Australia v Pakistan – Second Test, Day 3: The Winter Game

Australia v Pakistan
Second Test
Day 3
Australia    3/589 dec.
Pakistan     302 and 3/39

Full scoreboard HERE

 

It is cold and miserable here in Adelaide this afternoon as the footy crowd arrived all rugged up for the wintry blasts that have been coming through.

 

Arrived early at the ground before the gates opened to be greeted by the thump, thump of ball on bats. Yes, you guessed it Smith and Labuschagne out there in about five layers of clothes having an early morning practice.  Sometimes I worry about just how much cricket players at this level need to have. It has been well recorded that Smith sleeps with his cricket bat but he is an introvert. Labuschagne is not and I hope that he is not trying to “ape” Smith.

 

Noticed in this morning’s paper they were referring to the highest scores in Test Cricket but an interesting point was made. Bradman was referred to as “Sir Donald Bradman” but Garfield Sobers and Len Hutton were referred to as just that. I would argue that Bradman should have been referred to as Don Bradman as he had not been knighted when he made those scores. You cannot have it both ways.

 

If ever there was a bowler who is nuisance value as a batsman it is Yasir Shah.  He might not make many runs but he is certainly hard to dismiss as he is showing this morning. He has been great support to Babar, in fact, has outscored him in the first hour of play. Babar’s 50 comes up. Yet another pleasing innings from Pakistan’s number one batsman.

 

Nathan Lyon comes on for the first time in the match after 43 overs with Pakistan 6/124. Yasir is still there and has now reached 30 while Babar is 73. It is an all-spin attack as Labuschagne comes on. Notice with his bowling so far in the two Tests that it looks too flat and quick. Definitely needs more loop here in Australia if he is to take wickets.

 

Spirited session by the Babar Azam and Yasir Shah who have added 88 runs.  Yasir on 43 reaches his highest test score ever and then Labuschagne put down a simple catch from Yasir of his own bowling.

 

Starc gets one to move away from Babar (97) and Paine diving takes his 5th catch of the innings.   Another superb innings from Pakistan’s best batsman.  He plays all the shots and was unlucky to get out to a good ball from Starc. Pakistan 8/194. Shaheen goes next ball LBW to the rampaging Starc who now has 6 wickets and is on a hat trick.  Very close but does not take the chocolates.

 

The belligerent Yasir raises his bat for his first 50 in Test Cricket. A very valuable knock for his side and his hanging around is making it more difficult for Paine to enforce the follow-on when the final wickets fall.  Well at “little break” they are still there 8/218 with Shah on 66 and Abbas 1.  Starc has taken all 3 wickets this session and now has 6/50 in a fine exhibition.

 

That “that bowler with nuisance value as a batsman” I wrote this morning has turned into a pot of gold.  A magnificent first century by the Danny De Vito of Test Cricket Yasir Shah and he is still going. He and Abbas have now put on 80 for the ninth wicket and thwarted everything Australia has thrown at them.  Shah has used his bat as a battering ram and the shots have come off.

 

Whenever these last two wickets fall it is a near certainty that Australia will bat as the bowlers have had an ordinary day. The only bowler worthy of his salt has been Starc who has kept the ball up to the batsmen throughout the innings. As for the spinners Lyon and Labuschagne they have been innocuous.

 

Finally, a wicket falls after an 87-run partnership when a short ball from Cummins makes Abbas (29) duck but he does not get his gloves out of the way and it flies gently to Warner.  Pakistan 9/281.  Australia’s fielding has dropped noticeably in this innings with at least 3 catches going down this afternoon.

 

Yaris Shah starts slashing at everything, probably thinking Australia will bat again.  His slashing gets him to 113 before he holes out to Lyon in the deep. Musa remains 12 not out. Pakistan all out 302.  Starc 6/66, Cummins 3/83 and Hazlewood (under bowled) 1/48.

 

Australia enforce the follow on when most of us thought they would bat again.  Could be Australia batting last in a Test match?

 

Very disappointed that Yasir did not get the accolades he deserved when he left the ground. This was a fighting, match-saving century (though that might not happen) that rightly deserved acclamation from the good crowd.  It was delayed until he nearly left the ground because Channel 7 were conducting an interview with him on the field of play. His team mates who had gathered in the race were certainly showing their disapproval having to wait so long and the crowd were robbed of giving a hearty response to his innings. Axes to Channel 7 and CA they gave approval.

 

A good decision to send Pakistan in again. Imam (0) goes palpably LBW Hazlewood in the third over. Pakistan 1/7 and then the “big break”.

 

A brilliant diving catch by Steve Smith sees an angry Azhar Ali (9) depart just as the rain comes tumbling down.  Another wicket for Mitchell Starc who has been head and shoulders above all other bowlers in this match. Pakistan 2/11.

 

I have seen plenty of slippers over my journey in cricket but I do not think I have seen anyone better or more consistent than Steve Smith. There have been plenty of reliable slippers Keith Miller, Bob Simpson, Ian Chappell, Stephen Fleming, Jacques Kallis and Mark Waugh come to mind but Smith has the uncanny knack of knowing when to dive to left or right and then take the catch with both hands.

 

Shaan is battling hard and has been joined by Babar the most reliable of the Falcon’s batsmen. Unfortunately for Babar (8) he gets one that moves ever so slightly from Hazlewood for Paine to gobble up his sixth of the match.  Pakistan 3/20

 

Cummins and Hazlewood are bowling well in the conditions and the batsmen have been lucky not to tickle a couple through to Paine. Shaan tries to hook Hazlewood, the ball flies high for Paine to run and take but it has come from his helmet. The mandatory five minutes consult now takes place.

 

More rain but they are only light showers and play will only be delayed for a short time. No sooner had the players returned than the heaviest showers of the day came and play has been abandoned until tomorrow.

 

At stumps Pakistan 3/39 with Shaan (14) and Asad (8).  Hazlewood 2/15 and Starc 1/10

 

Pakistan are still 248 runs behind with 2 days to play.  Stars of the day were Yasir Shah ( a great innings), Tim Paine ( 6 catches and good captaincy), Mitchell Starc (7 wickets)

 

 

 

 

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About Bob Utber

At 80 years of age Citrus Bob is doing what he wanted to do as a 14 year-old living on the farm at Lang Lang. Talking, writing, watching sport. Now into his third book on sports history he lives in Mildura with his very considerate wife (Jenny ) and a groodle named "Chloe On Flinders". How good is that.

Comments

  1. Thanks for the math report. I liked the info about Smith and Labuschagne getting some extra practise in!

  2. *match* report!

  3. Daryl Schramm says

    Great summary Bob.

    Yasir was cheated out of ‘his moment’ by the broadcaster. I and others around me felt cheated too in not allowing to freely acknowledge an innings of great entertainment.when it should have been.

    Can’t really predict when it will be over. Hopefully quickly so i can start some much needed weeding after this rain.

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