A Mitchell Starc-inspired Australia moved closer to victory in the second Test versus Pakistan despite wilful resistance from Babar Azam and Yasir Shah.
The towering Aussie quick tore through the Pakistan’s middle order, finishing with figures of six for 66 as Pakistan were bowled out for 302 in Adelaide.
Babar Azam (97) and Yasir Shah with his maiden Test ton (113) – the first Pakistani number eight to score a Test century since 2006 – both relented the fast bowling onslaught as best they could, but their efforts were ultimately in vain as Australia elected to enforce the follow-on.
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) December 1, 2019
The embattled top order of the tourists once again faltered under the floodlights as three wickets fell for single digit returns in their second innings.
Josh Hazlewood removed Imam-ul-Haq (duck) and Babar Azam (eight), while that man Starc could not be contained once more after he accounted for captain Azhar Ali (nine) as Pakistan reached 39 for three before the weather closed in forcing an early finish.
Pakistan’s hopes of rescuing the situation have looked in dire straits since Australia’s first innings, after perennial wind-up merchant David Warner produced a remarkable unbeaten triple century (335*) to put to bed his miserable Ashes campaign this past summer.
Captain Tim Paine rather curiously chose to declare with Brian Lara’s historic Test record of 400* in sight, a decision we’re sure many neutral fans of the game will be quietly happy about.
Marnus Labuschagne also contributed in impressive fashion with his second consecutive hundred (162), putting Test cricket on notice that Australia may not be as reliant on Steve Smith as we think.
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