Spearhead Mitchell Starc led the Australian pace attack by three wickets Monday to put the visitors in the driver’s seat on day three of the second Test against Pakistan in Karachi. The lanky left-armer used a reverse swing to devastating effect, taking 3-29 as Pakistan was eliminated for a paltry 148 in response to Australia’s massive first innings of 556-9. Despite a huge 408 run lead, Australia failed to force the follow-on and at the end were 81-1 in their second innings to take their lead to 489 with nine wickets intact.
Opener Usman Khawaja was unbeaten at 35 and Marnus Labuschagne at 37 after David Warner fell to Hasan Ali for seven.
Australia have two full days to force a big win and take a 1-0 lead in their three-game streak on their first tour of Pakistan in 24 years.
Pakistan’s 53 overs collapse was in stark contrast to Australia, which left 189 overs out and looted runs at its leisure.
Starc, who went wicketless in the drawn first Test in Rawalpindi last week, had out Azhar Ali (14), Fawad Alam (nought) and Sajid Khan (five) when Pakistan lost six wickets in a space of 62 runs after beating 38-1. have been for lunch.
Debuting leg spinner Mitchell Swepson finished 2-32 including the wicket of Azam, who misdirected and was caught long range.
It all went awry in the first over after lunch when Haq — who scored two centuries in the opening test — fell into a brash shot, transferring spinner Nathan Lyon to skipper Pat Cummins halfway through.
Starc then had Azhar caught in the slips and the next ball Alam caught with a sharp in-dipping yorker. He almost had a hat-trick when Mohammad Rizwan was neck and neck, but he got no further.
Rizwan didn’t last long though as he shoved Cummins in front of wicketkeeper Alex Carey to take a simple catch at six, then Cameron Green caught Faheem Ashraf’s leg earlier for four.
Starc then trailed Sajid and took 3-24 in 10 sharp overs as wickets fell in a cluster, unlike Australia’s run-spree on a low bouncing pitch at the National Cricket Stadium.
Earlier, opener Abdullah Shafique was knocked out for 13 when Pakistan faltered at the start.
Shafique, who hit a brilliant undefeated century in Rawalpindi, had made 13 of Pakistan’s 26 run when he couldn’t beat Swepson’s direct throw from point after being called up for a sharp single.
Australia had resumed the third day at 505-8 when Cummins chose to continue.
Pakistan struck with the second ball of the day when fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi had Starc catch in cover by Azhar without adding to his overnight 28.
But that was all the success they had as Cummins, who finished 34 not out, added a solid 51 for the ninth wicket with Swepson (15) before declaring.
All-rounder Ashraf was the favorite of attack with his 2-55 from 21 overs, while off-spinner Sajid Khan took 2-167 from 57 overs.
(This story was not edited by DailyExpertNews staff and was generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)
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