Veteran spearheads fightback with Azhar Ali, even as Australian bowlers strike regularly to keep side to 271/8 on third day of Sydney Test
Younus Khan’s 34th Test century and his 146-run third-wicket stand with Azhar Ali helped Pakistan fight back in its first innings on the third day of the final Test in Sydney on Thursday (January 5).
Younus, 39, was unbeaten on 136 off 279 balls at stumps, batting with Yasir Shah, on 5 not out, as Pakistan reached 271 for 8. The visiting side was still trailing Australia by 267 runs and needs 68 more to avoid the follow-on.
It was Younus’s first century since October. His knock included 15 fours and a six, with his century coming off 208 balls.
Azhar and Younus’s third-wicket stand helped Pakistan pull things back after it was 6 for 2.
Azhar, the side’s highest scorer this series, fell for 71 after a dreadful mix-up in the middle. Younis drove Nathan Lyon to a diving fielder at short midwicket and hesitated, leading to some indecision with Azhar. Mitchell Starc swooped in from mid-on to throw back to the wicketkeeper and caught Azhar out of his crease.
In five innings, Azhar has scored 395 runs at 98.75 so far, a series record for a Pakistani against Australia.
Misbah-ul-Haq, the captain, however, continued to struggle, holing out to deep midwicket off Lyon. The 18 he made was his highest score in the series, where he averages 7.60.
Asad Shafiq could add just 4 before an inside edge off Steve O'Keefe, the left-arm spinner, carried towards Steven Smith for him to take a fine outstretched right-hand catch.
Starc had Sarfraz Ahmed caught in the gully for 18, while Mohammad Amir was caught in the deep off Lyon for 4.
Wahab Riaz was Lyon’s third wicket of the day, bowled for 8 in the day's penultimate over.
The entire first session of the day was washed out. Soon after play restarted, Matthew Wade, the wicketkeeper, was forced to leave the field with a stomach. He is expected to recover in time for Friday's play.
Matt Renshaw, the first-innings centurion, left the field after being struck on the helmet at short leg and was assessed for concussion.
Australia has already won the series after victories in the Brisbane and Melbourne Tests, while Pakistan is battling to avoid its 12th straight Test defeat in Australia.