Pat Cummins and Mitchell Starc ripped through Pakistan on day three of the third Test to leave Australia scenting a series victory at Gaddafi Stadium.

Captain Cummins and fellow paceman Starc were lethal in the evening session as Pakistan collapsed from 214-2 to 268 all out in reply to Australia's 391 in Lahore.

The outstanding Cummins took 5-56 and Starc 4-33, with Babar Azam's side unable to contend with the reverse swing and pace they generated with the second new ball.

Abdullah Shafique (81), Azhar Ali (78) and Babar (67) had put Pakistan in a promising position, but they lost seven wickets in the final session before Australia closed on 11 without loss - leading by 134 runs.

Australia were unable to make a breakthrough in the morning session after Pakistan resumed on 90-1, Shafique and Azhar bringing up their half-centuries as they added 69 runs before lunch.

A second-wicket stand of 150 finally ended when Nathan Lyon got Shafique caught behind following a review, but Steve Smith was unable to take chances to remove Babar on 20 and Azhar, when he had 62 to his name, in the slips as the runs flowed more freely.

Azhar passed 7,000 Test runs, but Pakistan were 214-3 when Cummins took a brilliant catch off his own bowling to end his excellent knock.

Starc then cleaned up Fawad Alam and Mohammad Rizwan as the momentum swung dramatically in Australia's favour after tea, with the magnificent Cummins also conjuring up substantial reverse swing as he saw the back of Sajid Khan, Nauman Ali and Hasan Ali to claim a five-wicket haul.

Babar was trapped leg before by Starc, who then produced a searing delivery that crashed into Naseem Shah's off stump to end Pakistan's innings with a flash. Usman Khawaja and David Warner then saw off three overs as Australia took command.

Cummins and Starc produce pace-bowling masterclass

After spending much of the day toiling with wickets hard to come by once again, Starc and Cummins were at their brilliant best late in the day.

They got the ball swinging, while also bowling perfect lengths at pace to tear through the Pakistan order, taking seven wickets for 20 runs.

Cummins became the first paceman to take a five-wicket haul in the series and his seventh in the longest format, producing a peach of a delivery that Sajid chopped on before pinning Nauman leg before and getting Hasan caught by Smith.

 

Pakistan crumble after trio build strong foundations

It looked like a first-innings lead was there for the taking for Pakistan courtesy of fine knocks from Shafique, Azhar and Babar.

The trio batted superbly on a good pitch, but the middle order and tail was blown away by Cummins and Starc, with three batters falling without scoring and Rizwan only making one.

Abdullah Shafique was closing in on another half-century at stumps on day two of the deciding Test as Pakistan made a strong start in reply to Australia's 391 all out at Gaddafi Stadium.

Cameron Green (79) and Alex Carey (67) frustrated Pakistan in the heat on Tuesday before Naseem Shah (4-58) and Shaheen Shah Afridi (4-79) prevented the tourists from going beyond 400 in Lahore.

Pat Cummins dismissed Imam-ul-Haq cheaply, but an unbroken stand of 70 between Shafique (45 not out) and Azhar Ali (30no) took Pakistan on to 90-1 at the close - trailing by 301 runs.

Carey and Green took Australia from 232-5 at the start of play to 320-5 at lunch, bringing up their half-centuries as the Pakistan attack toiled.

Nauman Ali ended a sixth-wicket stand of 135 by trapping Carey bang in front and Naseem cleaned Green up with an excellent delivery. 

Australia lost five wickets for 50 runs, with Afridi removing Mitchell Starc and making a mess of Mitchell Swepson's stumps after the impressive Naseem bowled Nathan Lyon.

Imam (11) was snared lbw by Cummins off balance in the 12th over of Pakistan's reply to end an opening stand of 20, while Shafique was fortunate to edge between Carey and Steve Smith in the slips.

Azhar clattered Lyon down the ground for six and Shafique ticked along nicely in great batting conditions.

Cummins wasted a review for an lbw shout against Azhar as Pakistan put a frustrating start to the day behind them.


