In the ongoing Pak vs Aus Test Series in Sydney, Australia is poised for a series whitewash as Pakistan struggles at 68-7 in their second innings on Friday.
Pakistan faced early setbacks in their second innings, losing two wickets with no runs scored by opener Abdullah Shafique and captain Shan Masood.
Despite efforts by Babar Azam (23) and Saim Ayub (33), who added 57 runs for the third wicket, Pakistan’s fortunes took a drastic turn as they lost five wickets for just nine runs, allowing Australia to seize control.
Pacer Josh Hazlewood’s three-wicket haul in the penultimate over of the day, dismissing Saud Shakeel (2), Sajid Khan (0), and Agha Salman (0), pushed Pakistan into a dire position. Hazlewood claimed four wickets, while Nathon Lyon, Mitchell Starc, and Travis Head secured one each.
Earlier in the match, Pakistan limited Australia to 299 in their first innings, taking a 14-run lead. Aamer Jamal’s stellar performance, claiming six wickets, set a historic mark as the first Pakistani bowler to achieve 18 wickets in a debut series of three matches or fewer.
The day saw a crucial late breakthrough for Pakistan as Mitchell Marsh’s dismissal by Jamal, caught by Shan Masood on mid-off, became pivotal.
During the third day’s morning session, Pakistan gained momentum by removing Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne. Australia, at 199-4 at lunch, was anchored by Travis Head and Mitchell Marsh, trailing by 114 runs.
Smith’s dismissal, caught by Babar Azam off Mir Hamza’s delivery, and Labuschagne’s bowled-out wicket by Agha Salman brought an unexpected twist to Australia’s inning. The pair’s departure halted Australia’s plans to chip away at Pakistan’s first-innings total.
It was a grinding session with Pakistan’s disciplined bowling and resilient fielding reaping rewards, despite their series loss to Australia.
Australia had secured the series with a tense 79-run win in the second Test in Melbourne over the Christmas period.