Australia v Pakistan – Gabba, Day 4: Tropical storms, Pakistani fight and No-Doze.

GABBA NIGHT 4

 

There is something about the Brisbane weather that never ceases to amaze me. Walked back to my home (if you could call it that) last night from The Gabba in the pouring rain.  Something I would never do in Victoria.

 

For some reason I did not mind it. Brisbane, particularly in the suburbs near the CBD always looks like it needs a good wash not to mention a coat of paint.

 

Wet through when I arrived “home” I wondered what tomorrow would bring.  The weather bureau has said all week that it would rain on Sunday.  My thought turned to SPD and his decision to bat again knowing that rain was imminent.

 

Unfortunately Smithy comes from a cricket nation that does not make it easy for the opposition at any time. Forget about putting a challenge up for your opponents.

 

Today dawned with the threat of rain at 80%.

 

The weather this morning is clammy, typical Brisbane but by the time the day’s play commences the lights have been turned on.

 

A great start by Azhar and Younis who settled in to save the game and also have a break if rain does come.

 

The rain does come and it buckets down. The batsmen are happy with the score at 2/121 when they run from the ground. Unlike me last night who was content to walk slowly in the rain.

 

My musical knowledge is limited but did Johnny Ray sing a great song called “Walking in the Rain”. Maybe a bit early for Knacker Readers?

 

Play is delayed for some time but the ground will be freshened up for the bowlers who had performed so accurate in the play so far.  Mind you the batsmen had both shown their ability to fight.

 

The rain and the moisture have assisted the Australian bowlers and they are finally rewarded for their persistence. Azhar (71) had batted so well flicked a leg side delivery for Starc through to Wade for a simple catch.  Pakistan 3/145.  Misbah (3) does not last long as he pushes one from Bird straight through to Wade again.  They are now 4/165   and after looking like they might make a go of it have lost two wickets very quickly. That is one of the great things about Test cricket – the momentum swing can never be underestimated.

 

Younis made it a trio of wickets in quick time when he tried a reverse sweep of Lyon. The ball ballooned in the air for Smith to take a simple catch.  Pakistan 5/173 and their game had been shot.

 

A fine knock of 73 by the veteran but such an injudicious shot when it was not required.  He had been on top of the bowling and there was no need to play it at such a crucial time.

 

It looked like just a matter of time now but after his first innings showing Sarfraz would be no quick wicket.

 

Safraz and Shafiq are playing with soundness that just was not there in the first dig.  Amazing how the mind plays tricks on you when you are struggling.

 

I don’t believe it! SPD drops a catch. Not difficult but he put Safraz down when the keeper has only made eight runs.  Will he pay for it?

 

Unfortunately for Sarfraz (24) he gets a good one from Starc and is bowled.  In fact it was a ripper as it moved just enough between bat and pad.  Pakistan 6/220.

 

Shafiq is looking good and he is joined by Amir. Amir batted well in the first innings and he has been rewarded by being elevated in the batting order.

 

A great move by Pakistan as the two batsmen start to dominate with some great shots and splendid running between wickets. It is some of the best cricket in the Test match.  So good in fact that they put on 92 runs before Amir (48) is caught behind by Wade from Bird. The young paceman has had a good match with the bat.

 

One must not forget the great innings being played by Shafiq at the other end. His keenness to get on with the game and his running between wickets has been exemplary and he will be a much better player for the remainder of the series.

 

It happens again.  Smith drops a catch when Starc with a beautiful change of pace has Shafiq playing at it and nicking what would be a certain catch to SPD.

 

A bit of controversy over whether play should continue when time was up for the day. I believe that Pakistan have every right to be indignant.  They have put up a fine performance today and have only lost 5 wickets.  Surely that should have been taken in to consideration. It seems that the umpires acceded to Australia wish to continue playing in an endeavor to conclude the match.

 

Any way the match continues and another eight overs will be bowled by a very tired Australian attack. As I said yesterday the attack is very light on if the main four do not take a wicket.

 

Pakistan will not go down without a fight and Wahab smote Lyon all over the ground as he supports Shafiq in another fighting stand.  After their first innings debacle full credit must go to Pakistan who have been outstanding today.

 

What a wonderful innings by Asad Shafiq as he reaches his century with 10 fours and one six.  No sooner had he reached the milestone Wahab (30) is superbly caught by Smith of the bowling of Bird.  Pakistan 8/378 and another great partnership of 66 runs.

 

At stumps Pakistan 8/382 and despite the fact that they can’t win the match they have definitely taken the honours. Will it rain tomorrow? Who knows?

About Bob Utber

At 75 years of age, 'Citrus Bob' Utber is doing what he wanted to do as a 14-year old: writing, talking and watching sport. How good is that!?! He lives in Mildura with his wife and 'furry kids'; a labradoodle "Freddy Flintoff" and a groodle named "Chloe on Flinders".

Comments

  1. Great report, Bob, but let’s not tempt fate by saying “despite the fact they (Pakistan) can’t win the match …”
    The odds are against it, but I’ve seen stranger things happen on a cricket field.
    Who can forget Mickey Arthur engineering South Africa’s 400+ run chase at the WACA in 2008.

  2. Peter Flynn says:

    The rearguard effort by Pakistan was superb. Shafiq played one of the great Test innings.

    Smith should’ve enforced the follow on.

    HIgh performance nobs would’ve had a say in this ridiculous decision.

    And didn’t that backfire in the 4th innings! It might mean the return of M Marsh.

    Let’s just say that Ch9 would’ve been in raptures.

    Is Warner on a retainer?

    As far as I can tell he is a good/very good attacking opener (particularly in bully boy conditions).

    Any advances on that?

  3. PF – put Starc in that category for bowling.

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