Babar, Shafique guide hosts’ fightback as Karachi braces for gripping final day (Stumps, Day 4)

Karachi [Pakistan]March 15 (ANI): The scintillating final day of Test cricket is on the cards in Karachi after Babar Azam and Abdullah Shafique’s unbeaten 171-run stand on Day 4 of the 2nd Test led Pakistan’s inspiring fightback against Australia.

Babar Azam registered his sixth Test hundred on Tuesday while Abdullah Shafique is steadily progressing towards his second to lead Pakistan’s fourth innings charge in Karachi. The hosts were 192/2 at the end of the fourth day’s play, 314 away from a mountainous 506-run target.

Australia resumed the day on 81/1 and carried on until Marnus Labuschagne (44) chopped one on while attempting a pull off Shaheen Afridi, 25 minutes into the day’s play. The visitors added 16 runs in 5.2 overs to declare their second innings at 97/2, with first-innings centurion Usman Khawaja unbeaten on 44.

In reply, Pakistan didn’t enjoy a great start as Nathan Lyon dismissed Imam-ul-Haq inside the first 10 overs. Abdullah Shafique and Azhar Ali then remained solid as Pakistan stood at 18/1 from 21 overs at lunch.

In the afternoon session, Pakistan’s No.3 Azhar was adjudged leg-before to a Cameron Green delivery that kept low from the back of a length. Pakistan scored 86 from 27 overs in the session and were 104/2 going into Tea.

The pair added another 88 in the final session, with the skipper and Shafique returning unbeaten at 102 and 71 respectively at stumps.

As for Australia, they might just be one breakthrough away, given the quality of their attack and a challenging fifth-day surface.

Brief Scores: Australia 556/9d and 97/2 vs Pakistan 148/10 and 192/2 (Babar Azam 102, Abdullah Shafique 71; Nathan Lyon 1-50) (ANI)

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