Pakistan stop Smith but stalemate looms in first Test

By Sports Desk March 07, 2022

Australia protected a likely draw in the first Test against Pakistan as the tourists batted out day four in Rawalpindi to close to within 27 runs.

A remarkable collapse from one side or the other is now required on Tuesday to deliver a winner, with the batsmen continuing to dominate in the opener of a three-match series.

Australia resumed 205 back on Pakistan's first innings' 476-4 declared and steadily closed that gap over the course of the day.

Steve Smith spent much of Monday at the crease, albeit he added only 54 more runs to reach 78 from 196 balls.

Indeed, Australia seemed happy to wear out the Pakistan bowlers ahead of a second Test that is likely to have a greater say in the outcome of the series, largely limiting their errors having had eight wickets in hand in their first innings at the start of play.

Marnus Labuschagne (90) put on 108 for the third wicket with Smith but was denied a third Test century against Pakistan by excellent bowling and equally good fielding, caught at slip by Abdullah Shafique off Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Travis Head did not last long in Labuschagne's place, but Cameron Green stuck around and picked up the pace slightly after tea before paying the price for his ambition with a top edge off an attempted sweep to go for 48.

Smith gloved behind attempting a similar shot and Naseem Shah beautifully bowled Alex Carey (19), yet Pakistan's improved bowling late in the day failed to breathe life into the Test.

Green leaves runs out there

Labuschagne was undone by excellent play from Pakistan, but Green really had only himself to blame, getting too much on his shot from a relatively uncomplicated Nauman Ali delivery and giving Iftikhar Ahmed a simple catch.

As the bowlers toiled on a tough pitch, this was an opportunity missed for Green, who with a little more care could have followed his first fifty in his previous Test against England with a first outside of Australia.

Little to separate sides again

Australia have been away from Pakistan for over 23 years, but you would not know it looking at the outcome of this match. Ten of the previous 17 Tests between the sides in Pakistan have ended in draws – and this match will surely make it 11 in 18.

Related items

  • Wimbledon: Serena Williams stunned by Tan in three-set marathon Wimbledon: Serena Williams stunned by Tan in three-set marathon

    Serena Williams' hopes of a winning a record-equalling 24th grand slam title at Wimbledon are over after she was beaten by the unheralded Harmony Tan in an epic first-round match.

    Williams went down 7-5 1-6 7-6 (10-7) on Centre Court in her first singles match since being forced to withdraw in the opening round of last year's tournament at the All England Club, when she suffered a hamstring injury during a contest with Aliaksandra Sasnovich.

    The seven-time Wimbledon champion's much-heralded comeback proved to be an almighty battle and it was the SW19 debutant from France who came out on top late on Tuesday evening.

    It took outsider Tan three hours and 11 minutes to claim a huge scalp, winning what could prove to be the great Williams' final singles match at Wimbledon.

    Tan broke three times in a back-and-forth first set, with Williams unable to keep her at bay during the seventh game despite the world number 115 seeing three break points come and go before winning the fourth.

    The underdog's slice in particular proved to be difficult for the 40-year-old - 16 years senior to her opponent - to counter, and the former world number one seemed to need the break afforded by the roof closure on Centre Court to regather herself.

    Williams stamped her authority on the match in the second set to force a decider, breaking twice as she surged into a 5-0 lead before serving it out.

    Tan refused to be beaten in the final set, twice breaking back to frustrate Williams. 

    Williams was able to force a tie-break after saving a match point, and surged into a 4-0 lead - but Tan rallied once more to seize back the momentum, and celebrated a famous win after her legendary opponent netted a forehand.

  • Gayle to skip CPL to take part in inaugural 6IXTY league Gayle to skip CPL to take part in inaugural 6IXTY league

    West Indies batting star Chris Gayle will miss out on this year's edition of the Caribbean Premier League (CPL) in order to focus on the launch of the 6IXTY, a new format of the sport expected to make its debut in St Kitts and Nevis in August.

    The tournament is set to feature six men’s teams and three women’s teams who will each battle for a version of the Universe Boss Trophy, which has been named in honour of the legendary T20 player.

    The new format will see each team allotted ten overs to bat.  In many respects, the game will look very different from the typical 10-over format.  The teams will be allotted just six wickets instead of ten, a floating third powerplay will also be unlocked if the batting team manages to hit two sixes in the first two-over powerplay.

    The fielding team will be allowed to bowl five consecutive overs from the same end instead of changing ends after every over.  If a team fails to complete the overs during the allotted time of 45 minutes will a fielder will be excluded for the final six balls of the innings. The fans will also be directly involved and able to vote for a ‘mystery-free hit’.

    “It is a great feeling to actually have a trophy named after The Universe Boss, something fantastic, and I am really and truly looking forward to it. I am sure people will ask if this is real, a trophy named for Chris Gayle. Yes, it is happening, and I am really happy about it. I am looking forward to all the innovations," Gayle said.

    "I am looking forward to the mystery team ball and hitting two sixes in the first 12 balls to unlock a third PowerPlay over.”

    In addition to taking part in the tournament, Gayle will also play the role of ambassador.

  • Man Utd's Malacia agreement revealed by Feyenoord director Man Utd's Malacia agreement revealed by Feyenoord director

    Manchester United have agreed a deal to sign Feyenoord left-back Tyrell Malacia, according to the Eredivisie club's director Frank Arneson.

    Lyon had been linked with a move for Malacia, but United have reportedly agreed to a deal worth an initial £12.9million (€15m).

    Having come through the youth system, Malacia has played 136 games for Feyenoord, making 50 appearances in all competitions last season as Arne Slot's men finished third in the Eredivisie and reached the Europa Conference League final.

    Speaking to 1908NL, Arneson said all that remains is for the 22-year-old to agree personal terms with the Red Devils, revealing: "The agreement with Man United is there. We are now waiting for Tyrell.

    "If Malacia says yes, then a transfer to Manchester United is imminent."

    Malacia made his senior debut for the Netherlands last September and has since won a further four caps for his country.

    Only two Feyenoord players made more appearances in all competitions than Malacia last term, winger Bryan Linssen (53) and midfielder Orkun Kokcu (51), with the young full-back featuring in 17 of their Europa Conference League contests.

    The addition of Malacia would represent new United boss Erik ten Hag's first move to strengthen a defence which conceded 57 Premier League goals last campaign.

    United returned for pre-season training this week as they build towards Ten Hag's first competitive match in charge, a Premier League trip to Brighton and Hove Albion on August 7.

© 2022 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.