LAHORE: Australian fast bowling duo of Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc ripped apart Pakistan batting lineup leaving the home side with a first innings deficit of 134 runs at the end of the third day’s play here at the Gaddafi Stadium on Wednesday.
Their late order burst handed Australia 123 runs first-innings lead and they were 11 without loss with Usman Khawaja (7) and David Warner (4) on the crease.
The home side lost their last seven wickets for just 20 runs, getting out for 268 as Cummins got his seventh five-wicket haul and Starc removed four batsmen.
No one could have imagined such a collapse after Pakistan kept Australia’s disciplined bowling at bay for more than two sessions. Fawad Alam’s wicket right after tea off Starc ignited the downfall of the homeside. Fawad added 13 to the total. Only Babar Azam stood firm at the other end until he lost his wicket to Starc after scoring 67.
Nauman Ali, Hasan Ali, and Naseem Shah earned ducks. Mohammad Rizwan and Sajid Khan added one and six runs, respectively.
After a useful opening session for Pakistan, Australia were successful in removing the overnight batters Abdullah Shafique and Azhar Ali. The top-scorer Abdullah was back in the pavilion in the fourth over of the second session as Nathan Lyon removed him for 81. He faced 228 balls and smashed 11 boundaries.
Azhar made his way back a few overs before the tea break as Cummins took a screamer off his bowling to remove him for 78. The right-handed batter faced 208 deliveries and hit eight boundaries, including a six.
In the morning session, Abdullah and Azhar added 69 runs, maintaining a decent run rate of 2.4.
During the innings, Azhar completed his 7000 Test runs. Azhar, playing his first Test at his home ground, has become only the fifth Pakistani batter to achieve the milestone, joining Younis Khan, Javed Miandad, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf.
Azhar said he was happy with his milestone but not the match outcome.
“I am happy at the achievement in Lahore but unfortunately I could not carry on and we had a collapse after tea which has hurt our chances a little bit, but hopefully we can turn that around tomorrow,” he said.
Cummins hoped a good day’s work would help them win the Test. “I thought that we bowled really well,” he said. “We have given ourselves a really good opportunity (to win), really in front of the game and hopefully we will bat well and then take the last ten wickets.”
Cummins finished with 5-56 and Starc bagged 4-33 to trigger an afternoon collapse which saw the home team lose their last six wickets off 40 balls with the addition of just 12 runs.
The collapse allowed Australia to cover up their sloppiness in the field after Steve Smith dropped Azam when he was batting on 20.
Australia took the second new ball after 80 overs with the total on 191-2, and seven overs later Cummins held on to a sharp caught-and-bowled chance to dismiss Azhar.
Australia won the toss
Australia 1st Innings 391 all out
Pakistan 1st Innings
Shafique c †Carey b Lyon 81
Imam-ul-Haq lbw b Cummins 11
Azharc & b Cummins 78
Babar(c) lbw b Starc 67
Fawad b Starc 13
Rizwan †b Starc 1
Sajid b Cummins 6
Nauman Ali lbw b Cummins 0
Hasan Ali c Smith b Cummins 0
Shaheen Shah not out 0
Naseem Shah b Starc 0
Extras: (b 5, nb 6) 11
TOTAL: (116.4 Ov, RR: 2.29) 268
Fall: 1-20, 2-170, 71.2 ov, 3-214, 86.4 ov, 4-248, 106.3 ov, 5-256, 110.2 ov, 6-264, 113.4 ov, 7-268, 115.1 ov, 8-268, 115.5 ov, 9-268, 116.1 ov, 10-268, 116.4 ov
Bowling: Mitchell Starc 20.4-6-33-4, Pat Cummins 24-8-56-5, Cameron Green 14-4-37-0, Nathan Lyon 40-10-95-1, Mitchell Swepson 18-2-42-0
Australia 2nd Innings
Usman Khawaja not out 7
David Warner not out 4
TOTAL: (3 Ov, RR: 3.66) 11
Yet to bat: Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey †, Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson, Nathan Lyon
Bowling: Shaheen Shah Afridi 2-0-11-0, Naseem Shah 1-1-0-0
Umpires: Ahsan Raza, Aleem Dar
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