Australia declared their first innings on 556 for nine and then dismissed Pakistan for 148 to seize control of the second Test in Karachi on Monday. After more than two days of leather-hunt under a harsh sun at the National Stadium, Pakistan’s abject batting capitulation handed Australia a mammoth first-innings lead of 408.
The hosts were spared the ignominy of a follow-on but Australia’s overall lead bulged to 489 as they finished day three on 81 for 1 with Usman Khawaja, who scored 160 in the first innings, on 35 with Marnus Labuschagne on 37.
At the start of the day, Australia milked 51 runs in nine overs before declaring. Pat Cummins smashed three sixes in his unbeaten 34 off 36 balls against a jaded attack on a slow track.
Pakistan were let down by their openers who showed poor judgment to depart either side of the lunch break. Abdullah Shafique made 13 before running himself out and his opening partner, Imam-ul-Haq, who smashed twin hundreds in the drawn series opener in Rawalpindi, fell to Nathan Lyon in a sudden rush of needless aggression.
Mitchell Starc then claimed two in two to rock Pakistan. The left-arm quick lured Azhar Ali into driving a full and wide delivery and Cameron Green grabbed the edge at second slip. Starc followed that with a searing yorker to trap Fawad Alam lbw for a duck.
Mohammad Rizwan somehow denied Starc a hat-trick but looked pretty much a sitting duck during his 13-ball stay. Dropped in the slip by Steve Smith off Cummins, Rizwan got another life in the next ball when an lbw decision against him was overturned. It did not really matter though as Cummins returned to dismiss Rizwan caught behind in his next over.
Starc owed his third wicket to Alex Carey who was convinced he had taken a catch from Sajid Khan even though the bowler was not sure. The keeper persuaded Cummins to review the original not-out decision and Sajid had to go after replays confirmed an edge.
It would have been a lot worse for the home side but for a last-wicket partnership of 29 between Nauman Ali and Shaheen Afridi