Pakistan's young pace duo fire after Carey and Green stand

Green and Carey gave Australia just the start they were looking for, but Pakistan's young pacemen fired in the afternoon session.

Teenager Naseem and 21-year-old Afridi bowled with a combination of pace and reverse swing as they cleaned up the tail in quick time.

Naseem was not selected for the second Test but he will surely be a mainstay for years to come, while Afridi has already proven he is a class act time and again.


Rock-solid Shafique 

The composed Shafique has been a revelation for Pakistan at the top of the order and the opener laid solid foundations once again.

Having made a 134 and 44 in the opening match of the series in Rawalpindi before falling four short of a century in the first innings in Karachi, Shafique will be eyeing three figures again.

England interim head coach Paul Collingwood heaped praise on Ben Stokes for helping to heal the "scar tissue" from another Ashes disappointment.

Joe Root's tourists were thoroughly outplayed against their old foes Australia, succumbing to a 4-0 series defeat Down Under that saw Chris Silverwood dismissed in the wake of the hammering.

Collingwood was placed in temporary charge to lead a new-look England side, without James Anderson or Stuart Broad, to the Caribbean for a three-Test series against West Indies.

England remain in search of their first win under Collingwood – and in eight Tests overall – but have produced encouraging performances in consecutive draws in Antigua and Barbados.

Stokes, who bemoaned his fitness levels after averaging 23.6 with the bat and 71.5 with the ball in Australia, has been integral to the visitors' spirited showings against Kraigg Brathwaite's side.

Indeed, no seamer has sent down more overs in the series than Stokes (77) for his five wickets and economy of just 1.81. He also registered his first century since July 2020 with a brisk 120 in the second Test.

Collingwood was keen to credit superstar all-rounder Stokes for aiding Root and the rest of the England side in recovering from a familiar Ashes fate as they eye a winner-takes-all decider in Grenada, which starts on Thursday.

 

"He's phenomenal, he's box office," Collingwood said of Stokes.

"He was going into the Ashes with not much cricket under his belt. Now he's fit, he's determined, and you can tell he wants to make a difference in the dressing room as a leader.

"When he's preparing himself like he is at the moment, he certainly leads. He wants to go out in the middle and put in big performances. He wants the ball in hand, to score the runs, and he's doing just that at the moment.

"Even in the meetings when we first arrived, getting the scar tissue from Australia out the way and [discussing] how we were going to move forward, you could see and hear he had the bit between his teeth and wants to lead this team. I think he and Joe Root have done a magnificent job turning this round.

"He's just desperate to do well for the badge, for England. It's amazing when he's got this kind of attitude, as we all know he's one of the best. Long may it continue."

With a fully fit Stokes partnering the in-form Root, Jonny Bairstow and England's refreshed top order, Collingwood finds it hard to fault the efforts of his team so far.

"They want to put on a show, get a win under their belts, and we have a great attitude at the moment," he added. 

"All the way through the [second] Test match, we were pushing for the win. It always felt as though we were a session or session and a half behind the game with the pace Brathwaite batted in the first innings, but he showed great resilience right the way through the Test match to get a draw for them.

"It's been hard work, but you cannot fault the effort. If you could measure attitude and effort, it couldn't get any better than that."

The only criticism of England against West Indies so far has been their failure to take 20 wickets in a Test, albeit on two placid pitches, leading to calls for the inclusion of leg-spinner Matt Parkinson, who Collingwood feels will be ready whenever called upon.

"He is ready as can be," Collingwood said.

"The simple fact is, in COVID-19 times, you don't get matches in between. They are back-to-back-to-back, and it is putting a lot of stress on the players. The downside is we don't have matches in between to have preparation time for guys who are not playing."

Usman Khawaja's superb series in the country of his birth continued but Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah ensured day one of the decisive Test between Pakistan and Australia ended finely poised.

Draws in the first two Tests set up a winner-take-all contest in Lahore, where the surface appears to have plenty in it for the bowlers to ensure a result this time around.

Shaheen's blistering start suggested as much, as the Pakistan seamer removed David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne in the space of three deliveries to leave Australia reeling on 8-2.

