Cricket

Australia vs Pakistan: Rizwan, Salman and Jamal provide Day 1 fightback in third Test

Pakistan, staring down a meagre innings total at 96 for five after winning the toss, counter-attacked to frustrate the Australians at the Sydney Cricket Ground

Agence France-Presse January 03, 2024 14:36:18 IST
Australia vs Pakistan: Rizwan, Salman and Jamal provide Day 1 fightback in third Test

Pakistan's Aamer Jamal celebrates making 50 runs against Australia in the third Test. AP

Gritty Pakistan clawed back from looming disaster to finish with 313 on the back of fighting half-centuries from Mohammad Rizwan, Agha Salman and Aamer Jamal on the first day of the third Test against Australia on Wednesday.

The tourists, staring down a meagre innings total at 96 for five after winning the toss, counter-attacked to frustrate the Australians at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Rizwan clubbed 88 off 103 balls, number nine Jamal a spirited 82 off 97 and Salman 53 off 67 to give the tourists some hope after a car-crash start to the innings.

David Warner, playing in his 112th and final Test, had to see off a tense final over before the close and survived a scare before finishing with six in Australia’s reply of 6-0.

Australia skipper Pat Cummins took five for 61 for his third successive five-wicket haul in the series.

In a day that began in elation for Australia ended in frustration as Pakistan’s tail wagged furiously to rescue their side after a terrible start.

Mohammad Rizwan and Agha Salman triggered the comeback with a spirited 94-run stand to defy the Australia attack.

Rizwan, who had been dropped for the first Test, blasted two sixes and 10 fours off 103 balls before he fell to a legside trap set by Cummins.

Rizwan top-edged a pull shot for Josh Hazlewood to take the catch at fine leg after posting the highest individual score by a Pakistan batsman of the series.

Rousing morning

Salman took up the cudgels with a half-century before he was caught by Travis Head off Mitchell Starc.

Jamal kept the fightback going as he registered his highest Test score before he fell to Nathan Lyon.

That left Warner to see out the final over of the day and he began with a flourish, cutting the first ball for four from spinner Sajid Khan.

It was a rousing morning session for Australia as openers Abdullah Shafique and debutant Saim Ayub were dismissed inside two overs.

The out-of-form Shafique fell to the second ball of Starc’s opening over and Ayub, brought in for Imam-ul-Haq to make his Test debut, only lasted two balls before a Hazlewood outswinger had him caught behind by Alex Carey.

Babar Azam hit three glorious cover drives to the ropes before he was out for 26.

Cummins appealed vociferously for lbw but was turned down by the umpire, only to seek a review and get the verdict, leaving the tourists tottering at 39 for three.

Saud Shakeel copped a nasty blow on the collarbone from a Cummins lifter and in the Australian skipper’s next over he prodded a catch behind to Carey for five, leaving his side further in the mire at 47 for four.

Skipper Shan Masood, on 32, was caught by Smith at second slip off Mitchell Marsh just after lunch but it was ruled a no-ball.

Marsh got the last laugh two overs later when Masood, on 35, again edged the medium-pacer to Smith in almost identical fashion to leave Pakistan at 96 for five.

Australia clinched the three-match series with a tense 79-run win in the second Test in Melbourne over Christmas.

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Published on: January 03, 2024 14:36:18 IST

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