MELBOURNE: In a dramatic turn of events at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, the third day of the Test match witnessed a spirited comeback from Pakistan’s bowlers, Mir Hamza and Shaheen Afridi, as they rescued their team from a challenging position. After posting 264 in response to Australia’s first-innings total of 318, Pakistan found themselves in a precarious situation with the hosts at 16 for 4 in their second innings.
The real heroes of the day were undoubtedly Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mir Hamza, both claiming three wickets each. Usman Khawaja fell for a duck on the second ball, caught behind by Mohammad Rizwan off Shaheen Afridi’s delivery, followed by the dismissal of Manus Labuschagne. Mir Hamza then delivered a stunning blow by clean bowling David Warner, and in the very next over, Travis Head succumbed to an inswinging yorker, leaving the hosts struggling at 16 for 2 by lunch. The duo struck again, reducing Australia to 16 for 4.
Despite a spirited resistance from Mitchell Marsh and a determined Steve Smith, who scored 96 and 50 runs, respectively, Pakistan’s bowlers maintained their pressure. Notably, Hassan Ali added a touch of entertainment with his antics, engaging the crowd with a warm-up routine that quickly became a crowd-pulling spectacle.
The captivating scenes on the field unfolded as Mitchell Marsh’s counter-attacking innings played a pivotal role in Australia’s recovery. Ending the day at 187-6, with Smith’s dismissal in the last over, Australia managed to build a substantial lead of 241 runs. The crowd, appreciative of the competitive cricket on display, responded enthusiastically to Hassan Ali’s antics, adding an entertaining dimension to the intense day of play.