipping the ball each methods, together with a number of menacing late in-swinging yorkers.

However Pakistan’s bowlers weren’t capable of constantly hit the precise areas as Khawaja and Warner constructed a 90-run partnership.

Very like the build-up in Perth, Khawaja got here into the match below the microscope after the ICC denied his software to show a emblem to lift consciousness of humanitarian points.

However he battled calmly as Australia closed in on a wicketless opening session for the second straight Take a look at match till Warner fell to spinning allrounder Agha Salman within the final over earlier than lunch.

Within the penultimate match of his illustrious Take a look at profession, Warner on 38 drove loosely in a rash stroke to be caught at slip and Pakistan continued the momentum after the break.

All eyes have been on Melbourne’s infamously fickle climate after heavy rain lashed the Victorian capital in the course of the previous couple of days. Solar sometimes shone throughout an uninterrupted first session, however inclement climate threatens to chop brief the largest date within the Australian cricket summer season.

A crowd of 70,000 followers has been tipped in a determine that may surpass your entire attendance over 4 days for the rebranded Perth Take a look at.

Tristan Lavalette is a journalist primarily based in Perth

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