Australia were cruising, but their charge was halted by monumental efforts from Abdullah Shafique and Babar as Pakistan kept their hopes alive in the second Test alive. After setting a 506-run target, Australia got the wickets of Imam-ul-Haq and Azhar Ali to leave Pakistan reeling at 21/2 on Day 4 at National Stadium, Karachi. But an unbroken third-wicket stand of 171 runs in 362 balls deflated the visitors. There were talks of cracks developing, but Shafique and Azam looked unperturbed. Babar (102 off 197 not out) reached his 6th Test century while Shafique was unbeaten on 71 off 226. Nathan Lyon and Cameron Green got a wicket each for Australia, who earlier in the day declared their second innings at 97/2. Catch Day 4 highlights and cricket scores of PAK vs AUS, 2nd Test:
6:03 PM IST: Stumps
Nathan Lyon with the final over of the day. Three from the over. And that's stumps. The third-wicket stand between Abdullah Shafique (71 off 266) and Babar Azam (102 off 197) is 171 off 362. Pakistan need another 314 runs. PAK - 192/2 (82)
Australia took the second new ball after the 80th over. And Pat Cummins had the new cherry, and almost york Babar Azam with the second ball. Pakistan captain somehow managed to block it.
5:43 PM IST: Babar Ton
Mitchell Swepson on with his 26th over. A top edge off the third ball for a couple and 25th Test century for Babar Azam (102 off 180, 12 fours and one six). Pakistan need 320 runs. PAK - 186/2 (77.3)
5:31 PM IST: 150-run Stand
150-run stand in 315 balls for Abdullah Shafique (64 off 209) and Babar Azam (89 off 167). Six runs from Pat Cummins' 10th over, including a four off the second ball, hit by Babar. PAK - PAK 170/2 (73)
5:15 PM IST: 141-run Stand
Nathan Lyon on with his 20th over. A single from it. His figures so far, 1/45. Four runs from the over. Abdullah Shafique (64 off 199) and Babar Azam (82 off 156) have added 141 runs for the third wicket in 295. Pakistan still need 344 runs. PAK - 162/2 (71)
4:55 PM IST: 0/43 For Swepson
Mitchell Swepson on with his 20th over. A maiden to Babar Azam. His figures: 20-5-43-0. Pakistan need another 354 runs. PAK - 152/2 (66)
4:28 PM IST: PAK Growing In Confidence
Mitchell Swepson on with his 17th over. Five from the over, including a four off the last ball, hit by Babar Azam (63). Pakistan need 374 runs. PAK - 132/2 (60)
4:13 PM IST: 100-run Stand
Mitchell Starc on with his 10th over. Babar Azam hits the last ball for a four and the third-wicket stand is now 104 off 210. Pakistan need 381 runs. PAK - 125/2 (57)
4:00 PM IST: Shafique Fifty
Nathan Lyon on with his 14th over. Abdullah Shafique (52 off 154) takes three off the first and fifty for the opener. His stand with Babar Azam (53 off 100) is now worth 98 in 192. Pakistan need 387 runs. AUS - 119/2 (54)
3:40 PM IST: Babar Fifty
Babar Azam his 20th Test fifty, in 82 balls. Four singles from Nathan Lyon's 12th over. Pakistan need 396 runs. PAK - 110/2 (50)
3:13 PM IST: Tea
Mitchell Starc continues. A maiden to Babar Azam (47 off 79). Third-wicket stand with Abdullah Shafique (44 off 138) is now worth 83 in 155. In the previous over, Pat Cummins almost had his rival number. Babar Azam pulled the fourth and the ball just flew over a leaping David Warner for a four.
Pakistan need 402 runs. PAK - 104/2 (48)
3:02 PM IST: 100 Up
100 up for Pakistan with a four off the fourth ball in the 46th over, bowled by Mitchell Starc. Abdullah Shafique (44) now one hit away from his fifty. 100/2 (46)
2:52 PM IST: Flurry Of Runs
Mitchell Swepson on with his 14th over. A couple to square leg, then four byes off the third. Babar Azam hits the fifth for a four, pierces the off-side. 10 from the over. In the previous over, Abdullah Shafique hit Nathan Lyon for innings first six. Pakistan need 412 runs. PAK - 94/2 (43)
2:35 PM IST: 50-run Stand
Nathan Lyon on with his tenth over. Babar Azam hits the first ball for a four, past point. And fifty-run stand with Abdullah Shafique. Five runs from the over. Pakistan need another 432 runs. PAK - 74/2 (40)
2:11 PM IST: Drinks
Mitchell Starc on with his sixth over. Four from the over -- two singles and a double. 41 is the stand between Abdullah Shafique (30) and Babar Azam (24). Pakistan need 444 runs. PAK - 62/2 (34)
2:00 PM IST: Babar Four
Mitchell Starc on with his fifth over. Babar Azam hits the first ball, a no-ball for four. A single to end the over. Six from it. Pakistan need 458 runs. PAK - 48/2 (32)
1:44 PM IST: Drops
Pat Cummins back with his fifth over. And Steve Smith drops Abdullah Shafique (20 off 80) at first slip. Relatively easy chance. Third one in the match for the former Aussie skipper. A maiden. PAK 38/2 (29)
1:40 PM IST: Babar Joins The Fight
Mitchell Swepson continues. Two singles from the over. Abdullah Shafique and Babar Azam are unbeaten on 20 and 11 runs respectively. Pakistan need 468 runs. PAK - 38/2 (28)
1:18 PM IST: Two Down
Cameron Green, right-arm pacer, gets his first over. Azhar Ali takes a couple off the first, and the second keeps low. Given LBW. Short but still hit on the thigh of a ducking Ali. Worrying signs. And no review as his talk with Abdullah Shafique drags. He goes for 6 off 54. Babar Azam is the new man. Pakistan need 485 runs. PAK - 21/2 (22.3)
Replays show the ball brushing Azhar Ali's gloves before hitting the thighs.
