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Hosts declared at 624/8 and ended up winning by an innings and 18 runs as visitors were bowled out for 163.

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By Abdullah Ansari (30th December, 2016)

Toss: Pakistan won the toss, Misbah-ul-Haq opted to bat first.

Teams

Australia: MT Renshaw, DA Warner, UT Khawaja, SPD Smith (c), PSP Handscomb, NJ Maddinson, MS Wade (wk), MA Starc, JR Hazlewood, NM Lyon, JM Bird.

Pakistan: Sami Aslam, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Mohammad Amir, Sohail Khan, Yasir Shah, Wahab Riaz.

Australia began the day ahead with most thoughts settled on a draw. The hosts had other ideas from the get-go, with Starc taking the attack to Yasir with a few sixes early on to send the signal to the opponents. Pakistan continued in a defensive manner as Smith motored along at the other end. Misbah shuffled the bowlers around but it wasn't of much use. Wahab came on to bowl an aggressive spell but couldn't break through with Misbah missing a run out chance. Azhar came on to bowl and Pakistan's dismal day continued as Sohail dropped a dolly off Starc at long-off, with the batsman rubbing salt in the wounds with a couple of big sixes soon thereafter. Yasir came back to bowl and this time it was Smith who took him for a big six to get to his 150. Starc continued as well, smashing Yasir into the stands for his seventh six. He fell in the next over to Sohail as he went for his eight and was caught in the deep after making 84 off just 91 balls. Lyon came out to bat and played a couple of big shots before getting out to Yasir and that was the end of the innings with a declaration coming at 624/8, Smith finishing at 165*.

Pakistan came out to bat for a short, uncomfortable period before Lunch and the early signs were negative, as Sami limply defended one and was bowled by Hazlewood, as they went to the break at 6/1. Coming back after the interval, there was another wicket straightaway as Starc got one to swing back in with Babar missing it and getting out LBW. Younis came out to bat and the batsmen continued to face a tough time in the middle, with the bowlers getting just enough purchase to trouble the batsmen. Azhar almost played one onto his stumps but it just missed. Younis was positive, looking to score, realising that Pakistan needed to try and overturn the deficit. However, he fell to Lyon as he defended one that bounced and got the inside edge for a catch at short leg after making 24. Misbah came and swept the first ball without success - next ball he repeated the shot, got a top edge and was out caught at short fine-leg with Pakistan now under severe pressure. Shafiq came to bat and survived for a bit but with the clock winding down until Tea, he fell to Lyon as well, inside edging one with Handscomb taking a stunning catch at short leg with Pakistan 91/5 at the interval.

Australia struck a major blow soon after the restart with Azhar Ali adjudged LBW as Hazlewood bowled a short of a length delivery which stayed low - the batsman reviewed but it was just clipping the stumps. Amir and Sarfraz batted with confidence with Sarfraz in particular looking to get runs to try and overturn the deficit while Amir defended solidly from the other end. He played and missed at a few with Australia taking a review for a caught behind as they thought he nicked one, but it was not out. Bird struck two balls later, however, as Amir inside edged one onto his stumps for 11. Starc returned and got the ball to reverse a touch and it soon struck the killer blow with Sarfraz bowled for 43 by one that snaked back in towards the stumps. The pacer struck again in the next over with another superb delivery, this time moving the ball away from Wahab from around the wicket - simply too good. He finished it off in the next over as Yasir looked to flick one and top edged it, getting caught with Pakistan losing by an innings and 18 runs.

Summary: A crushing defeat for Pakistan that will bring back memories of past thrashings Down Under. After Brisbane, morale was high. After this, it will have dropped to extremely low levels. Losing in this manner after putting up 443 in the first innings will be very disappointing. Pakistan continue to show a propensity to collapse when put under pressure with the bat in the dying stages of matches, with it having happened several times recently. Misbah played a very uncharacteristic shot under pressure and seemed to not be in the game and the series is now lost. It will require a massive effort from Pakistan to try and seal a consolation victory as Sydney.

Fall of wickets:

7-608 (Starc, 140.1 ov)
8-624 (Lyon, 141.6 ov)

1-3 (Sami Aslam, 1.4 ov)
2-6 (Babar Azam, 4.1 ov)
3-63 (Younis Khan, 19.1 ov)
4-63 (Misbah-ul-Haq, 19.3 ov)
5-89 (Asad Shafiq, 29.5 ov)
6-101 (Azhar Ali, 34.4 ov)
7-143 (Mohammad Amir, 46.5 ov)
8-153 (Sarfraz Ahmed, 49.6 ov)
9-159 (Wahab Riaz, 51.5 ov)
10-163 (Yasir Shah, 53.2 ov)

Discuss!