Australia in Commanding Position in Second Test as Pakistan Struggle

Wed Dec 27 2023
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MELBOURNE, Australia: In a commanding display, Australia seized control of the second Test against Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, leaving the visitors struggling at 194-6 by the end of day two, still trailing by 124 runs.

Pat Cummins and Nathan Lyon played pivotal roles in dismantling the Pakistani batting lineup. Cummins claimed crucial wickets, dismissing Abdullah Shafique (62), Babar Azam (one), and Agha Salman (five). Lyon contributed by removing Imamul Haq (10) and Shan Masood (54), while Josh Hazlewood bowled Saud Shakeel for nine.

At stumps, Mohammad Rizwan stood unbeaten on 29, with Aamer Jamal not out on two. Cummins’ and Lyon’s disciplined bowling put Pakistan in a precarious position, diminishing their hopes of a historic Test win in Australia.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan had shown resilience by taking seven wickets in the morning session, limiting Australia to 318. Aamer Jamal spearheaded Pakistan’s bowling attack, finishing with figures of 3-64.

In response, Pakistan’s openers, Haq and Shafique, made a positive start, surviving several appeals. However, Lyon’s experience came to the forefront as he claimed the crucial wicket of Haq, breaking their opening partnership.

Shafique and Masood then elevated the run rate, with Shafique reaching his first Test 50 in Australia. Cummins intervened with a brilliant catch off his own bowling to dismiss Shafique, while Lyon and Hazlewood further dented Pakistan’s innings.

Australia’s first-innings total of 318 had earlier been anchored by Marnus Labuschagne, who top-scored with 63. Travis Head’s attacking play provided momentum, but Cummins’ counter-attacks and Lyon’s disciplined bowling were instrumental in Australia’s dominance.

As the day concluded, Australia maintained a firm grip on the match, leaving Pakistan with a challenging task in the remaining days of the Test. The series currently stands at 1-0 in favor of Australia, who secured a convincing 360-run victory in the first Test in Perth.

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