Australian cricket has been rocked by the passing of a second legend in the space of 24 hours with Shane Warne’s sudden death in Thailand.
On the field, Australia had a disappointing day one against Pakistan and will be hoping the spirit of Warne will spur them onto success on Saturday.
SCORE: Pakistan 2-421 (Azhar Ali 172*, Mohammad Rizwan 1*, Cummins 1-62) after 150 overs at 9:36pm AEDT.
9:35PM: Marnus Labuschagne has produced a moment of individual brilliance to lift Australia’s spirits late on day two. After 147 overs, Labuschagne was quick on the heel to prevent a single, picking up the ball and throwing down the stumps at the non-striker’s end in the one motion.
And didn’t he love it!
That was BEAUTIFUL from Labuschagne 👏
— Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) March 5, 2022
9:24PM: Nathan Lyon has bowled 50 overs of more in an innings for just the fifth time in his esteemed career. Despite some promising signs on day one, Lyon hasn’t been able to generate too many chances across more than 300 deliveries on a flat Rawalpindi surface.
TEA 8.45PM: Australia were able to finally break Pakistan’s second-wicket partnership in that session, it only cost them 208 runs, but the host’s captain came in and picked up where ul-Haq left off to blast his way to 33* at tea while Azhar Ali brought up his century and went on to 150* at the break.
A reminder that Azam averages 93 with the bat when at the crease in Pakistan. It’s set to be a tough slog for Australia in the final session of the day and they’ll hope a declaration is near.
8.16PM: Over the hour since Pakistan captain Babar Azam has been at the crease, he and Azhar Ali have slowly gone about upping the scoring tempo as they look to capitalise on their dominance.
Overall, Pakistan’s scoring has been quite slow throughout the first four sessions so they will be looking to really put themselves in the ascendancy and find a declaration late in the final session.
7.07PM: Australian captain Pat Cummins has finally got his side’s second wicket of the innings with Imam-ul-Haq departing for 157.
The Aussies were made to sweat after the Pakistan opener sent the decision upstairs but it came back with all three reds and he had to go.
Cummins has been the best of Australia’s bowlers so far on day two and has figures of 1-51 from 23 overs.
7PM: Scenes of celebration after Azhar Ali brings up his century off 259 balls. The accomplished batter has looked composed for his entire stay at the crease, happily taking singles and soaking up everything the Australian bowlers have to throw at him.
It’s the 37-year-olds 19th Test century.
LUNCH 6PM: Pakistan have made it through the first session on day two without losing a wicket, although Australia has yet again been able to limit their scoring output with the hosts only scoring 57 runs in 25 overs.
Imam-ul-Haq made his way past 150, while Azhar Ali got within touching distance of his century.
Nathan Lyon created some chances, the best of which was a caught behind which the Aussies failed to review.
5:33PM: A big moment in the game as it looks as though Australia has missed a chance to review a potential caught behind. Nathan Lyon drew a false shot from Imam-ul-Haq whose late cut was very close to the gloves of Alex Carey. There was a slight appeal from the wicketkeeper but Cummins opted not to review.
Replays and snicko suggested the faintest of edges off the centurion’s bat. A mistake Australia could be left to stew on.
5.20PM: It has been very slow going on Day 2 in Rawalpindi with Australia looking for a wicket and Pakistan looking to bat time.
Yet again, Imam-ul-Haq and Azhar Ali have look relatively untroubled as the latter makes his way towards a century. The Aussies are bowling well but are getting nothing back from the deck.
4PM AEDT: The Australians have reflected on their second moment’s silence in as many days to start this Test match after the tragic passing of Shane Warne overnight. Through the countless tributes on social media, it’s clear this loss is set to impact the Australian players and hopefully will give them extra energy as they look for early wickets on Saturday.
Pat Cummins took the ball for the first over for the Aussies while Imam-ul-Haq looked as solid as he did for over six hours yesterday.
3.30PM AEDT: Australian captain Pat Cummins will be searching for early breakthroughs on day two after his side were spectators to some impressive Pakistan batting.
They have a relatively new ball at their disposal after taking it late on day one. The Australians didn’t see the reverse swing they hoped for on day one but will hope the conditions are more conducive to getting the ball to move on Saturday.
SHANE WARNE COVERAGE
Follow CODE Sports for continued coverage of the tragic death of Australian cricket legend, Shane Warne.
FROM THE GROUND
Peter Lalor from Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium
News Corp’s Pete Lalor is in Pakistan covering the Test and the reaction to Shane Warne’s tragic passing.
When your opposition reaches 1-302 with an inexperienced opener passing 150 you have to make the most of every chance, but Australia incredibly did not go to DRS when they had Imam-Ul-Haq caught behind.
The Pakistan batter was 144no when he snicked the ball off the bottom edge into Alex Carey’s glove there was a solid appeal but not great excitement.
David Warner, who was in the cover, was pushing for a review but slip Steve Waugh and Carey weren’t fussed.
Maybe it was the incessant, infernal horns the crowd blow from first thing in the morning, but whatever it was it hurt.
Captain Pat Cummins, a man who rarely displays any negative emotions, allowed himself a wry grin that was slow to leave his face.
Imam, who made his maiden Test century on the first day, went to the break on 154no and Azhar Ali is 95no on a pitch that is batsman’s dream and a bowler’s graveyard.
The Australians, to their credit, have kept the run rate to three an over despite the long, hard toil.
He also captured the moment teams paused for a moment’s silence at the start of day two.
Pindi pauses in a minutes silence for Shane Keith Warne. pic.twitter.com/ADhtIzWBfC
— Peter Lalor (@plalor) March 5, 2022
Australia XI: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Cameron Green, Alex Carey (wk), Pat Cummins (c), Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood
Pakistan XI: Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam (c), Fawad Alam, Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Iftikhar Ahmed, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Naseem Shah, Shaheen Shah Afridi
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
The match: Pakistan vs Australia, first Test at Rawalpindi, March 4-8, first ball 4pm AEDT (10am local)
How to watch: Watch the match live on Fox Sports or stream on Kayo Sports
How to listen: SEN will be providing ball by ball for the entirety of the series.
Online coverage: Follow the match right here or join our match centre.
Time difference: Pakistan is six hours behind AEDT, five and a half behind ACDT, five behind AEST and three behind AWST.
IMPRESS YOUR FRIENDS
Why Pakistan is favourite
Pakistan has won four of its five home Tests since international cricket returned. It drew the other.
Australia has won just two of its 17 Tests in Asia in the past 10 years.
Babar Azam averages 110 across three Tests at Rawalpindi.
Why Australia can win
Australia actually won its last Test series in Pakistan 1-0.
Australia is the No.1 Test team in the world after winning the Ashes 4-0.
Khawaja averages 70.85 against Pakistan, Warner 108.4, Labuschagne 71.33 and Smith 53.92.
Form (most recent first)