Pakistan remove Australia’s openers on rain-hit day

By our correspondent
LAHORE: Persistent rain washed out the final session on the second day of the SCG Test after Australia managed 116-2 in 47 overs in their first-innings reply in the face of disciplined Pakistan bowling.

The players had earlier walked off due to bad light in the afternoon session, forcing an early tea break. Rain soon arrived following the interval as inclement weather meant there was no further play possible. Day three will see a 10:00 am local time start with the weather expected to be better for the rest of the match.

Australia resumed from their overnight score of six for no loss, having batted just one over on the previous day. David Warner and Usman Khawaja continued their sedate progress as Pakistan pacers Mir Hamza and Hasan Ali maintained accurate lines and lengths.

Warner, who will retire from Test cricket following this match, succumbed to the pressure when he edged a good-length ball off Aamir Jamal only to be dropped by Saim Ayub at first slip. Warner (34, 68b, 4x4s) could not capitalise on the missed chance and was later removed by a sharp spinning delivery by Salman Ali Agha, caught neatly by Babar Azam at slip.

Australia’s cautious approach continued in the second session as they scored a total of 38 runs in 17 overs for the loss of Khawaja (47, 143b, 4x4s). The Australia opener, particularly bogged down by the lack of runs, was caught down the leg-side off Aamir. The on-field umpire had initially ruled Khawaja not out but had to reverse his decision after a successful review.

Marnus Labuschagne (23 not out, 66b, 1×4) and Steven Smith (6 not out, 7b, 1×4) will restart their battle against the Pakistan bowling attack tomorrow.

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 116-2, 47 overs (Usman Khawaja 47, David Warner 34, Marnus Labuschagne 23 not out; Salman Ali Agha 1-18, Aamir Jamal 1-26)

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