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21-Mar-2022 15:18:00 GMT
Pak vs Aus - 3rd Test, Lahore, day 1

Pakistan fight back after century stand

Australia 232 for 5 (Khawaja 91, Smith 59) vs Pakistan

Lahore: Australia looked set for a big score before Pakistan fought back valiantly in the final session of the first day of the third and final Test in Lahore, with the visitors ending day one on 232/5.

Winning the toss, Australian skipper Pat Cummins had no hesitation in opting to bat first.

While the visitors rolled in unchanged into the third and final Test, Pakistan made one change – drafting in pacer Naseem Shah in place of all-rounder Faheem Ashraf.

The Australians found themselves in trouble early on, with Shaheen Afridi looking in sensational rhythm. He first trapped David Warner plumb, with a delivery that moved in as the Australian opener walked back for 7.

In the same over, he would then dismiss Marnus Labuschagne for a duck off a delivery that nipped away from him, inducing the outside edge.

After 2.5 overs, Australia found themselves at 8/2, with Usman Khawaja and Steve Smith tasked with withstanding the Pakistan pace assault.

They did precisely that, playing with a watchful mindset while punishing the bad deliveries.

Despite Pakistan's best efforts, another breakthrough would not come around as Australia headed to lunch at 70/2.

The pair continued in the same vein in the following session, as Pakistan continued to toil hard on a flat wicket.

None of the three pacers or the spin of Sajid Khan and Nauman Ali troubled Khawaja or Smith.

Khawaja's golden run in the series continued as he brought up his third fifty-plus score. And Steve Smith would also follow suit, notching up his milestone.

It was a dominant session for the Australians as they added 75 runs without losing a wicket.

The final session would finally bring some joy for Pakistan on the back of some disciplined bowling. The 138-run stand would finally be broken by Naseem Shah as he trapped Steve Smith LBW for 59.

With a hint of reverse swing coming into play, Naseem got the ball to move in sharply as Smith was hit on the pad. The umpire had no hesitation in adjudging him out.

Khawaja continued on in his merry way, nudging the ball around and looking well set for another massive score. He was joined by Travis Head, who got a second life as Sajid Khan dropped a return catch.

Sajid though would reap the reward for some tight bowling, getting the big scalp of Khawaja.

Batting on 91, Khawaja went to flick the ball through midwicket but only got the leading edge to the right of slip.

Babar Azam reacted brilliantly and pulled off a stunning catch as Khawaja had to walk back to the pavilion in the nineties for the second time in the series.

Naseem Shah would produce another brilliant delivery, getting the ball to shape in from the fourth stump.

Head would be caught flat-footed, prodding at the delivery and edging it straight into the hands of the keeper to walk back for 26.

Cameron Green (20*) and Alex Carey (8*) ensured no more setbacks for the visitors, and they will resume day two in Lahore at 232/5.

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