40th over: Australia 105-1 (Khawaja 47, Labuschagne 18) Floodlights are on at the SCG and high wind is whipping the flags atop the Members Stand. It puts a gust into Khawaja’s sails as he swats the first ball of Aamer’s new spell over the infield and into the fence on the third bounce. Great FOUR! He finds another one behind square to keep the strike.
39th over: Australia 100-1 (Khawaja 42, Labuschagne 18) Salman rushes another one into Khawaja’s pads and he spoons it a little but still gets a run. Labuschagne does better, playing late and whipping one square for a single that brings up Australia’s 100.
38th over: Australia 97-1 (Khawaja 41, Labuschagne 16) Marnus is settling into his innings now, ticking over at a strike rate of 40 but gently accelerating with quick singles and the occasional lashing boundary. Khawaja is plodding along at 32 but given Uzzy is chasing his fourth consecutive century at the SCG, we’ll cut him some slack. He taps a single from the last to inch a run closer to that epic feat and retain strike.
37th over: Australia 93-1 (Khawaja 40, Labuschagne 15) Another cut with soft hands gets Labuschagne a single backward of square. Khawaja runs another one to extra cover and Labuschagne picks off a third with flick past midwicket. Good news for Pakistan fans: Hasam Ali is back on the ground after treatment for that leg injury. He’s stationed in the deep, perhaps readying for another crowdpleasing Merv Hughes-style warm-up routine.
36th over: Australia 92-1 (Khawaja 39, Labuschagne 13) Marnus leans back and taps a couple of runs past gully. It balloons Hamza’s figures from 0-4 from eight overs to a slightly less miserly 0-6. And here’s more runs, as Labuschagne winkles one off his toes into the onside and scampers three. Five from the over! Hamza must need a rest. Australia now trail by 221.
35th over: Australia 87-1 (Khawaja 39, Labuschagne 8) Salman fishes outside Khawaja’s off stump but Uzzy is a master of spin and won’t be rushed. Salman is whizzing them in at 92kph, varying the length and forcing Khawaja to play late and hop about the crease. Finally, the Australians eke a run behind square. Pakistan are closing in again here.
34th over: Australia 85-1 (Khawaja 37, Labuschagne 8) True to legend, the Sydney Cricket Ground is starting to tantalise for the spinners. Both Australian batters played with fire in that last Salman over but survived. And there’s no reprieve when Hamza is building pressure at the other end. He bowls five dots before Khawaja prods one past gully to wake up the scorers.
33rd over: Australia 84-1 (Khawaja 36, Labuschagne 8) Almost an edge! Labuschagne stepped back to slap that square as he did successfully in Salman’s last over, but it bit into the wicket and rushed through on him. Bowler and wicketkeeper yelped at the close shave. Labuschagne, always a hard marker on himself, shakes his head at his impetuosity and takes a single. And now Khawaja is shaking his head, having played around a skidding delivery that takes a coat of varnish from off stump. He runs off the error with a single from the last. Pakistan with tails up in this session.
32nd over: Australia 82-1 (Khawaja 35, Labuschagne 7) Here’s a test within the Test. Hamza is back for a seventh over, having leaked just three runs and bowled four maidens so far. Khawaja gets behind the first volley, lightly driving them back down the wicket. Hasam has left the field with an injury sustained in the field from that first over. Calf or hamstring, we’re not sure, but he hobbled off wincing. Chalk up a fifth maiden for Hamza.
31st over: Australia 82-1 (Khawaja 35, Labuschagne 7) And we’re back. Salman resumes to Labuschagne and he cuts a short fourth ball through covers to the rope. Lovely shot by the Australian first drop. That’s his first boundary and hopefully a statement of intent for the session after a slow grind in the first.
Another entertaining session! Australia took a slow stranglehold on the game early as Khawaja and Warner rode their luck and whittled the chase of 313 below 250. Then, out of nowhere, new bowler Salman snagged Warner for 34 with a viciously spinning and overtly bouncing ball to steal back the momentum. Truth be told, Pakistan will still be disappointed with their effort. They fielded poorly again, letting down excellent bowling. Debutant Saim grassed a simple chance to spare Warner on 20 after he’d played some streaky shots just shy of slips. But they got their man in the end, and for not too many more. Now Pakistan have a new batter, in the slightly misfiring Marnus Labuschagne, on whom to focus their attack after lunch. Can the visitors counter-punch again to win back the initiative? Or will Sydney specialist Khawaja steer Australia to higher ground yet again? Grab a bite and we’ll find out after the break.