But Khawaja, born in Pakistan, once again excelled with the bat, he and Steve Smith leading the Australia response to help them fight back to reach 232-5 at stumps. Khawaja was denied a second century of the series, as a stunning one-handed catch at slip from Babar Azam saw him out for 91.

Bowlers have consistently had to work hard for wickets in an attritional series but when Shaheen had Warner (7) trapped lbw and Labuschagne edged a poor shot behind to fall for a duck, Pakistan had hope of blitzing their way through a frequently steadfast Australia batting order.

Any such prospect was extinguished by the partnership of Khawaja and Smith (59), the latter recording his third successive half-century as they put on 138 for the third wicket.

But Naseem had Smith trapped in front to end his hopes of converting his fifty into a hundred and Khawaja was then denied three figures by Sajid Khan and the brilliance of Babar.

An excellent length delivery from Naseem removed Travis Head for 26, though Cameron Green and Alex Carey's unbroken partnership of 26 from 42 balls gave Australia reason for hope at the close.

Khawaja shows his class again

After falling three short of a hometown century at Rawalpindi in the opener, Khawaja - having hit a brilliant 160 in the second Test - again fell in the 90s here, but his consistency since returning to Test set-up in January has been remarkable. He has now scored at least 90 in five of his last eight innings.

Smith closing on 8,000

Smith did not review the delivery that ended his innings, but there must have been a great deal of temptation to do so given his dismissal left him just seven runs shy of 8,000 in the longest format.

England captain Joe Root defended his decision to wait until lunch to declare after Kraigg Brathwaite made history to salvage a draw at Kensington Oval.

Root declared with the tourists 185-5 after batting on during a morning session on day five that included short delays due to rain in Barbados.

The Windies were never likely to chase down a target of 282 to win, but Brathwaite led by example with 56 not out after making 160 in a marathon first innings, to frustrate England with support from Joshua Da Silva (30no) and Jermaine Blackwood (27).

West Indies batted out 65 overs and were 135-5 when Root shook hands with Brathwaite, setting up a series decider in Grenada.

Opener Brathwaite set a record for the most balls faced by a West Indies batsman in a single Test – 673 – on the back of his incredible first-innings vigil.

Jack Leach took 3-26 and debutant Saqib Mahmood 2-21 on the last day as England were unable to force a victory, having also failed to bowl West Indies out on day five in Antigua.

Root had no regrets about not ending England's second innings earlier in the day.

He said in the post-match presentation: "It's always a tricky one. With how small this ground is and how strong the winds are, a couple of overs of someone coming off – you don't want to make it too close."

Root praised spinner Leach, who racked up 94.5 overs in the match on a flat pitch.

"It's really pleasing to see Jack play the way he has. You can see how much he enjoys it out there," Root said. "He's bowling with great control and looks threatening. It's great to see him find his feet and look comfortable at this level."

Marathon man Brathwaite was delighted by the fight his side showed under pressure.

He said: "I thought it was a tremendous effort. England bowled extremely well. It was good as a team we could fight and put 400 back. Fighting at the end, that is the attitude we want."

Brathwaite wants to see a surface in Grenada that will give the Windies paceman more of an opportunity to do damage.

He added: "We put in a very big effort, but we want a result in the last Test. We have to see what they produce [the pitch for the final Test] but let's hope it has something for the pacers."

Kraigg Brathwaite rescued West Indies with a record-breaking innings on his home ground as England again failed to force a final-day victory at Kensington Oval.

Windies captain Brathwaite spent 710 minutes at the crease to hold the tourists up with an excellent 160 in the first innings and he followed that up with a resolute unbeaten 56 in Barbados on Sunday to keep the three-match series level at 0-0.

Joe Root set West Indies 282 to win by declaring on 185-6, but Brathwaite set a record of 673 for the most balls faced by a West Indies player in a single Test as he dug in for a second time.

Brathwaite showed incredible concentration and skill as the Windies frustrated England for the second time in the series to grind out a draw, reaching 135-5 from 65 overs to set up a decider in Grenada.

