Spitting fire with the red cherry, Mitchell Starc delivered a masterclass in reverse swing bowling as Pakistan collapsed under pressure on Day 3 of the 2nd Test of a 3-match series in Karachi on Monday. Australia declared after posting a mammoth first-innings aggregate of 556/9 before crushing the hosts with 148. The visitors raced to 81/1 and extended their lead to 489 runs in Stumps on Day 3.
After a boring draw on a ‘below average’ pitch in Rawalpindi, where Australia managed to win just 4 wickets, the visitors hit back in style. Pat Cummins’ side took full advantage of the luck that favored them in the draw as they scored big points and roused the tired Pakistani batsmen to take complete control of the 2nd Test.
Australia didn’t force a follow-on, although they sealed a 408-run lead in the first innings as they looked to wear down the Pakistani bowlers even more under the blazing sun at Karachi’s National Stadium. Islamabad-born opener Usman Khawaja, who hit a daddy-hundred in the first innings, batted at the end of the game with 35 and Marnus Labuschagne with 37.
Starc didn’t take a wicket on a lifeless field in the first Test at Rawalpindi, but this time Pakistan was nullified by a great left-arm backswing from the fast bowler. Starc removed Azhar Ali and Fawad Alam with back-to-back deliveries and also made a successful televised recommendation against Sajid Khan after pushing for the wicketkeeper.
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Pakistan lost six wickets between lunch and tea for just 62 runs and was eventually bowled out for 148.
Captain Babar Azam (36) scored the best goal before holed out against leg spinner Swepson after a long outage. Starc ended the game with numbers of 3/29 while debutant Swepson came in with 2 scalps.
Australia was brilliant in this area. Labuschagne hit the stumps to drive off Hasan Ali while Swepson did the same to remove Abdullah Shafique.
STARC CREDITS BATTERS
After the day’s game, Starc credited the batsmen with a mammoth sum while also expressing surprise at the pace at which the Karachi pitch was deteriorating on Day 3.
“We knew the pitch was going to deteriorate to some degree, we weren’t sure if we expected it to go that fast,” Starc said.
“Both teams were able to pull off that backswing and I think the way our batters played the first two days gives them full credit for building a massive total.”
Earlier in the day, Australia added 51 runs to their overnight score and declared after Pat Cummins smashed 3 sixes for his Quickfire 34.