30th over: Australia 78-1 (Khawaja 35, Labuschagne 2) Bit of good natured agro between combatants as Hasan pauses in his run-up then restarts only to watch Labuschagne withdraw. Hasan smiles, Marnus scowls. It’s been a fiercely fought series on field but the camaraderie between players behind the white line has been wonderful. Marnus takes a single from the last ball before lunch and the players pause hostilities for a bite to eat.
29th over: Australia 76-1 (Khawaja 35, Labuschagne 1) Salman leaks a run from the first ball of his third over, as Khawaja cracks one to a man in the deep. There’s an excited yelp on the third as Labuschagne pops a ball jagging in to the silly mid-on but there’s nowt in it.
28th over: Australia 75-1 (Khawaja 34, Labuschagne 1) Hasan continues his probing spell of pace. He’s skidding them in at over 130kph, targeting a fourth stump line but threatening the occasional inswinger. Khawaja has seen it all before and lets all five slide by without scoring before angling the bat to slide the final delivery past gully for a single.
27th over: Australia 74-1 (Khawaja 33, Labuschagne 1) Wicket-taker Salman is searching for that crack that undid David Warner. He doesn’t find it but it takes Khawaja five balls before he can push a single to long off. The wind has picked up at the SCG but the skies, while grey, are a brighter shade of it.
26th over: Australia 71-1 (Khawaja 30, Labuschagne 1) Having stolen a single in the last over, Labuschagne faces up to Hasan. Perhaps recognising a man slightly out-of-form, Pakistan have cinched the field with a slip, leg slip and short leg crowding in to amp up the pressure. No more runs.
25th over: Australia 71-1 (Khawaja 30, Labuschagne 1) Marnus Labuschagne has swaggered to the crease to face a resurgent bowling side. An astute change of bowler, a great delivery and a fine catch has the pep back in Pakistan’s step. Warner got a rousing reception from the Sydney crowd on exit but was too disappointed to acknowledge it with a raised bat. He’ll get another chance – a final one in Tests – in the days to come.
Warner’s luck runs out! New bowler Salman has the prized scalp of the soon-to-be retiree and it’s the breakthrough Pakistan desperately needed. The ball spun and bounced on Warner and he was tentative, pushing his hands at it and drawing a thick edge that Babar scooped up just before it hit the turf.
24th over: Australia 70-0 (Warner 34, Khawaja 30) Warner whips Hasan behind point for another run. He’s moving in singles is The Bull, determined to last until lunch. Khawaja leaves the rest as Australia whittle the chase below 250. Salman the part-time spinner, fulltime slipper (when he’s not in the bathroom) is warming up for the next over.
23rd over: Australia 69-0 (Warner 33, Khawaja 30) Wide by Sajid and WHACK goes Khawaja! Lovely shot through forward point by Uzzy as he accelerates while Warner eases off the gas.
22nd over: Australia 63-0 (Warner 32, Khawaja 26) Aamer is off to stew on his bad luck and Hasan returns to the attack. Warner takes an easy single from the first and Khawaja watches a wide one bounce three times before it reaches the ‘keeper. A jumping pull shot gets Khawaja three after a good dive on the rope from Hamza saves a boundary. Warner’s rabbit legs turn a single into a couple from the final ball. Good running by the veterans!
21st over: Australia 59-0 (Warner 32, Khawaja 23) Pakistan persist with Sajid, despiute the spinner going at over four perover from his seven so far. Khawaja takes him for two after captain Masood misfields at mid-on and then salts the scratch with a single behind square. Australia now trail by 254.
20th over: Australia 55-0 (Warner 31, Khawaja 20) Warner’s drive down the ground for two means Australia’s openers bring up their 50 partnership, the 22nd of this celebrated Khawaja-Warner union. It’s a slow 50 (118 balls) and a streaky one (Warner edged twice to slip but survived) but it’s a solid one and it’s giving Australia honours on Day 2. Warner doubles down on his luck by edging another one between second slip and gully for four. The two friends, both 37-years-old and mates since they were pad-high in Sydney junior cricket, bump fists to celebrate.
19th over: Australia 47-0 (Warner 23, Khawaja 20) After Warner scampers a single, there’s a big shout by Sajid. It spun significantly but there’s a little inside edge from Khawaja and Masood was right not to review. Good call. And now a good shot from Khawaja as he skips down to negate the spin and launch the ball down the ground for a boundary.
18th over: Australia 41-0 (Warner 22, Khawaja 16) Aamer must have whet his whistle with firewater at the drinks break. He is really throwing grenades here. That dropped catch in his first over has turbo-charged his bowling and he’s now up to 137kph but overstepping twice in the effort, alas. Warner is ducking and weaving but, try as he might, can’t score until a lavish hook behind square t the final delivery gets him a hard-earned run.
