About the Match
Day 2 of the Boxing Day test between Australia and Pakistan provided some riveting cricket interspersed with rain delays that threaten to take too much time away from this game to force a result. Only 50.3 overs were possible because of rain on day 2 and so a total of 78 overs have been lost already.
Pakistan though fought and reached a strong position from which they may be able to force a result on Day 3.
Day 3 Preview
Pakistan had ended the day in a precarious position from which they could have collapsed quite easily. Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq though ensured that any hopes the Australians might have had about rolling over the Pakistani lower order were put to rest.
Both the batsmen played patiently and kept accumulating the runs not letting the frequent rain breaks spoil their concentration. Ultimately, Asad Shafiq and Sarfaraz Ahmed fell to the second new ball and Pakistan ended the day at 310 for 6.
The ball is relatively hard and Australia’s bowling attack will fancy getting the remaining four wickets sooner rather than later on Day 3. Mohammad Amir has been successfully swinging his bat but we do not think his luck will last for too long. The batting to follow after this is mediocre at best and a bet on Pakistan to finish under 350 might be a good proposition.
The weather forecast for Day 3 is not the best and there is some more rain expected. Pakistan has already posted a good total in the first innings but time to force a positive result is running out. One thing that would give them hope is the fact that the ball is swinging appreciably in these conditions and they have the bowlers to make the ball talk.
Australia’s young batting lineup has not yet really been tested in such conditions and the likes of Mohammad Amir, Wahab Riaz, and Sohail Khan could run through the opposition. David Warner who has been struggling for form will find it difficult to regain his touch in these circumstances and we would recommend a bet on him scoring under 20.
Steve Smith has shown time and again that he is equipped to deal with any bowling attack under any circumstances and this why we think that he is likely to be the top scorer for Australia. Opener Renshaw has also shown some good technique and application in his career so far and we think he too might prove to be a difficult batsman for Pakistan to dislodge.
Pakistan will be bowling with a decent score behind them and their bowlers will have the license to go for wickets. It will take something really special from Pakistan or something really horrendous from Australia to force a result in the visitor’s favor, though.
The amount of time lost in this match and the forecast of more rain on day 3 makes the likelihood of a draw a strong possibility