Cummins five wicket hat-trick fails to give Australia a decisive edge as Pakistan tail wags. – BY TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE.  (eLanka Sports editor)

Cummins five wicket hat-trick fails to give Australia a decisive edge as Pakistan tail wags. – By TREVINE RODRIGO IN MELBOURNE.  (eLanka Sports editor)


Trevine Rodrigo | elankaPat Cummins continued his heroics with the ball while destroying the myth about the SCG being a spin friendly track.

While Nathan Lyon toiled fruitlessly on a bouncy track, the Pakistani batters were treated to another barrage of short stuff that had them ducking and weaving as Australia’s four-prong pace attack peppered them from the first over.

The three Test series has been a bouncer war immaterial of the venue, and the batters on both sides will carry battle scars from it that will linger.

Pakistan fought back gallantly after the early setbacks to post a competitive score and see to be on top at this stage. 

Only Mohammed Rizwan, Aamir Jamal, Barbar Azam and Salman Aghar Ali batted with a degree of confidence while the others battled for survival. 

Pakistan skipper Shan Masood won an important toss and correctly elected to bat first. But his decision was immediately under question when Mitchell Stark and Josh Hazelwood removed both openers for ducks. Pat Cummins joined the party to grab two more and Pakistan were reeling at 47 for four.

Rizwan and skipper Shan Masood steadied the ship but Cummins continued to plague them with another telling spell that gave him a hat-trick of five wicket hauls since the last Test. 

It was the Pakistan’s tail that rescued them from another embarrassing effort with the bat as the tailenders flayed the attack with no fear and the total of 313 is a challenging score on a wicket already showing signs of deterioration. 

Aamir Jamal battled against aggressive pace taking a hammering but posted a gritty 82 before the innings came to an end. His fearless onslaught brought up questions about why he was batting so low in the order. With the total on227 for 9 it looked dire for the visitors, but Aamir found an ally in Hamza and together they motored to the 300 plus total adding 86 runs for the last wicket which could well be a telling factor.

Australia will have to defy all odds against a equally potent Pakistan pace attack which is expected to give their batters as much discomfort as they handed out. Openers Dave Warner and Usman Khawaja saw out the single over of the day making 6 without loss.

Day two holds the key to where this game is headed. While the general perception is that Australia will take control of this Test, my thoughts are that it could end pretty early. 

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