17th over: Australia 39-0 (Warner 21, Khawaja 16) Sajid’s spinning fingers, so finely hued on the waxy tips of his moustache, gets us underway in the second phase of this first session. It’s his best over yet, probing and accurate, and yields him a maiden.
16th over: Australia 39-0 (Warner 21, Khawaja 16) Here’s Aamer again, steam spewing from his ears after that dropped catch in his last over. He played his pants off with the bat yesterday, pasting Australia’s all-star bowlers all over the park with an 82 that got Pakistan to an unlikely 313. And he’s bowled beautifully this morning and shuld have Warners’s capless scalp on his belt. But that’s the beautiful cruelty of cricket. Khawaja takes a single and we’ll pause for drinks. A stiff whiskey for Saim, please barkeep!
15th over: Australia 38-0 (Warner 21, Khawaja 15) Pakistan forlornly continue to Warner, a man they’ve now spared twice this morning, through Sajid the spinner. Khawaja clips him for a couple of singles and Warner takes one too. Salman is at the fence after his abysmally-timed dunny run.
14th over: Australia 36-0 (Warner 20, Khawaja 14) Warner dropped! What a sitter that was and it’s the debutant Saim who has grassed the simplest of chances. Good gravy, that was as easy a catch as you’ll ever see and Saim – who notched a second-ball duck yesterday in his first innings – has dropped it cold to give David Warner another life. Why on earth isn’t Salman, a sticky fingered master of the slipping art, at first slip? Turns out he’s on a bathroom break a few minutes before the lunch break. Yeesh. Terrible luck for Day One wonderboy Aamer Jamal in his first over too.
13th over: Australia 31-0 (Warner 20, Khawaja 10) Swept for four! Sajid tossed it up and Khawaja stepped down and swept it beautifully to the midwicket boundary. Lovely stuff Uzzy! He half-sweeps the final ball fine to collect another two. Both openers into double figures and Australia moving nicely to the target of 313.
12th over: Australia 24-0 (Warner 19, Khawaja 4) Warner got off the mark with a slapped boundary to the first ball he faced yesterday. It is the 68th time he has done that in his 204 Test innings, yet another remarkable stat in a career full of them. He has one four to his name today, a streaky edge through slips. Won’t make the career highlights reel but got him going today. Another maiden here by Hazan as his brilliant spell continues.
11th over: Australia 24-0 (Warner 19, Khawaja 4) Come in spinner! Here comes Sajid Khan, chrome domed and elaborately moustachioed. The specialist spinner was overlooked for the first two Tests but gets his chance at the traditionally spin-friendly SCG. Warner’s fast feet get him a single from the first and Khawaja does likewise to the fourth. Warner strokes the fifth to deep third man for a couple. Four from the over and the chase is now down to 289.
10th over: Australia 21-0 (Warner 17, Khawaja 3) Wristy business from Khawaja as he flicks lavishly off his hip for a single to fine leg. Warner gets hip to the next too, dropping at his feet for a run. Hamza has been awesome this morning, leaking three runs from his five overs so far, make that four runs as Warner works another. A big Hamza inswinger on the last sows some seeds of doubt in the openers. Good bowling again!
9th over: Australia 18-0 (Warner 15, Khawaja 2) Hasan returns and, after his edge in the previous over, Warner is watchful. Hard to tell where The Bull is at this morning. His body language – strutting, grinning, shuffling feet – is positive but he’s been edgy (pun intended) in his stroke selection. There’s a half-shout on the second delivery as he misses a straight one, then a couple of half-runs before he retreats back into his crease. No runs from this over.
8th over: Australia 18-0 (Warner 15, Khawaja 2) Hamza goes full and fast to Warner before slinging his third delivery wide down the legside. Warner works a similar ball for a single legbye on the fourth. How long before we see first-innings batting hero Aamer Jamal this morning? His tenth-wicket pyrotechnics turned the Test yesterday and, after a six-for on debut in Perth, the former Hawkesbury clubbie’s confidence must be sky-high.
7th over: Australia 17-0 (Warner 15, Khawaja 2) Warner edges! But Pakistan have taken out that second slip and instead of flying into the safe hands of Salman it runs away to the boundary. Luck for Warner, lament for Pakistan! We have 20,097 in the SCG today and more streaming through the gates, most of them in pink to support the wonderful Jane McGrath Foundation.
6th over: Australia 12-0 (Warner 10, Khawaja 2) With the ball hooping about and Hamza challenging pads and bat, Khawaja is hyper-cautious. He plays at a few but leaves the rest. Good bowling by Pakistan. Buoyed by their fightback with the bat yesterday, the bowlers have their tail up today.