Jack Leach (3-36) and Saqib Mahmood (2-21) gave the tourists high hopes of forcing a victory, but they were unable to dislodge the rock-solid Brathwaite or Joshua Da Silva (30 not out).

Spinner Veerasammy Permaul (2-29) removed Alex Lees (24) and Joe Root after England resumed on 40 without loss in need of quick runs before declaring.

Rain breaks held the tourists up, but Zak Crawley (40) and Dan Lawrence (41) built the lead, while Ben Stokes made a brisk 18 prior to striking Kemar Roach to Brathwaite at cover, having sent the paceman for a huge six over midwicket.

Jonny Bairstow made 29 off 25 balls, but the runs had dried up for England before the declaration came after more rain brought the players in once again late in the morning session.

Leach got the early breakthrough in his first over, with John Campbell caught by Leeds close to the bat. Mahmood then took centre stage, Root reacting to catch Shamarh Brooks after a Crawley juggling act and the captain held again on at first slip to dismiss Nkrumah Bonner.

West Indies were 65-3 at tea after a stand of 50 between the incredible Brathwaite and Jermaine Blackwood was ended by Leach, courtesy of Bairstow's catch close in to send the number five packing for 27.

Jason Holder faced 24 balls before departing for a duck, as Lawrence took a great diving catch at cover for Leach, but Brathwaite continued to stand firm with support from Da Silva in an unbroken partnership of 42.

 

Brathwaite shows incredible staying power

Another incredible captain's innings from Brathwaite at the top of the order left England scratching their hands.

The opener made England toil with a marathon 489-ball knock in the first innings and he dug in again when his team needed him on the final day.

Brathwaite's 184 balls faced on Sunday under great pressure moved him beyond the record of 582 that were delivered to Brian Lara, when he made his sensational 400 against England in April 2004.
 

England fall short despite Mahmood burst and Leach marathon

Mahmood led the way for England as he took 2-12 in an impressive opening spell.

Leach also did damage and racked up 94.5 overs in the match, but the spinner could not find a way to dismiss the phenomenal Brathwaite.

Australia skipper Pat Cummins has confirmed they will go in with an unchanged line-up for the series-deciding third Test against Pakistan in Lahore starting on Monday.

The tourists backed spinners Nathan Lyon and Mitchell Swepson despite both bowling in excess of 50 overs in the second innings of the second Test which ended in a draw on Wednesday.

Conditions are expected to be similar in Lahore as they were in the previous two Tests with Karachi and Rawalpindi, where only 42 wickets fell overall.

"We were really happy with how all 11 players went last Test," Cummins told reporters on Sunday.

"Everyone has pulled up really well. We gave them an extra couple of days to make sure everyone has come up good. But there's no injury worries, everyone is freshened up, so we're confident in the XI.

"Only having two quick bowlers, I think reverse swing is going to be a big factor and the way Starcy played last game was fantastic.

"It's always tough leaving out someone like Joshy [Josh Hazlewood], even Scotty Boland. But the class and the difference Starcy brings as a left-armer, a bit more air speed, we think that's the best chance to take 20 wickets."

Cummins added that he felt Australia could take the necessary 20 wickets needed to win the third Test, having created chances that were not taken in Karachi as Pakistan resolutely batted out more than 171 overs to hold on for a draw.

"I think what's been clear... is the way we've gone about it is the right way," he said. "I've been really happy with how everyone has gone about their work (and) the tactics. I think it's just a matter of taking those chances.

"Wickets are at a premium in this series so you can't afford to drop too many chances. We created more than 10 chances [in Karachi], we just unfortunately didn't take them, so that's going to be the challenge this week."

England have again put themselves in position to attack West Indies on the final day of a Test after belatedly bringing the hosts' first innings to a close in Barbados.

The tourists were frustrated on day five of the first Test in Antigua when the Windies preserved a draw with six wickets in hand.

But Joe Root's side will get a chance to put that right on Sunday after once more moving slowly in the right direction in the second match.

England closed on 40-0 on day four, 136 ahead and no doubt weighing up how long into the next session they should bat for before pursuing victory.

