Rain Hampers Play in Melbourne as Pakistan’s Bowlers Shine in the Second Test Against Australia

News by “Sana Ullah”

Inclement weather played spoilsport at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) as Pakistan and Australia clashed in the second Test of their three-match series. Pakistan’s pace attack managed three crucial breakthroughs to mitigate potential damage, countering the strong opening partnership of David Warner and Usman Khawaja.

Opting to bowl first after winning the toss in the Boxing Day Test, Pakistan banked on overcast conditions to favor their seam bowlers, with Shaheen Shah Afridi and Mir Hamza opening the attack. The left-handed David Warner received a lifeline when Abdullah Shafique dropped him at first slip off Shaheen’s bowling in the third over, leading to a 90-run opening stand with Usman Khawaja.

Salman Ali Agha provided the breakthrough for Pakistan, dismissing Warner caught at first slip by Babar Azam just before lunch. Warner, coming off a century in Perth, departed after scoring 38 runs.

Making a Test comeback after nearly a year, right-arm fast bowler Hasan Ali swiftly settled in, claiming the second wicket after lunch as Khawaja edged the ball to be caught by Salman in the slips. Australia found themselves at 108-2 in the 34th over.

Marnus Labuschagne and Steven Smith navigated through the second session, with the Pakistan pace attack exploiting increasingly challenging conditions under dark clouds at the MCG. Hasan and Shaheen applied pressure, bowling three maidens in a row.

However, rain interrupted play, leading to an early tea break, with Australia at 114-2 in 42.4 overs.

Upon resumption, Shaheen trapped Smith LBW, but the decision was overturned after a successful review. Aamir Jamal eventually broke the Smith-Labuschagne partnership, dismissing Smith caught behind for 26. Travis Head replaced Smith on the crease, guiding Australia to 187-3 by stumps alongside Labuschagne (44 not out).

Day two is set to resume at the Melbourne Cricket Ground at 0430 PKT.

Brief Scores: Australia 187-3 in 66 overs (Marnus Labuschagne 44*, Usman Khawaja 42, David Warner 38; Salman Ali Agha 1-5, Hasan Ali 1-28, Aamir Jamal 1-47)

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