The second Test between Australia and Pakistan has reached a thrilling climax, with the hosts setting a formidable target of 317 for Pakistan to chase in the final innings. After Alex Carey’s half-century helped extend Australia’s lead, the bowlers, led by Pat Cummins, took over, dismissing the visitors for 264 early on Day 4 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG).
Australia Recovers, Sets Mammoth Target:
Resuming on 187-6 on a sunny Melbourne morning, Australia looked vulnerable after losing four wickets for just 16 runs on the third day. However, Alex Carey played a captain’s knock, anchoring the innings with a patient 52. Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon provided valuable tail-end support, pushing the lead past 300 before falling to Mir Hamza’s impressive 4-32.
Cummins & Co. Roar Back With the Ball:
With a substantial lead in hand, Australia’s pace attack unleashed their fire. Pat Cummins, the world’s No.1 bowler, was unplayable, returning figures of 3-65, including the crucial wickets of Babar Azam and Imam-ul-Haq. Josh Hazlewood and Cameron Green chipped in with two wickets each, dismantling Pakistan’s top order and leaving them reeling at 70-4.
Fawad Alam & Sarfaraz Ahmed Offer Hope:
Despite the early collapse, Fawad Alam and Sarfaraz Ahmed staged a spirited fightback. They stitched together a crucial 101-run partnership, defying the Aussie bowlers and bringing Pakistan back into the contest. Alam, in particular, looked resolute, playing with a blend of elegance and grit.
Can Pakistan Pull Off the Impossible?
With 247 runs still needed and only six wickets remaining, Pakistan face a monumental task. The MCG hasn’t witnessed a successful fourth-innings chase of over 300 since 1928-29, when England managed 332. While the odds are heavily stacked against them, Pakistan still boasts a fighting spirit and skilled batsmen like Alam and Mohammad Rizwan who can turn the tide.
A Thrilling Finale Awaits:
The final day of the Melbourne Test promises a nail-biting finish. Will Australia add another victory to their dominant home record, or can Pakistan stage a historic comeback and level the series? The stage is set for a captivating battle of skill, resilience, and unwavering determination.