Root may have to take a risk, given this track has so far favoured the batsmen, with the hosts having resumed on 288-4 in reply to England's 507-9 declared.

Captain Kraigg Brathwaite was unbeaten on 109 and continued to frustrate England despite the absence of the sort of long-term partner he had found in Jermaine Blackwood the previous day.

There were still 100-ball stands with Alzarri Joseph (19) and Joshua Da Silva (33) before Brathwaite finally departed to Jack Leach and the new ball for 160, leaving West Indies on 385-7.

That total reached 411 before England were able to bat again, with 15 overs yielding 40 runs for Alex Lees (18 not out) and Zak Crawley (21 no).

Brathwaite bats time

England's first-innings total meant the Windies were never likely to win this second Test. Instead, their aim with the bat was to drag their first innings out as long as possible.

Brathwaite could not have done much more on that front, his marathon stint in the middle using up an incredible 489 balls. He has only once faced more balls across both innings of a Test match, when scoring 126 and 85 against Sri Lanka last year.

Outlasted by Leach

Brathwaite's exhaustion could only be matched by the man who finally took his wicket, as Leach bowled 69.5 overs – again, his second-most in a Test after his 73.4 in the first meeting last week.

Despite those efforts, Leach produced the most economical bowling figures of his career, his 3-118 at a rate of 1.68 as he crucially accounted for three of the four West Indies batsmen to make 30 or more.

Kraigg Brathwaite and Jermaine Blackwood both hit centuries to keep England's bowlers largely at bay as the West Indies held solid for much of day three.

Brathwaite and Shamarh Brooks headed out in the first session with the Windies on 71-1, but the latter fell on 39 inside the opening 30 minutes of the day when he sliced Jack Leach's delivery to Chris Woakes.

Ben Stokes struck shortly after coming into England's attack midway through the session, dismissing Nkrumah Bonner for nine lbw, as the tourists look set to enjoy another fine day after declaring on 509-7 on Thursday.

Stokes should have had Blackwood lbw, only for the umpire to decline their appeals, with Joe Root choosing not to review. 

That was swiftly proved a mistake, with the replay showing the ball would have hit halfway up leg stump, Blackwood then surviving an lbw review for what could have been Saqib Mahmood's first Test wicket.

Braithwaite and Blackwood made the most of their fortune, frustrating England throughout the second session to reach tea at 196-3, on 79 and 50 respectively.

Windies skipper Brathwaite nudged Leach for two to bring up his century from 278 balls, and his control remained as he allowed Blackwood to stake centre stage.

Blackwood picked off some sloppy Stokes deliveries, though he very nearly edged Leach to Dan Lawrence before he clipped England's spinner for a single to bring up his third Test ton.

His stand finally came to an end on 102, when Lawrence trapped him lbw but, despite a late review against Alzarri Joseph, West Indies held on to reach stumps on 288-4.

Brilliant Braithwaite leads by example

Braithwaite was quite simply sensational, with his 109 not out coming from 337 deliveries so far, and he will be there again at the start of day four.

He now has 10 Test centuries, with three of those having come against England.

A long day for England's bowlers

News of Mark Wood's tour-ending injury came at the start of the day and it was a difficult time for England's bowlers.

Leach has already bowled 44 overs, but has just one wicket to show for it, while Stokes has an economical 1-34 to show for his efforts, though it took a cameo from Lawrence (1-8) to make the late breakthrough.

England fast bowler Mark Wood will miss the rest of the West Indies Test series and his Indian Premier League stint with the Lucknow Giants due to an elbow injury.

Wood, 32, bowled 17 overs in the first Test in Antigua before suffering an issue with his right elbow and subsequently underwent two scans since arriving in Barbados for England's second outing.

Those scans have confirmed a problem with his bowling arm and he will now return to England for "a specialist opinion regarding the management of his injury".

The Durham quick will take an "indefinite break from cricket until more information is determined from the elbow specialist", which leaves him unable to feature in the third Test that starts on March 24 in Grenada.

