Thursday, 2 December 2021

Pakistan out for 315, Australia do not enforce follow-on

SYDNEY: David Warner smashed the second fastest 50 in Test history to give Australia a flying start in their chase for runs and a declaration on the fourth day of the third Test against Pakistan Friday. At tea, the home team had stretched its lead to 340 runs at 117 for one, with makeshift opener Usman Khawaja on 30 and skipper Steve Smith not out 25. The explosive Warner hit leg-spinner Yasir Khan for six, six, four, four in the fourth over of the innings, and then clouted Imran Khan for four consecutive boundaries in the seventh over. His breathless half-century came off 23 balls with seven fours and three sixes and was the second fastest in Test history after Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq´s 21 balls against Australia in Abu Dhabi in 2014. But Warner perished when he missed in a lusty swing and was bowled by Wahab Riaz for 55 off 27 balls. Younis Khan was left unconquered on 175 as Pakistan lost their last two wickets in an hour´s play post-lunch after rain washed out the first session.

Younis was dropped on 141 by wicketkeeper Matthew Wade, who got his right glove to the chance but could not cling on, much to bowler Mitchell Starc´s annoyance. Wade was forced off during Thursday´s play with a stomach illness but returned to the game on Friday. Yasir gave Smith his ninth catch of the series when he was picked up in the slips off Josh Hazlewood for 10 before Imran Khan was bowled two balls later for a duck. Younis remained unbeaten off 334 balls with 18 fours and three sixes, and was given a big ovation from the SCG crowd as he left the ground after his 34th Test century. The tourists on 315 finished 223 runs in arrears, but skipper Smith did not enforce the follow-on. He sought to give his bowlers a rest and let his batsmen put more wear into the SCG pitch for a fourth innings push for victory over the concluding sessions of play. Hazlewood finished with four wickets for 55 and spinner Nathan Lyon captured three for 115. Paceman Mohammad Amir did not return to the field for Pakistan in Australia´s second innings after going for a scan for a possible side strain.

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