Swepson gets Babar, Aussies in charge

Swepson gets Babar, Aussies in charge

Mitchell Swepson has continued a dream day in Karachi with the prized scalp of Pakistan skipper Babar Azam for his first Test wicket

Swepson Gets Babar, Aussies In Charge

Australian pace ace Mitchell Starc has taken wickets in consecutive balls amid a spectacular Pakistan batting collapse in the second Test in Karachi.

Pakistan are reeling at 7-100 at tea on day three in reply to Australia’s imposing first innings of 9(dec)-556.

The hosts lost 7-61 in a 24-over period with Starc (3-24), Pat Cummins (1-28), Nathan Lyon (1-9) and Cameron Green (1-12) the wicket-takers.

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Starc, in successive deliveries, captured the prized scalps of Azhar Ali (14) and Fawad Alam for a golden duck in a masterly display of reverse-swing bowling.

The left-arm quick had Azhar smartly caught at second slip by Green from an attempted drive to a widish ball delivered around the wicket.

The Australian returned to over the wicket next ball and trapped Fawad lbw with an inswinging full delivery; the Pakistani challenged the decision but replays showed the ball would have hit leg stump.

Starc narrowly missed a hat-trick with Mohammad Rizwan comprehensively beaten outside off stump from the milestone attempt.

His strikes followed spinner Lyon removing Imam ul-Haq (20) and Test debutant Mitchell Swepson running out Abdullah Shafique (13) with a brilliant direct hit from backward point.

Those four wickets left Pakistan 4-60 – and just 14 runs later Rizwan was dropped by Steve Smith at slip from Cummins’ bowling.

But the Australian skipper, in his next over, got his man when Rizwan (six) edged to wicketkeeper Alex Carey and the hosts slumped to 5-76.

Just two overs later, allrounder Green trapped Faheem Ashraf (four) lbw before the Australian left the field with a thumb injury.

His absence brought Starc back into the attack and he removed Sajid Khan (five), who feathered an edge to Carey.

The wicketkeeper demanded a review despite Starc and other Australians signalling they didn’t hear an edge after an initial not-out verdict.

A review proved Carey correct and Pakistan had crashed from 0-26 to 7-97.

Earlier, Australia opted to declare their innings 35 minutes into Monday’s play after a flourish from Cummins, who smacked three sixes and two fours in an unbeaten 34 from 36 balls.

Cummins added 51 runs with Swepson (15no) after Starc (28) was dismissed on the second ball of the day.

Australia XI: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Swepson, Nathan Lyon.

Pakistan XI: Abdullah Shafique, Imam Ul Haq, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (c), Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan, Faheem Ashraf, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Afridi.

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Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (c), Mohammad Rizwan (vc), Abdullah Shafique, Azhar Ali, Faheem Ashraf, Fawad Alam, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Iftikhar Ahmed, Imam-ul-Haq, Mohammad Wasim Jnr, Naseem Shah, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Saud Shakeel, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Shan Masood, Zahid Mahmood.

Australia Test squad: Pat Cummins (c), Ashton Agar, Scott Boland, Alex Carey, Cameron Green, Marcus Harris, Josh Hazlewood, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitchell Marsh, Steve Smith (vc), Mitchell Starc, Mark Steketee, Mitchell Swepson, David Warner. On standby: Sean Abbott, Brendan Doggett, Nic Maddinson, Matthew Renshaw

First Test: Match drawn

March 12-16: Second Test, Karachi

March 21-25: Third Test, Lahore

Australia ODI and T20 squad: Aaron Finch (c), Sean Abbott, Ashton Agar, Jason Behrendorff, Alex Carey, Nathan Ellis, Cameron Green, Travis Head, Josh Inglis, Marnus Labuschagne, Mitchell Marsh, Ben McDermott, Kane Richardson, Steve Smith, Marcus Stoinis, Adam Zampa

March 29: First ODI, Rawalpindi

March 31: Second ODI, Rawalpindi

April 2: Third ODI, Rawalpindi

April 5: Only T20I, Rawalpindi

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