Wood has also been ruled out of contention for the IPL with the Giants, who paid £735,000 for Wood in the auction and start their IPL campaign against fellow debutants Gujarat Titans on 28 March.

England, who are already without injured duo Olly Stone and Jofra Archer, are yet to confirm whether they will call up a fast-bowling replacement, with Craig Overton and Ollie Robinson likely to return soon.

Wood was the pick of England's bowlers in the poor series against Australia, finishing as Joe Root's leading wicket-taker with 17 dismissals, including his first Ashes five-for, during his four appearances in the five-Test series.

South Africa will field a severely depleted side in the Test series against Bangladesh after a group of star players put the Indian Premier League above national duty.

Captain Dean Elgar had appealed for loyalty from team-mates earlier this month, as they faced a big decision on whether to play in the two Tests or join up with their IPL sides after the ODI series with Bangladesh.

Elgar said at the time: "The players need to give Cricket South Africa an indication of if they are keen to go to the IPL or if they are keen to play for the Test side. It's a bit of a tough one putting that in the players' box but... this is where you see where players' loyalty lies."

With lucrative IPL deals in place, those signed up for duty in that competition have elected to fulfil their commitments in that regard, with the tournament getting under way on March 26 in Mumbai.

It means South Africa will be without pace bowling stars Lungi Ngidi, Kagiso Rabada and Marco Jansen for the Tests, plus batsmen Rassie van der Dussen and Aiden Markram.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) could not stand in the way of players putting the IPL first, under an agreement with the South African Cricketers' Association, and have had to delve deeper into their playing pool to produce a squad to face the touring Bangladesh side.

There were call-ups on Thursday for the likes of Khaya Zondo, Daryn Dupavillon and Lizaad Williams, who could make Test debuts.

CSA convenor of selectors Victor Mpitsang said: "The loss of the IPL players is not ideal, but we back the CSA system, its ever-growing pipeline and most of all, the players we have selected.

"Every member of the team is selected based on the excellence that they have shown over an extended period of time. There is no better opportunity for them than now, to show us what they have to offer the Proteas on this highly anticipated occasion."

The first Test begins at Kingsmead on March 31, with the second game starting on April 8 at St George's Park. A three-match ODI series between full-strength South Africa and Bangladesh teams gets under way on Friday.

South Africa squad: Dean Elgar (captain), Temba Bavuma, Daryn Dupavillon, Sarel Erwee, Simon Harmer, Keshav Maharaj, Wiaan Mulder, Duanne Olivier, Keegan Petersen, Ryan Rickelton, Lutho Sipamla, Glenton Stuurman, Kyle Verreynne, Lizaad Williams, Khaya Zondo.

Australia Test captain Pat Cummins hailed his side's bowling but rued their inability to take chances after settling for another draw with Pakistan in the second Test.

The tourists were in the ascendancy throughout at the National Stadium in Karachi, having posted 556-9 in the first innings before bowling hosts Pakistan out for just 148.

Cummins opted to bat again as opposed to enforcing the follow-on for Babar Azam's Pakistan, who were set a mammoth 506 to win or to bat just under two days to secure the draw.

Led by captain Babar, who batted over 10 hours for his 425-ball 196, Pakistan decided on the latter option and their star batter was aided by Abdullah Shafique (96) and Mohammad Rizwan (104 not out).

Nathan Lyon spurred Australia to battle until the end with two wickets in two balls, dismissing Faheem Ashraf and Sajid Khan, but Pakistan held on for a famous draw.

It could have been a different result, though, given Steve Smith shelled Shafique late on day four and Usman Khawaja dropped Rizwan with three overs of play remaining on day five.

"I think the positive thing is each time we've created more than 10 chances," Cummins said. "It's probably the disappointing thing this game as well.

"If we took a couple of those catches it might be a different scenario. I walked off the field at the end of the day's play without feeling there was something I hadn't tried, or there wasn't a plan we hadn't given a really good chance at.

"In foreign conditions, we are showing that we are able to adapt and play well over here. But of course, getting so close, [being] so far ahead of the game, and not coming away with the result can feel like it's a missed opportunity."

