Twitter Reactions: Babar Azam and Sarfraz Ahmed grind Australia in the UAE heat
Pakistan are nine wickets away from the series victory.
Published - Oct 18, 2018 7:05 pm | Updated - Oct 18, 2018 7:05 pm
Pakistan all but made sure that they are not losing the second and final Test against Australia in Abu Dhabi. All of their batsmen had a field day as the visitors looked extremely tired. Though it was a pretty slow-going day with both the teams waiting for the opposition to make a mistake, it was also a pretty eventful one. Azhar Ali’s comical run-out, Babar Azam getting out on 99 and Sarfraz Ahmed once again missing out on a century were the highlights of the day.
Azhar Ali and Haris Sohail resumed the day for Pakistan as the latter was soon sent back by Nathan Lyon. Sohail stepped out of the crease to thump it out of the ground, but the ball zipped past him and Tim Paine whipped the bails off in a flash. Asad Shafiq and Azhar then played patiently not giving their wicket easily. But Azhar was dismissed in the most bizarre manner.
He edged the ball past the gully fielder and stopped in the middle of the pitch chatting with his partner thinking that it was a boundary. But it had stopped two yards before the ropes and Mitchell Starc fired in a throw only for Paine to disturb the timber. He had no idea what was going on and eventually had to go back after scoring 64. Shafiq also missed out on a chance of scoring big but Babar Azam and Sarfraz didn’t miss out.
Azam’s wait continues
The duo wore out the opposition perfectly and never upped the ante as well. They added 133 runs in 35 overs when everybody felt that Pakistan should’ve declared way earlier. Understandably, they were waiting for Azam’s first century. But the lad was extremely unlucky. After batting superbly for 170 deliveries, he somehow missed the inducker from Mitchell Marsh and was trapped in front of the stumps.
The wickets started to fall then like a heap. Lyon and Marnus Labuschagne were at work. Sarfraz, at the other end, wanted one of the tail-enders to stay with him as he was also nearing his century. But even he was pinned in front of the stumps by Labuschagne after which Pakistan declared with the massive lead of 537 runs.
Pakistan lose Shaun Marsh
Australia were already hamstrung with an injury to Usman Khawaja and he wasn’t on the field for a lot of time which made Shaun Marsh open the innings along with Aaron Finch. The left-hander was visibly tired and got a peach of a delivery from the debutant Mir Hamza. However, Finch and Travis Head then made sure that there were no more hiccups for them as Australia ended the day on 42/1 with 496 runs away from unlikely victory.
With still two days to go, Pakistan are clear favourites to clinch this game and win the series by 1-0. All the eyes will now be on the tourists and it remains to be seen if they will be able to do the unthinkable of playing out two days. Remember, they batted for 140 overs in the first Test to eke out a draw and they aren’t mere pushovers even in this situation.
Here’s how Twitter reacted during the course of the day:
— zainab abbas (@ZAbbasOfficial) October 18, 2018
The impact of Marnus Labuschagne part-time leg spin highlights the noticeable absence of a specialist wrist spinner in the Australian squad! #PAKvAUS
— Tom Moody (@TomMoodyCricket) October 18, 2018
Still remember the mighty Australian team playing against Pak back in 1999 giving us run for our money & now it’s really painful to see the performances of weakest Australian team which is not right up there ..
Just wondering what happened to rich Australian Cricket culture??
— Shoaib Akhtar (@shoaib100mph) October 18, 2018
— Abhinav mukund (@mukundabhinav) October 18, 2018
Without question the greatest Run out of all time !!!! https://t.co/PDGpXMAtkb
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) October 18, 2018
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) October 18, 2018
First time ever that three Pakistan batsmen have scored nervous 90s in the same Test. #PakvAus
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) October 18, 2018
— Giri Subramanian (@giri26) October 18, 2018
— ICC (@ICC) October 18, 2018
SMarsh getting a good nut is the worst. Excuses are his fortay. #PAKvsAUS
— Tyler Maher (@tylermaher5) October 18, 2018
— Paul is not King. (@VibeRockin) October 18, 2018
— Ejaz Wasim Bakhri (@ejazwasim) October 18, 2018
— Pratik Modi (@prkmodi) October 18, 2018
— Eunoiac (@varoun3883) October 18, 2018
Sorry Shaun, times up. Step aside and let the youth come through. #PAKvsAUS
— Chris Harry (@chooka_harry) October 18, 2018
— Muhammad Essa (@sta_Essa_yrsExa) October 18, 2018