The Karachi Test isn’t over yet, says Babar Azam after ending the drought of the century on Day 4 against Australia

Pakistan captain Babar Azam scored a defiant hundreds on Day 4 of the 2nd Test of a 3-game series against Australia in Karachi, keeping the hosts’ hopes alive after Pat Cummins’ side set them a mammoth goal of 506 runs. Pakistan faltered at 19/2 after losing Twin Centurion from the Rawalpindi Test, Imam-ul-Haq and senior batter Azhar Ali, but Babar and opener Abdullah Shafique kept the Australian bowlers at bay with a fighting partnership.

Pakistan reached Stumps on Day 4 with 192/2 after batting 82 overs. The hosts still need 314 runs to set a record, but with 171 runs unbeaten, Babar and Shafique have shown Australia can’t roll over them like they did in the first innings, when Pakistan tied for 148.

Pakistan vs. Australia, Day 2 of testing 4 highlights

Pakistan captain Babar Azam stressed that the Karachi test is far from over and they must keep up their good work if they don’t want to fall behind 1-0 in the 3-game series.

Indeed, it was a major blow to Babar Azam as the Pakistani skipper scored his first Test hundred since February 2020, breaking a two-year drought with a triple-digit score.

“This knock means a lot to me, the team needed it,” Babar said after stumps on Day 4.

“Luckily, I’ve managed to develop a good partnership with Shafique. The match isn’t over yet, so we need to keep playing the same way and the other batsmen need to step up as well,” he added.

AGAINST BACKWARDS

Pakistan was undone by reverse swing in the first innings. Michell Starc and Pat Cummins got old ball to finish off the owners as the hosts tied for 148 and conceded a 408-run lead. However, Babar said that after their dismal show earlier in the test, the Pakistani sluggers were working on countering the backswing better.

“After the first innings we practiced in the nets how to counter their backswing, only we have to play a little late,” he added.

Babar and Shafique joined the second over after lunch when Azhar Ali’s effort of over an hour to score 6 was nullified by a lbw from Cameron Green. Video verification showed a spike coming off the gloves before hitting Azhar in the body, but he chose not to verify.

Pakistan could have been 38-3 but Steve Smith spilled an easy catch in the slips when Shafique was on 20. It was Smith’s third dropped catch in the Test. Shafique also got a life on 33 when he was far from his crease, but Green missed the stumps on the non-striker’s end.

Earlier, Australia extended their lead to 505 when Cummins declared the second innings 97-2 after Marnus Labuschagne’s 44 Shaheen Afridi played back to his stumps after a missed train shot.

Afridi and Hasan Ali didn’t let Usman Khawaja, 44, who was not out, and Labuschagne in the half-hour after Australia resumed 81-1, didn’t allow the first-inning century-maker to score a quick goal. The statement came earlier than expected.

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