About the Match
Day 3 of the test match was all about the batsmen as Azhar Ali, Sohail Khan, David Warner and Usman Khawaja made hay on a pitch that seems to be one of the flattest witnessed in recent memory. Luckily, though, Rain stayed away for the most part and even though a few more overs were lost, it was a huge improvement over the first two days of the test.
Day 4 Preview
Pakistan declared after reaching a very impressive 443/9 and would have wanted to take early wickets to press home the advantage. Unfortunately for them, though, they could only take the wicket of Renshaw at the total of 46 before being bludgeoned to all parts of the ground by Warner and Khawaja.
Warner eventually got out for a well compiled 144, an impressive score that was helped by large doses of luck along the way, and Khawaja is still batting on 95. Steve Smith, the Australian skipper is the other batsman not out overnight.
Australia eventually ended on 278 for 2 in 58 overs. That’s run scoring at an astonishing 4.79 runs per over and has made the possibility of a result a minute possibility. Australia is only 165 runs behind Pakistan and can possibly overtake that score and take a large enough lead by the end of days play to try and bowl Pakistan out on day 5.
This is something similar to what India managed to do against England in their recently completed test series although the wickets over there were much more helpful to the spinners.
We back Khawaja to score a big hundred tomorrow and the remaining Australian batsmen to cash in as well. Smith, Handscomb, Maddinson and Wade will all want to bat for as long as possible on this pitch against Pakistani bowlers that have been quite inconsistent.
Wahab Riaz threatened with a spell of ferocious reverse spell bowling but his overstepping meant that David Warner escaped after getting bowled and was then good enough to withstand the remaining overs. Mohammad Amir and Sohail Khan have been poor and barely looked like taking a wicket.
Yasir Shah too was not his consistent self and seemed to be let down by some of the fields that Misbah had set for him. For Pakistan, Day 3 is all about waiting for the Australian batsmen to make mistakes by trying to dry up the runs and delaying the eventual declaration as far as possible.
Australia will want at least 80-85 overs on the last day to try and get the Pakistani wickets required for an unlikely win but that is not going to be easy. Azhar Ali and others around him have shown that Pakistan is capable of getting stuck in.
The workload that the Australian fast bowlers have been put through in the last two tests might also become a big factor in the timing of the declaration. The only two results possible in this match are now a draw or an Australian victory and only the Draw seems likely at this point in time