AUS v PAK, 3rd Test Review: O'Keefe and Lyon spin Australia to clean sweep in Sydney
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Australia bowler Josh Hazelwood brought down the curtains on what has been yet another Test match dominated by the Australians in Sydney. Imran Khan, the makeshift replacement for Rahat Ali managed to prolong his stay in the crease by just a couple of minutes by virtue of Sarfraz Ahmed’s batting.
However, Imran also failed to get off the mark as he was soon dismissed by Josh Hazelwood when the catch was once again completed by Jackson Bird, the man who had done the honors in Melbourne as well. The star for Pakistan was once again Sarfraz Ahmed who was unrelenting in his crusade as he notched up an impressive 72. While he remained unbeaten, the rest of the Pakistani batsmen fell like nine pins.
In fact, this has been a feature of the Pakistan batting right through this series, especially given the fact that they have collapsed on multiple occasions to the bowling of the Australians in recent times. Moreover, the fact of the matter remains that they lost nine wickets on the final day, something that once again shows their resilience to playing good seam bowling.
The day began on the pretext that the Pakistanis would go on to capitalize on the impressive start they had been provided with by Sharjeel Khan. However, this was not the case. Even Azhar Ali, Pakistan’s best batsman in recent times also simply could not make amends for the faltering Pakistanis.
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Yasir Shah, the nightwatchman on the day also could do little against the onslaught. He was removed by the pair of Starc and Hazelwood once again. It was also some clever tactics from the Australian bowlers with some decent bowling as they were able to make inroads with other players cashing in and taking the wickets that needed to be taken.
The ploy of playing with three spinners worked as the Indian tour also beckons in the horizon. Moreover, there is also a lot of solace in the fact that their spinners were indeed the ones that provided them with the wickets.
However, there was a bit of resistance in between all of that as there was some decent batting from the likes of Misbah-ul-Haq and Asad Shafiq. At one point, the duo also went on to show signs of saving the Test match, something that seemed incredibly unlikely.
However, after their partnership was broken by the impressive Steve O’Keefe, it was clear that the tail was all that was left. The Pakistan tail, however, bats quite deep. The likes of Imran Khan and Mohammad Amir certainly know how to brandish the bat to save a Test match if and when it is required.
This also ensured that the presence of Sarfraz Ahmed was something that would once again threaten the Aussies by escaping with a draw. However, on the day, it simply did not go the way of Pakistan as Mohammad Amir and Imran Khan lost their wickets as well.
At the close, it was Jackson Bird who completed the catch as the Pakistanis went ahead and slumped to a terrible defeat at the hands of the Australians. While it was David Warner that took the man of the match award, it was Steve Smith who walked away with the player of the series.
Watch: Mickey Edwards takes the field for David Warner
SCG fans absolutely loving the work from Mickey Edwards in the field here #AUSvPAK pic.twitter.com/avH52qRdE5
— cricket.com.au (@CricketAus) January 7, 2017
Australia, 1st innings: 538/8 dec.
Pakistan, 1st innings: 315 all out
Australia, 2nd innings: 241/2 dec.
Pakistan, 2nd innings: 244 all out (Sarfraz 72*; J Hazelwood 3/29)
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