Pakistan crumble to defeat in Melbourne SL falls in Port Elizabeth

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Pakistan crumble to defeat in Melbourne SL falls in Port Elizabeth

Despite having the match curtailed by almost 150 overs because of rain or bad light and a superb double century from Azhar Ali. The same team that was ranked number one in tests earlier this year crumbled to an ignominious innings and 18 run defeat on the final day of the Boxing day test match in Melbourne.

Pakistan’s indifferent play started when they were fielding. The bowling became inconsistent and the field placing incomprehensible. Things deteriorated after Usman Khawaja was dismissed caught behind by Wahab Riaz three short of his century.

The Aussies shifted into run-scoring high gear and it was working Steve Smith and Peter Handscomb added 92 before Handscomb was caught at point by Sami Aslam for 54. Nick Maddison was not able to maintain the rapid pace he was soon beaten by the flight and lack of turn as the Yasir Shah delivery crashed into his stumps.Matt Wade did not fare much better when he was dismissed the score was 454/6 with the hosts having a slim eleven run lead.

Then things went completely haywire Mitchell Starc and his skipper Steve Smith feasted on the bowling plundering 154 runs in 28 overs, Starc smashed seven sixes and three boundaries compiling 84 from 91 balls, before mistiming a hook off Sohail Khan and was caught by Asad Shafiq. Steve Smith was left unbeaten on 165 decorated with thirteen fours and one six allowing the home side to amass the largest test total in Melbourne.

Facing 181 to make Australia bat again the South Asian side lost Aslam in the second over when he played forward got an inside edge which hit the pad before crashing into the stumps. Babar Azam was trapped in front by the first ball he faced from Starc with the score on six. Younis Khan provided a ray of hope but Nathan Lyon who was hammered in the first innings produced an excellent five over spell accounting for Khan, skipper Misbah ul Haq and Asad Shafiq reducing the visitors to 89/5.

Azhar could consider himself unfortunate, Josh Hazlewood got a ball to keep low while swinging in trapping him in front for a well played 43 after review he was given out umpires call.

Mohammad Amir and Sarfraz Ahmed added 42 then Amir edged a Jackson Bird delivery onto his body which fell on the stumps. Three overs later Starc did something reminiscent of the great Wasim Akram starting with a couple of balls that seamed away then a quicker one that came in sharply to hit the top of the off stump putting and end Ahmed resistance also for 43, at 153/8 it was all over bar the shouting.

Pakistan lasted three more overs adding ten more runs losing the game with an hour to spare. Starc led the attack with 4/36, followed by Lyon’s 3/33 and Hazlewood’s 2/39.

The third test starts in Sydney on Tuesday

In Port Elizabeth

After enjoying an 81 run first innings lead South got a hundred from Stephen Cook fifties from Dean Elgar Faf du Plessis and Quinton de Kock setting Sri Lanka a second innings target of 487. Then Kagiso Rabada and Keshav Maharaj snared three wickets each to bowl the hosts to a 206 run victory    

Sri Lanka never got comfortable in the run chase at the end of 22 overs they were 61/4 DM de Silva top scored with 43 and Angelo Mathews contributed 39 in an innings devoid of the big partnerships that were badly needed.

The second test is in Capetown on Monday      

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