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Pakistan vs Australia, Test 2, Day 4 Report: Ton-Up Babar Azam, Abdullah Shafique Foil Australia Victory Offers


Skipper Babar Azam fought a century on Tuesday with the strong support of starting player Abdullah Shafique as Pakistan frustrated Australia’s hopes of a quick victory in the second round in Karachi. Setting a tremendous goal in the 506th race, Azam threw his sixth Test century – and second against Australia – to lead Pakistan to 192-2 and raise hopes for an unlikely victory, or even to tie the fight. In the closing match, Azam 102 and Shafique 71 went undefeated as the pair added 171 to the third wicket, the home team needed another 314 runs to win in the 90 overs of the final day, or pulled out three sessions for the draw.

Pakistan lost to Imam-ul-Haq (one) and Azhar Ali (six) before Shafique and Azam overtook their opponents, leaving Australia without a wicket in the final session – after taking a new second ball after 80 overs.

Azam pulled out a two-legged Mitchell Swepson spinner to reach the three-figure mark since he scored 143 against Rawalpindin Bangladesh in February 2020 in 21 innings.

Azam’s fabric arrived in 247 minutes with 12 limits.

Shafique was as strong as his boss, having hit four limits and one so far, and Azam played a 265-minute challenge.

No team has ever beaten Antiguan against Australia in 418-7 in 2003, and Pakistan’s biggest success was 377 against Sri Lanka in 2015 in Pallekel.

Australia, starting their second inning 81-1 again, had just 26 minutes to go before adding a run of 16 to add 16 runs early in the game.

The visitors scored 556-9 in the first inning, beating Pakistan by 148.

The home team hoped Azhar would anchor the second inning, but senior hitter Cameron Green caught the lbw in an attempt to avoid a short work delivery.

Azhar decided not to review it when he left, but he regretted that the TV shows showed him wearing a glove.

With the score at 21-2, Australia seemed to have the upper hand and wanted to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series, but their efforts were thwarted by slow laps and the brilliance of the Pakistani batting pair.

Australia could have been Shafique in the 20th, but experienced Steve Smith shed the right catch against pacer Pat Cummins.

Despite cracks in the National Cricket Stadium pitch, Australian spinners Nathan Lyon and Swepson did not get a bad turn.

Earlier, Haq and Shafique were very careful, as it took them until the fifth to get into the first round before Lyon hit.

The fit Haq, who scored a hundred points in each of the first innings of the draw drawn at Rawalpindin, was trapped in the lbw because he did not connect with a slippery delivery.

Earlier, Marnus Labuschagn threw a sharp submission to Shaheen Shah Afridi for the 44th, calling on the Cummins skipper to finish the innings, with Pakistan’s first-born Usman Khawaja entering the 44th century without being left out.

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Australia has been touring Pakistan for the first time since 1998, having previously refused to tour the country due to security concerns.

(This story was not edited by NDTV staff and was automatically created from a union feed.)

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