Debutant Swepson finished with figures of 0-156 in the second innings from his 53.4 overs, but Cummins heaped praise on the spinner, along with his partner Nathan Lyon.

"I thought Swepo bowled fantastically," Cummins said. "I don't know how he's ended up with those figures. Especially that middle session, he had an umpire's call, a couple of half-chances dropped off his bowling, lots of plays and misses.

"The way he was able to be a real wicket-taking option on a really good wicket without really footmarks to the right-handers I was just really impressed with how he went about it.

"Nathan, I thought he bowled well, particularly today. Felt like he was going to get a wicket every over. When I took off him to bowl Starcy or myself, it was a hard decision to make because felt like he was so close to a wicket all day."

Asked whether he left enough time to win the Test, leaving five-and-a-half sessions to dismiss Pakistan, Cummins responded: "Overall I wouldn't change too much to do honest. 

"Batting into day three gave us that chance to really have a crack at them – probably went better than we could have expected – but over here the wickets are pretty good.

"We tried to bat two-and-a-half days on the best time of the wicket, hoping that it would break up on day four and five and it held together pretty well.

"Babar, Rizwan, Shafique, thought they all batted fantastically the last two days. We knew the wicket wasn't playing too many tricks but they batted superbly and made it really hard to get that breakthrough and when we did the next guy stuck at it as well.

"The good thing is it's nil-all, we didn't lose anything. Coming over here in these conditions, at the start of the series if you'd said it was going to be nil-all after two games you'd probably take that."

Australia will look to seal a series victory in the winner-takes-all decider that starts in Lahore on Monday.

Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan produced incredible batting displays as Pakistan hung on to claim a famous draw in the second Test with Australia in Karachi.

Pakistan skipper Babar's century on Tuesday set up a thrilling conclusion at the National Stadium and the contest was in the balance right until the end.

Babar eventually fell four runs short of a double century, while Rizwan was unbeaten on 104 to help Pakistan survive a record 172 overs in the fourth innings.

The hosts are nine Tests unbeaten against Australia at this venue and, having also played out a draw in Rawalpindi, it is now all to play for in the third and final Test in Lahore.

Pakistan started day five on 192-2 in their second innings, leaving them needing 314 runs to pull off a record chase, and hopes were high when Babar resumed play.

Babar and Abdullah Shafique crossed 200 runs, marking just the fourth time a third-wicket double century partnership had been notched in the fourth innings of a Test.

Australia wrestled back some control when Pat Cummins removed Shafique for 96 just before lunch, with Steve Smith redeeming himself for an earlier drop.

Fawad Alam (nine) succumbed to Cummins, but Babar continued to add runs and looked set for a deserved double ton.

However, he was eventually dismissed for 196 by Nathan Lyon, who then removed Faheem Ashram for a duck to keep things finely poised.

Having fended off Australia for so long, Pakistan then lost Sajid Khan (nine) and were 414-7 with eight overs remaining.

Rizwan looked to be next to go, only for Usman Khawaja to spill the chance, and from there the right-handed batsman brought up his hundred in the penultimate over.

Unable to take the final three wickets, Australia were left to rue what might have been as Pakistan reached 443-7 – 63 runs short of victory – to claim a famous draw. 

 

Babar inspires Pakistan fightback

Babar had gone over two years without a Test century prior to reaching three figures on Tuesday and went on to add another 94 runs on the final day in an inspiring display.

Flanked by supporting roles from Rizwan and Shafique, Babar, whose innings lasted 425 balls, batted for more than 10 hours in the end, though he would have loved to have reached a double century.

Lyon's best efforts not enough

All of Pakistan's hard work was nearly undone thanks to a late flurry of wickets for Lyon, who ended with figures of 4-112.

Removing Babar was a key moment in a match that proved gripping from the start, in stark contrast to a mundane first Test, and sets up a gripping finale next week.

Saqib Mahmood will make his Test debut in England's only change for their second match against West Indies, starting on Wednesday at Kensington Oval.

The Lancashire seamer is a like-for-like replacement for the injured Mark Wood, who has been ruled out due to an elbow problem sustained in the first Test.

