Alex Carey was dismissed seven runs short of his maiden Test match century as Australia batted through the entire second day’s play in the Second Test at Karachi.
Resuming at 3/251 overnight, Usman Khawaja settled in for another big day at the crease with Nathan Lyon before a strong middle session for Pakistan helped dry up the scoring rate and take wickets throughout.
Australia reached 8/505 at Stumps, with the intent to bat once and bat big, and will resume tomorrow looking for the tail to wag just that little bit extra.
Here are the moments that mattered from Day 2 in Karachi:
Barest of margins saves nightwatchman Lyon
Nathan Lyon and Usman Khawaja started the day with the goal of batting all day in mind, with the intention of Australia to bat once and bat big.
As Khawaja settled into his grove again, Lyon went about looking to get himself in and spend some time in the middle. His time was nearly brought undone in the third over of the day when he was struck on the pad by Hasan Ali and was sent upstairs to DRS.
After no spike on ultra edge and looking adjacent to the naked eye, ball tracking showed that the ball was clipping the leg stump but was deemed “umpires call”. A matter of inches to the left and Lyon would have been walking back to the pavilion.
Instead, he was reprieved and went about making the most of the chance to bat long on a flat wicket.
Pakistan goes searching, runs flow until Faheem ends Lyon’s stay
Pakistan went searching for wickets as they tried different avenues and tactics to break the overnight partnership. They burnt 2 reviews along the way and began to snatch at it as Lyon and Khawaja notch 50 run stand.
Lyon equalled his best score in Test cricket, 38, before he was bowled by Faheem Ashraf in the last stanza of the session in the leadup to the lunch break.
Usman Khawaja continued on his merry way at a steady pace in the first session, raising his bat once more as he brought up his 150 as the players went to lunch.
Sajid traps Head shortly after resumption as Australia look to up the rate
With Australia looking to push the rate after lunch after a steady morning session with the bat, it was a situation tailor-made for Travis Head. With Khawaja still sitting pretty at the other end, absorbing pressure and punishing the bad ball, it gave the license to Head to play his natural game.
After piercing the gaps at cover for multiple boundaries, Head advanced to defend a ball from Sajid Khan from around the wicket which struck him on the pads in front. It was given out on field by umpire Aleem Dar to the adulation of the Pakistanis and the crowd.
Head sent it upstairs with ball-tracking showing that the ball had indeed sliding down the leg side but it clipped the leg stump, with “umpires call” showing on wickets meaning Head had to go.
Sajid seed rips one out of the rough to bring Khawaja’s marathon knock to an end
10 overs after Sajid had dislodged Travis Head, he made the biggest blow yet for Pakistan when he got one through the defences of the seemingly unflappable Usman Khawaja.
Coming around the wicket to the left-hander, Sajid drifted one into the off-stump on a good length. Khawaja rocked back to try and defend it and it spun past the edge to clip the top of off-stump.
Khawaja was bowled for 160, bringing his outstanding innings to a close. He walked off to an ovation from all the Pakistani and Australian players up in the dressing room and received a nice ovation from the Karachi crowd.
The wicket brought Alex Carey to the crease to partner with Cameron Green in a critical stage for the tourists. While Australia already had 360 runs on the board, with a big total needed and Green not yet settled at the crease, it was an important period for the two Australian batters to guide Australia through to the Tea break.
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Green undone as Nauman turns one past him just before Tea
Nauman Ali had toiled hard bowling plenty of overs in the first innings again and at times, was bowling outside leg stump again and was getting met by the Australian batters. Cameron Green repeatedly took Nauman on down the ground, including depositing him over the sightscreen for a massive six.
After a leg-side trap that Green kept on kicking away, Nauman got one to turn back sharply off leg-stump to bowl Green, clipping the top of off-stump. A contender for delivery of the series in the final over before Tea.
Carey slowly accumulates to 50 as Starc holds up the other end
Australia deployed some interesting tactics after the tea break. With many thinking quick runs would be on the agenda, Mitchell Starc and Alex Carey carefully negotiated the first hour after the resumption, crawling along with the scoring rate at two runs per over.
With Alex Carey needing to produce an innings of substance with the wolves ever so starting to circle regarding his place in the team, Carey calmly swept his way to his second Test half-century. An important and timely one in the context of the game and his early career.
Babar stops Carey just short of maiden Test century in the shadows of Stumps
Australia wanted to bat once and bat big. As time in the day ticked away, the clearer it got that Australia was intent on batting out two complete days as they tiptoed their way past the 500 run mark.
As they moved closer to Stumps, Carey continued sweeping and reverse sweeping his way to eye off a maiden Test match century in the shadows of Stumps and quickly started moving through the gears to be within 10 runs of the milestone with three overs left in the day.
Captain Babar Azam brought himself onto bowl the final two overs of the day. Mitchell Starc took a single to give Carey the best chance of bringing the milestone up against the part-timer. As he had done so well all day, Carey went for the big sweep shot to move him within one shot of the milestone but was beaten by a lack of pace on the ball from Babar and was bowled for 97.
Much to the jubilation of the Pakistani fans in the stadium, again, Pakistan had taken a big Australian wicket in the shadows of Stumps as Babar took just his second Test match wicket of his career. Pat Cummins came out to bat out the final overs of play with Australia heading to Stumps at 8/505.
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