SYDNEY – A three-wicket maiden by Josh Hazlewood in the penultimate over of the day left Pakistan in deep trouble at 68-7 after Aamir Jamal bagged a six-fer to help his team gain a slender 14-run lead.
Pakistan’s second innings began in the worst possible manner with Abdullah Shafique and captain Shan Masood both dismissed for ducks.
Abdullah was at the receiving end of an unplayable delivery from Mitchell Starc that rushed back in to dismantle the stumps while Shan poked at a ball outside off-stump from Hazlewood that was gobbled up by wicket-keeper Alex Carey.
A brief recovery from debutant Saim Ayub and Babar Azam gave Pakistan some stability as the two stitched a 56-run partnership for the third wicket. Saim was the more positive of the two as he displayed a few attacking strokes including an upper-cut off Starc for a maximum.
The duo was uncoupled when Saim (33, 53b, 3x4s, 1×6) played around a straighter one from Nathan Lyon resulting in an LBW. Babar (23, 52b, 1×4) was removed soon after as he unsuccessfully drove off the bowling of Travis Head.
Pakistan’s misfortunes nosedived when Hazlewood dismissed Saud Shakeel, nightwatchman Sajid Khan and Salman Ali Agha in the space of five deliveries. Saud contributed with just two runs while Sajid and Salman could not trouble the scorers.
Earlier in the day, right-arm pacer Aamir triggered an Australia collapse as they crashed from 289-5 to 299 all out. Having picked a six-wicket haul on Test debut, Aamir spearheaded Pakistan’s bowling effort once again to register impressive figures of 6-69.
The 27-year-old initiated the flurry of wickets by inducing a mistimed drive by Mitchell Marsh (54, 113b, 6x4s) into the hands of Shan and two balls later dismissed Pat Cummins for a duck with a low full-toss. Lyon was his fifth victim of the innings before he got Hazlewood for nought to finish the Australian innings.
Aamir has increased his tally of wickets in the series to 18 – the joint-most alongside Cummins for any bowler from either side.
An attritional morning session earlier saw Australia trudge to 199-4 in 80 overs. Steven Smith (38, 86b, 3x4s) was the first batter to fall when he hit one straight to Babar off Mir Hamza. In the next over, Salman bowled a ripper that turned off the footmarks to dismiss Marnus Labuschagne (60, 147b, 6x4s).