1:11 PM IST: Post-lunch Session Begins
Mitchell Swepson to resume the proceedings. Azhar Ali takes the strike. Swepson's figures so far: 7-2-10-0.
12:31 PM IST: Lunch
Pat Cummins with the final over before lunch on Day 4. A maiden to Abdullah Shafique. Cummins is wicketless but three of his overs are maidens. Pakistan need 488 runs. PAK - 18/1 (21) & 148.
Abdullah Shafique and Azhar Ali are unbeaten on 14 off 61 and 3 off 47 respectively.
12:26 PM IST: A Little Stand
Change in both ends. Mitchell Starc returns for his third over. Three from it. In the previous over, Pat Cummins leaked a single. A 16-run stand between Abdullah Shafique (14) and Azhar Ali (3) in 85 balls. Pakistan need another 488 runs. PAK - 18/1 (20)
11:56 AM IST: Lyon Continues
Nathan Lyon continues after the drinks break. Four closed-in fielders, two on either side. Azhar Ali not rattled though. A maiden. PAK - 8/1 (12)
11:47 AM IST: Another Maiden
Nathan Lyon bowling in tandem with Mitchell Swepson. Another maiden, to Abdullah Shafique, from the veteran spinner. Pakistan need another 499 runs. PAK - 7/1 (10)
11:34 AM IST: One Down
Spin from both ends. Nathan Lyon on with his first over. Four dots and LBW. Crashing into the middle. And review confirms it. Imam-ul-Haq goes for 1 off 18. Azhar Ali is the new man. PAK - 2/1 (5.5)
11:29 AM IST: Finally...
Bowling change. Mitchell Swepson on with his leg spin, and first run. A single off the second, then another. PAK - 2/0 (5)
11:25 AM IST: Another Maiden
Pat Cummins continues. Another maiden, this time to Pat Cummins. Four overs so far, four maidens.
11:13 AM IST: Maiden To Start
A maiden from Mitchell Starc to Abdullah Shafique to start the fourth innings in Karachi. Aussie captain Pat Cummins to share the new ball.
11:08 AM IST: Chase Begins
Mitchell Starc with the first over. Abdullah Shafique to take the first strike. Imam-ul-Haq is his opening partner.
10:58 AM IST: Declaration
Bottom edge and onto the stumps. Shaheen Afridi breaks a 77-run stand with the wicket of Marnus Labuschagne. It keeps low and undone the defence. Labuschagne goes for 44 off 49. And with that comes the declaration. Usman Khawaja remains not out on 44. AUS - 97/2d (22.3).
Target is 506 runs in 172 overs.
10:53 AM IST: Tidy Over
Hasan Ali continues. A single off the first ball as Marnus Labuschagne plays it to point. And five dots to Usman Khawaja. Australia lead by 505 runs. Ali's figures: 7-0-23-1. AUS - 97/1 (22)
10:40 AM IST: Lead Swells
Five runs from Shaheen's Afridi's fifth over. Australia lead Pakistan by 501 runs. AUS - 93/1 (19)
10:35 AM IST: Khawaja Four
Usman Khawaja gets an outside edge off the fourth and four to third man. Seven from the over. Shaheen Afridi to bowl the next. AUS - 88/1 (18)
10:30 AM IST: Play Resumes
The penultimate day's play begins. Australia already have a lead of 489 runs and 180 overs remaining in the match. Hasan Ali to resume the proceedings. Usman Khawaja (35 ff 48) takes the first strike. Marnus Labuschagne (37 off 38) is his partner. AUS - 81/1 (17)
Day 4 Preview
With two full days remaining, Australia are in full control of the second Test. Pakistan's batting left a lot to be desired as the home team, chasing Australia's first innings score of 556 for nine declared, were all out for 148. On a hot day in Karachi, Australian captain Pat Cummins did not enforce the follow-on.
Australia will look for quick runs on Day 4 on Tuesday and with the in-form Usman Khawaja in the middle, the visitors are in a great position to crush Pakistan under a huge pile of runs. Australia, touring Pakistan for the first time since 1998, were 81 for the loss of David Warner's wicket in 17 overs by the close on Day 3 — a lead of 489 runs.
The pitch is offering help to the bowlers and veteran seamer Mitchell Starc snapped up 3 for 29 to rock a tired Pakistan team. Starc didn’t take a wicket on a lifeless pitch in Rawalpindi, but this time at the National Stadium, Pakistan were undone by some superb reverse swing from the left-arm fast bowler.
Pakistan's batting imploded on Monday. They lost six wickets between lunch and tea for just 62 runs. The last-wicket pair of Nauman Ali (20 not out) and Shaheen Afridi (19) shared a stand of 30, the highest of Pakistan’s innings, before debutant Mitchell Swepson (2 for 32) trapped Afridi lbw with a full delivery.
The odds are clearly stacked against Pakistan.