Joe Root's side played out a draw in that opening contest against Kraigg Brathwaite's hosts in Antigua and have moved on to Barbados for the second of three tussles for the Richards-Botham Trophy.

Centuries for captain Root, Jonny Bairstow and Zak Crawley were stymied by a superb display from Nkrumah Bonner and Wood's injury, on the back of Ollie Robinson being ruled out for the opener.

Root admitted that while Durham bowler Wood would be a loss, he had little doubts about 25-year-old Mahmood's potential.

"He's very mature for a guy who hasn't played a huge amount of international cricket, and he has an understanding of how he wants to operate," Root said.

"He's been very impressive. He's got a slightly different trajectory and will give us a point of difference. He has done that when he's played in other formats.

"Clearly he has good control, especially if the ball moves with reverse swing."

West Indies batsman Bonner, whose recent emergence as a Test player has followed a false start in international cricket in the T20I format 10 years ago, is relishing another battle after his man-of-the-match performance.

"During that 10-year period when I was out, there was a lot of work I put in mentally, physically and technically, and I'm really happy to be reaping the rewards now," Bonner said, quoted by BBC Sport.

"I'm more experienced now, I understand my game a lot better. I always had that belief I could play international cricket.

"Obviously sometimes the belief goes down a little bit, but I kept working and I'm really happy to have come back."

Stokes closes in on select England landmark

England all-rounder Ben Stokes has been relatively quiet with bat and ball since returning to the international fold, but he could reach a notable landmark this week.

He needs 84 more to reach 5,000 runs in Test cricket for England; in doing so, he would become just the 23rd player to achieve this feat for the team.

West Indies are one of the three teams against whom he has scored over 1,000 runs.

Roach poised to move up WI rankings

Kemar Roach needs only one more wicket to become the outright seventh-highest wicket taker for West Indies in men's Test cricket.

Roach is level with Garry Sobers on 235 wickets, and the paceman has more wickets against England (54) than against any other team in this format.

Once he moves ahead, he will have sixth-placed Michael Holding in his sights, with 249.

Babar Azam's impressive century kept Australia at bay and provided Pakistan with hope of pulling off a huge comeback in the second Test at the National Stadium.

Pakistan were set a 506-run target and lost two wickets early on, yet they fought back valiantly thanks to skipper Azam (102 not out) and opener Abdullah Shafique (71 not out).

The hosts reached 192-2 at the end of play on Tuesday in Karachi, leaving them requiring 314 runs on the final day to go nine Tests unbeaten against Australia at this venue.

Australia resumed their second innings at 81-1 and batted for half an hour before declaring on 97-2, with Marnus Labuschagne (44) and David Warner (seven) the men to fall.

If Pakistan's task looked tough at that point, it soon become even more daunting as they lost Imam-ul-Haq (one) and Azhar Ali (six) early on in their reply.

Azhar fell to Cameron Green when attempting to evade a short-pitched delivery, though replays showed he gloved the ball and would have stayed had it been reviewed.

Those wickets either side of lunch, with Imam trapped lbw from the bowling of Nathan Lyon, looked set to have Australia on course for victory inside four days.

But Shafique hit three boundaries and a six, while Babar hit seven boundaries in his knock to ensure Pakistan remain in with a fighting chance of avoiding defeat on home soil.

Stumps it is! Another tough day, but it would be fair to say that our boys came out owning it#BoysReadyHain l #PAKvAUS pic.twitter.com/VtRpO0Vhis

— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) March 15, 2022 Pakistan fightback led by Babar

Babar's batting average of 65.7 from four innings at the National Stadium prior to this Test is his highest at any venue where he has batted more than two innings.

The hosts' inspirational skipper once again led from the front with what was his first Test century in more than two years, spanning across 21 innings.


The hope that kills you

Pakistan's previous highest successful chase came against Sri Lanka in 2015 when set a 377 run target, so history will be made if they can dig in on Tuesday.

If they can make it to the final session of the day with some wickets in hand, the hosts would no doubt consider a draw as being like a victory.

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