The visiting quicks made regular inroads on a pitch that continued to provide assistance

Pakistan began their comeback in the Boxing Day Test as opener Abdullah Shafique batted through the middle session on day two under constant pressure from Australia’s attack on a challenging MCG surface.

Pakistan batted calmly in the second session and overcame some stressful moments against Australia’s miserly bowlers after bowling Australia out for 318 by lunch.

However, considering that they were bowled out for 89 in their second innings of the opening Test match in Perth, they ought to be happy with their reaction.

Pakistan got off to a good start as skipper Shan Masood had stated before the series that they would play a more proactive brand of cricket. Both openers Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq scored runs off their opening deliveries.

But as soon as the runs dried up, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood’s precise new ball bowling anchored them to the crease. Though Imam was in a rut and was trapped by a good length from Pat Cummins, who bowled around the wicket, Shafique was occasionally able to counterattack.

After surviving the quicks, off-spinner Nathan Lyon, who has been soaking up praise since capturing his 500th wicket in the first Test match of the series, faced the openers.

After luring an edge with a twisting delivery from around the wicket, Lyon sparked chaos right away and almost put an end to Imam’s wall of defense.

Masood made it to tea after surviving a knock to the helmet from Hazlewood to continue his incredible day from Pakistan.

Earlier in an extended opening session, Pakistan recovered courtesy of their quicks’ outstanding fielding and steady wicket-taking.

After a run of mishandled missed catches this series, they managed to hold onto hard-earned opportunities in the outfield when returning wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan delivered a spectacular one-handed take, diving to his right, to dismiss opponent Alex Carey.

However, when Masood decided to field, Pakistan lamented inconsistent quicks while 52 extras increased Australia’s score and may be costly. Pakistan had been enjoying favorable bowling conditions.

In a hectic morning session, Pakistan could not dismiss Australia for their targeted total of approximately 250.

On a day one disrupted by rain, only 66 overs were bowled, and play began thirty minutes early. With sunshine breaking through the dense cloud cover, Australia looked to be gaining momentum as they resumed at 187 for 3, with Travis Head launching a characteristic counterattack and Marnus Labuschagne, who has had a relatively quiet year in Test cricket, reaching his half-century.

Head was tempted to give a heavy edge by spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi, but Agha, who was safely taken at second slip, broke out of his depression with a full and wide delivery.

Mitchell Marsh showed his confidence right away after smashing left-arm fast Mir Hamza over mid-off for a boundary by skipping down the wicket. Marsh had struck two half-centuries in the first Test.

When seamer Hasan Ali dismissed him off successive deliveries, his contagious zeal brought the game to life and chaos erupted, only for Marsh to successfully review on both occasions

The audience erupted in mock applause as Marsh defended the next delivery, but he soon found his form again, hitting offspinner Salman for six straight.

Before the second new ball, Pakistan seemed to be playing a waiting game, but Aamer Jamal responded with lightning speed. Shafique, who had earlier in the day dropped a chance to save opener David Warner, was relieved to have Labuschagne caught at first slip.

Throughout the series, Pakistan’s new ball bowling has been largely lackluster; but, after taking the second new ball, they lit a fire under the opposition, routinely taking wickets, including 41 from Marsh.

In his brief time at the wicket, Starc became one of only three Australian players to amass 2000 Test runs and 200 wickets, along with Richie Benaud, Shane Warne, and Mitchell Johnson.

On a pitch that is still helping the bowlers, Australia’s tail made some crucial runs to push the team above 300 in a total that looks really competitive.

Day two of the Australian summer cycle has been played in ideal weather, with predictions of poor weather having not yet materialized, following Boxing Day’s dismal circumstances.


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