Rawalpindi Test: Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith shone with the bat as Australia closed in on Pakistan’s first-innings total but the historic Test is headed towards a draw.
Steve Smith hit 78 in his first Test knock in Pakistan (AP Photo)
- Australia headed to Stumps at 449/7 on Day 4, trailing by 27 runs
- Labuschagne and Smith dominated with the bat on Monday
- Nauman Ali shone for Pakistan with 4 wickets on Day 4
The historic Test between Pakistan and Australia in Rawalpindi is headed towards a relatively boring draw as the visitors dominated with the bat on Day 4 but still trailed by 27 runs. Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith made merry with the bat but missed out on hundreds even as wet outfield washed out the first session on Monday.
Australia reached 449/7 at Stumps after Smith and Labuschagne delighted the Rawalpindi crowd with their class. Mitchell Starc was on 12 when bad light stopped play with skipper Pat Cummins on four at the other end.
Left-arm spinner Nauman Ali shone with the ball for Pakistan, picking up 4 wickets, including that of Smith and Cameroon Green who were looking to press the accelerator on Monday in Rawalpindi.
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) March 7, 2022
LABUSCHAGNE, SMITH MISS HUNDREDS
Marnus Labuschagne made 90 and Steve Smith contributed 78 in a strong batting performance by the tourists.
Earlier, Pakistan struck twice in the morning session after the delayed start to the penultimate day’s action. Smith was the fourth batsman in Australia’s top four who passed the 50-mark but could not convert it into a hundred.
Armed with the second new ball, Shaheen Afridi induced a loose drive from Labuschagne and Abdullah Shafique dived to his right to take a sharp catch in the slip. Labuschagne’s fluent knock included 12 boundaries.
Travis Head made eight before edging spinner Nauman Ali and wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan took a smart catch behind the stumps.
Cameron Green (48), who was not even born when Australia last toured Pakistan in 1998, began well but fell short of what could have been the fifth half-century in their top six. Green fluffed his sweep short against Nauman to find Iftikhar at short fine leg.
Left-arm spinner Nauman (4-107) kept bowling outside the leg-stump, which also earned him the prize wicket of Smith who gloved a ball to Rizwan attempting a sweep shot.