Debutant Mitchell Swepson helped add an unbroken 51 for the last wicket
Australia 556 for 9 dec (Khawaja 160, Carey 93, Smith 72) vs Pakistan
Australia’s marathon first innings finally ended early on day three of the second Test, as a weary Pakistan brace for a challenging period with the bat before lunch.
After resisting the temptation late on day two, captain Pat Cummins finally declared Australia’s innings at 556 for 9 after 189 overs. They continued to make Pakistan toil for 35 minutes on the third morning and inflicted more pain on the hapless hosts with Cummins smashing a breezy unbeaten 34 marked by three sixes.
Debutant Mitchell Swepson finished 15 not out as they added 51 runs for the last wicket.
Mitchell Starc, who slowly batted through the final session on day two, failed to add to his overnight score of 28 after being dismissed on the second ball of the day’s play.
Offspinner Sajid Khan did a lot of the heavy lifting through the innings for Pakistan and finished with 2 for 167 from 57 overs.
Despite some scrutiny in their approach, Australia have preferred grinding Pakistan into the ground and make full use of the batting-friendly conditions on a Karachi pitch expected to deteriorate.
There was occasional inconsistent bounce, reverse swing and sharp turn on day two in what should excite Australia’s tweaked attack boasting the inclusion of legspinner Swepson, who is making his long-awaited debut.
After Cummins won a crucial toss, Australia’s innings was dominated by opener Usman Khawaja’s brilliant 160 off 369 balls in the city his family hails from, while Alex Carey (93) and Steve Smith (72) notched half-centuries.
Once again, the temperature in Karachi is expected to hover in the mid-30s as the heat is set to intensify on Pakistan’s batters.
Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth