MELBOURNE: A video of Pakistan batter Babar Azam joking with his Australia counterpart Steve Smith on Day 4 of the Boxing Day Test is making rounds on social media.
The viral video showed Babar Azam taking guard to face off-spinner Nathan Lyon just after the tea break. Steve Smith, who was fielding in the slips, told something to the former Pakistan captain while pointing at the wickets.
Babar Azam reacted to Steve Smith’s banter by sarcastically offering him his bat. The latter refused the offer by folding his hands at the Pakistan batter.
Look at how Babar asks Smith only to bat, when he is getting ready to take guard and Smith goes 🙏
— Nikhil 🏏 (@CricCrazyNIKS) December 29, 2023
The right-handed batter added just six more runs to his tally after the moment as he was clean bowled off pacer Josh Hazlewood’s bowling.
Australia captain Pat Cummins took 10 wickets in a masterclass of clutch bowling to end stout Pakistan resistance and lead his side to a 79-run victory on the fourth day of the second Test on Friday, locking up the three-match series 2-0.
Just when it looked like the Boxing Day test would go down to the wire on the final day, the paceman stepped in to remove Mohammad Rizwan, Pakistan’s last recognised batter, and claim his 250th Test wicket.
Pat Cummins (5-49) followed that up with the wicket of Aamer Jamal for a duck to trigger an extra half an hour of play, during which he claimed his fifth wicket of the innings and 10th of the match to help mop up the tail.
It was his second 10-wicket match haul in 57 tests and concluded a glorious year in which he led Australia to the World Test Championship, a 50-overs World Cup triumph and the retention of the Ashes in England.
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Set an imposing victory target of 317 runs after bowling Australia out for 262 before lunch, the tourists had put together a series of partnerships that frustrated the potent Australian attack.
There were some home nerves when the last substantial stand of 57 between Mohammad Rizwan (35) and Agha Salman (50) got the target under 100 runs but the match turned for good when Pat Cummins separated the pair.
Pakistan had threatened to take control of the match on several occasions over the first four days only to let the Australians off the hook.
Fired by an innings of 96 from Mitchell Marsh, Australia had dragged themselves back from 16-4 after lunch on Thursday and resumed on 187-6 on a sunny morning at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Wicketkeeper Alex Carey scored 52 to help extend the lead before he was trapped leg before by seamer Mir Hamza (4-32) to bring an end to the innings.
Pakistan were always going to be up against it given the fact that only one team had successfully chased more than 300 runs in the fourth innings in 146 years of test matches at the MCG.
The tourists were dismissed for 89 in the fourth innings when Australia won the first test by 360 runs in Perth and the early indications were that Melbourne would witness something similar.