Smith, Khawaja’s dismissals put Pakistan in commanding position

LAHORE: Australia’s set pair of Usman Khawaja and Steve Smith fell in the last session of the opening day of the ongoing third Test to put Pakistan in a commanding position, here on Monday.

The last session of the opening day turned out to be an eventful one as the home side picked up three wickets, while the visitors managed to add 87 runs and took their score to 232/5 at the stumps.

Resuming the score at 145/2 after the Lunch, Australia’s set batter Smith could not carry his bat for long as he walked to the pavilion in the third over of the last session. Pakistan’s speedster Naseem Shah bowled a magnificent reverse swing to trap him in legs.

The right-handed batter scored 59 off 169 deliveries with the help of six boundaries. His partner, Khawaja on the other hand, stayed a little longer at the crease but fell short to his 12th Test century by a mere nine runs. Babar Azam took a sharp catch off Sajid Khan’s delivery at slip to dismiss the left-hander.

Soon after Khawja’s exit, the left-handed batter Travis Head also made his way back to the pavilion after he managed to score 26 off 70 balls.

Alex Carey (8*) and Cameron Green (20*) will now resume the proceedings for the touring side at 232/5 on the second day.

For Pakistan, Naseem and Shaheen Shah Afridi bagged two wickets each, while Sajid managed to make one scalp.

In the second session, Australia took control after losing two quick wickets in the third over of the day. The opening batter Khawaja and Smith then anchored the innings with an astonishing 137-runs unbeaten partnership.

The pair scored added a further 75-runs before the Tea break and made sure that the touring side do not lose further wickets.

Earlier, Australia, after opting to bat first, were off to a poor start as Pakistan’s leading pacer Shaheen struck the opener David Warner and the top-ranked Test batter Marnus Labuschagne in his second over.

With Shaheen’s quick strikes, Australia lost their first two wickets for a mere eight runs. The left-hander Khawaja and experienced Smith then anchored the innings with an unbeaten 62-runs partnership and took Australia to 70/2 at the conclusion of the first session.

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