Rawalpindi Test: Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith shone with the bat as Australia approached Pakistan’s first-innings total but the historic Test is headed for a tie.
Steve Smith scored 78 on his first test tapping in Pakistan (AP Photo)
- Australia went to Stumps on Day 4 on 449/7, 27 runs behind
- Labuschagne and Smith dominated with the racquet on Monday
- Nauman Ali shone for Pakistan with 4 wickets on Day 4
The historic Test between Pakistan and Australia in Rawalpindi is heading for a relatively dull tie as the visitors dominated with the racquet on Day 4 but still trailed by 27 runs. Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith poked fun with the racquet but missed hundreds even as the wet outfield wiped out Monday’s first session.
Australia reached 449/7 in stumps after Smith and Labuschagne wowed the Rawalpindi crowd with their class. Mitchell Starc was on 12 when poor light halted play and skipper Pat Cummins was on four at the other end.
Left-arm spinner Nauman Ali shone with the ball for Pakistan, picking up 4 wickets including that of Smith and Cameroon Green who looked to step on the gas in Rawalpindi on Monday.
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) March 7, 2022
LABUSCHAGNE, SMITH MISS HUNDREDS
Marnus Labuschagne made 90 and Steve Smith contributed 78 in a strong batting performance from the tourists.
Earlier, Pakistan had struck twice in the morning session on the penultimate day after starting the action late. Smith became the fourth batsman in Australia’s top four to break the 50 mark but failed to convert to 100.
Armed with the second fresh ball, Shaheen Afridi prompted an easy drive from Labuschagne and Abdullah Shafique dove to the right for a sharp catch in the slip. Labuschagne’s fluent tapping included 12 borders.
Travis Head made an eight before edge spinner Nauman Ali and wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan made a clever catch from behind the stumps.
Cameron Green (48), who wasn’t even born when Australia last toured Pakistan in 1998, started well but fell short of a fifth half-century in the top six. Green briefly fluffed his sweep against Nauman to pick up Iftikhar on the short fine leg to find.
Left-arm spinner Nauman (4-107) bowled further outside the leg stump, which also earned him the prize wicket from Smith, who passed a gloved ball to Rizwan as he attempted a sweep shot.