Pakistan orchestrated a dramatic turnaround in the Sydney Test against Australia, making a vital breakthrough by dismissing Steve Smith and Marnus Labuschagne in quick succession.
The third day’s play saw the hosts heading to lunch at 199-4, trailing Pakistan by 114 runs, with Travis Head and Mitchell Marsh at the crease.
Smith and Labuschagne, both dominant at the Sydney Cricket Ground, seemed comfortable until Pakistan’s calculated strategy led to a remarkable shift in fortunes. Hasan Ali’s clever setup lured Smith into an aerial drive, resulting in a catch by Babar Azam. Shortly after, Labuschagne faced a sharp-turning delivery from offspinner Agha Salman that knocked over his middle stump.
The double-wicket jolt stunned Australia after they appeared to be steadily closing in on Pakistan’s first-innings total of 313. The morning session was characterised by grinding cricket, yielding 83 runs off 33 overs.
The toiling efforts of the Pakistani team, despite already losing the series, paid off with disciplined bowling and resilient fielding. This breakthrough showcased their determination to make a mark despite the series outcome being decided earlier in Australia’s favour with a 79-run win in the second Test in Melbourne.
The game’s intense drama unfolded as Pakistan’s bowlers strategically executed their plans, shaking the confident Australian batting lineup and bringing a sense of uncertainty to the Sydney Test.