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Where should the Pakistan Super League Final be played?
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Visitors finish rain-hit day at 271/8 with the veteran unbeaten on 136, 267 runs behind Australia's first-innings total.

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By Abdullah Ansari (5th January, 2017)

Toss: Australia won the toss, Steve Smith opted to bat first.

Teams

Australia: MT Renshaw, DA Warner, UT Khawaja, SPD Smith (c), PSP Handscomb, HWR Cartwright, MS Wade (wk), MA Starc, SNJ O'Keefe, JR Hazlewood, NM Lyon.

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

The start of Day 3 took a while, with rain in Sydney in the morning disrupting the Test match. It stopped and started a few times, ensuring that play never got under way - at one point, rain resumed just a couple of minutes before the players were about to resume. It was a full four hours after the scheduled start of play when play finally began with Younis setting the tone with a four first ball. Wade went off the field after a couple of overs, apparently feeling sick with Handscomb taking over wicket-keeping duties. Hazlewood had a big appeal for LBW against Azhar which was turned down - the review was wasted due to umpire's call. Azhar was a touch nervous, driving one well but also hitting a cover drive that almost carried to the fielder in the circle. The breakthrough finally came as Azhar was dismissed in what was seemingly the only way Australia could get him - run out. There was a mix-up between the two and the opener was short of his crease, for 71. Misbah got a start for the first time in the series, getting away a few shots at Pakistan went to Tea at 177/3 with Younis on 84*.

The visitors got off to a terrible start in the second session as Misbah perished in the second over as he went for a wild hoick against Lyon, giving a simple catch to the fielder at the boundary. Younis motored along towards his hundred, hitting Lyon for a big six in trademark fashion - however, Shafiq was dismissed before that. The batsmen inside-edged one onto his pad with Smith taking a superb catch. Younis brought up his 34th Test hundred, becoming the first to make a Test hundred in 11 different countries. The batsmen batted more aggressively with the second new-ball becoming available soon, with Australia taking it straight away. There was some movement for the bowlers and Younis edged a couple but it was Sarfraz who was next to fall. He went for a big drive against Starc and got a thick outside edge to gully after making 18. Amir soon followed, being tempted by Lyon after a testing over by the spinner, trying to hit him over the top - he only succeeded in giving a catch to mid-off. Wahab held out for a bit while Younis continued at the other end but the tailender fell in the closing moments of the day, getting bowled by Lyon as Pakistan finished at 271/8 with Younis 136*.

Summary: Another good day for Australia as they made good progress in their quest to whitewash Pakistan despite a superb knock by Younis. Around half of the day's play was washed out but that didn't stop the hosts from picking up 6 wickets. Azhar's run out was a real killer blow, with the opener looking extremely solid before the dismissal - it was further amplified by the lack of aptitude displayed by the following batsmen. Younis has in the meantime, made good progress towards the mark of 10,000 Test runs, he's just 75 away. The visitors face a very tough ask on the last two days to save the match.

Fall of wickets:

3-152 (Azhar Ali, 53.2 ov)
4-178 (Misbah-ul-Haq, 65.6 ov)
5-197 (Asad Shafiq, 72.4 ov)
6-239 (Sarfraz Ahmed, 82.3 ov)
7-244 (Mohammad Amir, 85.5 ov)
8-264 (Wahab Riaz, 93.1 ov)

Discuss!