5th over: Australia 12-0 (Warner 10, Khawaja 2) It’s a humid day in Sydney, bruised skies hovering and showers in the offing for later in the day.
(Former Gabba curator?) Kevin Mitchell has dropped me a line from the SCG: “The sun has worked its way through the Sydney clouds, but Mike Hussey might not be seeing it so clearly. ‘Mr Cricket’ reckons this second day pitch looks “great for batting”. With all due respect etc… it’s already two-paced with cracks and foot marks in awkward spots. Australia to struggle to 300 by stumps.”
Thanks Kevin. It’s an odd wicket alright and, no disrespect to Huss, but I think 300 will test the Australians too. Then again, if David Warner goes bezerk warrior on us, it could be done by tea. And there’s a good sign! Warner steps out and onto one knee to bang Hasan down the ground for a glorious boundary. Shot Davey!
4th over: Australia 7-0 (Warner 6, Khawaja 1) Khawaja gets another look at Hamza. He missed out in Melbourne but Sydney, his home ground before he defected to Queensland a few seasons back, is where he averages 140 and has staged some of his more remarkable feats with the bat. Here’s a feat in itself – the first run of the day, a steepling ball Khawaja works off his hip to get off the mark. Australia moving cautiously today as Pakistan press for first session honours, something they’ve let slip the last two Tests.
3rd over: Australia 6-0 (Warner 6, Khawaja 0) David Warner gets his chance now and it’s Hasan Ali coming around the wicket this time. Clever tactics by Pakistan. Warner is batting way out of his crease trying to take LBW out of the equation so the right-armed Hasan is trying to sharpen the angles and hoop it around his defences. Warner looks jittery, feet moving every which way, and he gets an inside edge to the third ball which draws an excited shout from the Pakistan close fielders. No dice. Another maiden.
2nd over: Australia 6-0 (Warner 6, Khawaja 0) Here we go, comrades. Usman Khawaja, having nervously watched his partner see out the sole over yesterday, faces up to Mir Hamza for the first over of Day 2. And straight away Pakistan are challenging the edge, zeroing in on the cracks opening up on this dusty SCG surface. Khawaja plays and misses at a few and watches the rest. A maiden over to kick us off.
The players are taking the field under blue-grey Sydney skies. David Warner, having narrowly survived six balls from Majid Khan, trots out. It was the usual routine from The Bull, a loving touch of the plaque for his friend Phillip Hughes and then a bullish strut to the wicket, arms whirling, knees squatting, jaw jutting. What can Warner do today?
A day after Steve Waugh said Test cricket is dead, South Africa and India have delivered one of the craziest day’s play in the game’s history
Greetings cricket fans and welcome to the Sydney Cricket Ground for Day Two of the third and final Test in this series between Australia and Pakistan. Angus Fontaine here to steer you through the opening sessions with Geoff Lemon to bring you home.
Day One was massive – yet not quite as monumental as another Day One. After an emotional homecoming for David Warner in his last Test before retirement, Australia exploded out of the blocks with a wicket on the second ball (Mitchell Starc removing Abdullah Shafique) and then a second wicket on the eighth (Josh Hazlewood dispatching debutant Saim Ayub). When Pat Cummins chimed in with another two dismissals in the first session to leave Pakistan slumped at 47 for 4, the Test looked all but over.
Then Pakistan did what they’ve been doing all series and counter-punched. Captain Shan Masood and Babar Azam steadied the ship with brief but brilliant innings before Mohammad Rizwan and Salman Ali Agha swung the momentum back to the visitors, wicketkeeper Rizwan caning a wonderful 88 off 103 and Salman a super 53. Together they dragged the score to 227 for 9, a pretty fair total after that horror start. Then No 9 Aamer Jamal caused a sensation, belting Australia’s elite attack to all corners of the ground with a pyrotechnic 82 that rocketed Pakistan to 313 and had critics decrying Australia’s complacent fields and odd tactics to the tail.
Ultimately, Pat Cummins’ five wickets (his third consecutive five-for) and Jamal’s whirlwind knock means Day Two starts delicately poised. Of course, the Man of the Moment is the decidedly indelicate David Warner who will resume on 6 after whacking a four from his first ball yesterday and avoiding playing onto his stumps by milimetres from the fifth. Despite his beloved baggy green still being MIA, The Bull bats on today in his final Test. Can he find the old fireworks and conjure an innings for the ages? Or will Pakistan rain on his farewell parade? On an SCG pitch playing plenty of tricks, anything can happen – and probably will.
For those who came in late… here’s how Day One of the third Test slumped, surged and sizzled to a razor’s edge finale