Fawad Alam’s selfish act has quickly come back to haunt Pakistan, with teammate Mohammad Rizwan back in the sheds for a duck.
After 14 days of action in Pakistan, the Benaud-Qadir Trophy will be decided on the final day of the series finale in Lahore.
The equation is simple — Australia needs 10 wickets for victory, while Pakistan requires a further 278 runs.
If the hosts can defy the odds and chase down the 351-run target, it would the largest successful run chase in Pakistan in Test history.
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Australia, meanwhile, will be hoping to secure its first away Test series victory in more than six years.
Pakistan was 5/190 at tea, with captain Babar Azam unbeaten on 46 and Fawad Alam not out at the other end on 8.
Fifty for Pakistan skipper
Pakistan captain Babar Azam has brought up his second fifty of the Test match, reaching the minoe milestone in 97 deliveries.
He’s the difference between an Australian victory and a draw.
Babar survives close shout
Oh dear, has Australia missed out on another wicket?
Steve Smith has taken a superb catch at first slip off Nathan Lyon’s bowling, but Australia opted not to call for the review after the umpire shook his head.
Snicko replays suggested the ball may have brushed Babar Azam’s glove, but it could have potentially been the front pad.
Smith was furious with skipper Pat Cummins after he chose not to send the decision upstairs.
Soon after, Azam was gifted another life just before the tea break after Travis Head misjudged what should have been a regulation outfield catch off Lyon’s bowling.
“That’s a huge miss,” former Pakistan cricketer Urooj Mumtaz said in commentary.
‘Absolute madness’: Star’s selfish blunder
Fawad Alam’s selfish review has quickly come back to haunt Pakistan, with wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan back in the sheds for a duck.
Australian skipper Pat Cummins has snared another key breakthrough for Australia, getting the Kookaburra to reverse swing and strike Rizwan on the foot.
The umpire raised his finger and Rizwan gingerly returning to the pavilion without troubling the scorers in Lahore.
However, Hawkeye replays showed that the ball had struck Rizwan outside the line of off stump, meaning the gloveman would have survived if he called for the review.
But Rizwan was potentially spooked by Pakistan’s one remaining unsuccessful review — he probably would have sent the decision upstairs if teammate Alam hadn’t wasted a review a couple of overs earlier.
“I found that a little bit bizarre, that was the last batting pair and I just felt Babar would have had a really good view, it just made sense to go up,” former Pakistan cricketer Urooj Mumtaz said in commentary:
Regardless, Australia is now five wicket away from a securing a famous series victory, with Sajid Khan joining his skipper in the middle.
Captain Cummins gets the fourth
Who else but captain Cummins?
The Australian skipper has claimed his first scalp of the second innings, removing the under-fire Fawad Alam for 11 in Lahore.
Coming from around the wicket, Cummins trapped the left-hander on the pad with umpire Aleem Dar quickly raising the finger.
Alam needlessly called for a review, which confirmed that he was absolutely plumb.
Marnus Labuschagne was captured on the stump mics saying: “Stone Cold Steve Austin, where are you mate?”
Alam finished the series with 33 runs in four knocks at an average of 8.25.
Former England spinner Monty Panesar tweeted: “He always gets stuck once he makes his initial movement. Pakistan must be nervous now.”
Pakistan wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan is the new man in the middle.
Aussies waste a review
How costly could this be?
Australia has lost its second unsuccessful review, with Fawad Alam surviving an LBW scare in the 65th over.
Mitchell Starc got the Kookaburra to hoop viciously back into the left-hander, who was struck low on the leg.
Australian skipper Pat Cummins quickly called for the review after umpire Aleem Dar shook his head, but replays showed that Alam has edged the ball.
Lyon roars once again
The GOAT has struck right after the lunch break, removing Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq for 70 to shift momentum back in Australia’s favour.
Lyon caught the inside edge of the left-hander’s bat, with the ball ricocheting off the front pad towards Marnus Labuschagne at silly point.
Umpire Ahsan Raza raised the finger, and a review couldn’t save Imam-ul-Haq.
Fawad Alam is the new man in the middle.
Aussies finally get a DRS right
Nathan Lyon has struck in the 46th over, removing Pakistan veteran Azhar Ali for 17 in controversial circumstances.
The Pakistan No. 3 tried to sweep the Australian off-spinner, but the ball ballooned off his pad and was caught by Steve Smith at first slip.
The Aussies were adamant Ali had edged the ball, but umpire Ahsan Raza shook his head.
Smith convinced skipper Pat Cummins to call for the review, and Snicko replays showed a tiny spike as the ball passed the bat.
The third umpire overturned the on-field decision, and Ali begrudgingly made his way back to the pavilion, throwing his arms in the air in disgust.
Ali continued venting his frustration back in the sheds.
“It’s adjudicated out … just a tiny little heartbeat, there were a couple along the line, I thought, before it went to the bat. Anyway, that’s the decision from the umpire,” commentator Mike Haysman said.
“There was movement clearly before the ball got to the bat as well as some heartbeats … he’s not happy.”
Pakistan skipper Babar Azam is the new man in the middle.
Fifty for Imam-ul-Haq
Pakistan opener Imam-ul-Haq has brought up his fourth Test fifty, reaching the minor milestone in 122 balls in Lahore.
The hosts will be hoping the left-hander stays at the crease for many hours to come.
Green gets first breakthrough
Young gun Cameron Green has snared the first breakthrough of the day, removing talented opener Abdullah Shafique for 27.
Green was getting the Kookaburra to reverse back into the right-hander, but this delivery held its line and caught the outside edge, with wicketkeeper Alex Carey accepting the regulation catch.
Veteran batter Azhar Ali is the new man in the middle.
Day 4 wrap
Pakistan started confidently on Thursday in pursuit of a 351-run target in the series-deciding third Test against Australia, ending on 73 without loss at the close in Lahore.
Openers Imam-ul-Haq and Abdullah Shafique were unbeaten on 42 and 27 respectively, leaving the home team needing another 278 runs for victory in 90 overs, with all 10 wickets intact when play resumes Friday.
Australian skipper Pat Cummins declared their second innings at 3/227 shortly after tea — a bold decision considering Pakistan managed 7/443 in pursuit of 506 runs to draw last week’s Karachi Test.
The first Test in Rawalpindi also ended in a draw.
Australia were unlucky not to have dismissed Shafique off the penultimate delivery of the day when slip Steve Smith had a touch of a Marnus Labuschagne delivery that instead found the boundary.
Shafique also survived umpire Ahsan Raza’s decision of caught behind off Lyon when on 13, as Australia’s efforts for an early wicket went in vain.
The highlight of Australia’s innings was an unbeaten 104 by in-form opener Usman Khawaja, and Smith becoming the fastest man to 8,000 Test runs.
Pakistan-born Khawaja, who got a reprieve when Naseem Shah bowled him on 31 off a no-ball, scored 496 runs in the series, just 17 short of Mark Taylor’s record 513 in 1998 — the highest against Pakistan in a three-match series, and the last time Australia toured this country.
Smith also had a memorable day, driving pacer Hasan Ali to cover boundary to complete 8,000 runs in his 151st innings of his 85th Test.
In doing so he beat Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara’s record of reaching the milestone in 152 Test innings, achieved against India in Colombo 12 years ago.
— with AFP