KARACHI, TGO: Mitchell Starc snapped up 3-29 to help Australia take complete control against a tired Pakistan side on the third day of the second test on Monday.
Pakistan, replying to Australia’s huge first-innings total of 556-9 declared, was bowled out for just 148 after having spent more than two days toiling in the field.
Australia, touring Pakistan for the first time since 1998, then decided not to enforce the follow-on as it raced to 81-1 in 17 overs by the close — a lead of 489 runs.
Marnus Labuschagne was unbeaten on 37 and first-innings centurion Usman Khawaja was not out on 35.
Earlier, last-wicket pair Nauman Ali (20 not out) and Shaheen Afridi (19) shared a stand of 30, the highest of Pakistan’s innings, before debutant Mitchell Swepson (2-32) trapped Afridi lbw with a full delivery.
Starc didn’t take a wicket on a lifeless pitch in the drawn first test in Rawalpindi, but this time Pakistan was undone by some superb reverse swing from the left-arm fast bowler.
“It’s a much more abrasive wicket, a few more cracks, and the square is so much dry and bare which played a factor in achieving the reverse swing,” Starc said.
“Over the last couple of days we knew the pitch would deteriorate to some degree but we were not sure it would happen so quickly. Credit to the whole bowling attack and it was a fantastic couple of sessions.”
Captain Babar Azam (36) top-scored before holing out at long off against leg-spinner Swepson.
Australia was brilliant in the field. Labuschagne hit the stumps to run out Hasan Ali while Swepson had done likewise to remove opener Abdullah Shafique before lunch.
“They got the momentum with Shafique’s run out,” Pakistan batting coach Mohammad Yousuf said. “Their two experienced bowlers, Pat Cummins and Starc, bowled in the right areas and when there was reverse swing in between 17-39 overs, they utilized it very well.”
Starc removed Azhar Ali, caught in the slips while chasing a wide delivery, and trapped Fawad Alam lbw to a vicious yorker with successive deliveries.
Mohammad Rizwan survived the hat-trick ball and was dropped by Steve Smith in the slips before eventually falling to skipper Cummins.
Starc compounded Pakistan woes when he successfully went for a television referral against Sajid Khan after he edged to the wicketkeeper.
Pakistan lost six wickets between lunch and tea for just 62 runs.
Cummins (34 not out) helped add a rapid 51 runs at the start of the day after Australia resumed on 505-8.
Despite losing Starc (28) to the second ball, which gave Afridi his only wicket, Cummins and Swepson (15 not out) scored freely against spinners Nauman and Sajid Khan.
Cummins lofted two sixes off left-armer Nauman, who ended up with 1-134 from 48 overs. Sajid took 2-167 from 57 overs.