Aamir Jamal’s terrific counterpunch lifts Pakistan to 313
Pakistan had stumbled to 47-4 in the morning session after skipper Shan Masood decided to bat first.
Aamir Jamal fashioned a remarkable innings to help Pakistan post 313 on the opening day of the third Test of the Benaud-Qadir Trophy at Sydney Cricket Ground (SCG). Australia then saw off the one over bowled by Sajid Khan without the loss of any wicket to finish the day 307 runs behind Pakistan’s first-innings total.
Aamir, playing the third Test of his career, stole the spotlight with his brilliant counterattack that saw him amass 82 off 97 balls including nine fours and four maximums. Having come into bat when the team was in trouble at 220-7, Aamir’s batting heroics propelled Pakistan to a competitive total.
Pakistan’s last-wicket pair of Aamir and Mir Hamza frustrated Australia as they stitched a partnership of 86 off 133 deliveries. Hamza deployed solid defence to stay unbeaten on seven from 43 balls while Aamir took charge on the other end and punished the opposition.
Aamir was finally dismissed by Nathan Lyon after miscuing a skier into the hands of Mitchell Starc, getting a standing ovation on his walk back to the dressing room.
Earlier in the day, Pakistan had stumbled to 47-4 in the morning session after skipper Shan Masood decided to bat first. Both openers, Abdullah Shafique and debutant Saim Ayub, were dismissed for two-ball ducks before Pat Cummins delivered a double blow by removing Babar Azam for 26 and Saud Shakeel for just 5.
Shan failed to make the most of his reprieve, having been caught off a no-ball, and was dismissed by Mitchell Marsh for a modest 35 featuring three boundaries. After losing half their side for the score of 96, Mohammad Rizwan and Salman Ali Agha then batted with purpose to conjure a 94-run partnership in quick time.
Rizwan top-scored for Pakistan with a quality 88 off 103 balls, smashing 10 fours and two sixes. Rizwan’s surge was finally cut short when Cummins’ well-directed short ball saw him play into the hands of Josh Hazlewood.
Salman continued his positive approach after the tea break, scoring his second fifty on the trot. He too fell victim to Australia’s short-ball tactics as Starc ended his feisty stay at the crease that saw him contribute 53 off 67 deliveries.
Australia captain Cummins returned to inflict further damage and bagged the scalp of Hasan Ali for a five-ball duck, picking up his third straight five-wicket haul.
The hosts will resume their first-innings reply tomorrow with the openers Usman Khawaja and David Warner, in his farewell Test, at the crease.
Scores in brief:
Pakistan 313 all out, 77.1 overs (Mohammad Rizwan 88, Aamir Jamal 82, Salman Ali Agha 53, Shan Masood 35; Pat Cummins 5-61, Mitchell Starc 2-75, Mitchell Marsh 1-27)
Australia 6-0, 1 over (David Warner 6 not out)