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Updated December 28th, 2023 at 14:14 IST

Australia has 54-run lead over Pakistan after 1st innings as captain Cummins takes 5 wickets

Captain Pat Cummins took his 10th five-wicket total in test matches to help Australia earn a 54-run first-innings lead over Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on the third day of the second test Thursday.

Australia
Pat Cummins celebrates with teammates after taking the wicket of Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan during the third day of their cricket test match in Melbourne | Image: AP
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Captain Pat Cummins took his 10th five-wicket total in test matches to help Australia earn a 54-run first-innings lead over Pakistan at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on the third day of the second test Thursday.

But Pakistan came back from the innings break to take the wickets of Usman Khawaja for a duck and Marnus Labuschagne for five, leaving Australia two wickets down for only six runs and an overall lead of 60 at lunch.

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Both Pakistan wickets were caught by wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan off the bowling of Shaheen Shah Afridi. David Warner, appearing in his last test series for Australia, was on 1 at the lunch break.

Cummins, who swung the Boxing Day test in Australia’s favor late on day two, grabbed two wickets on Thursday morning to finish with figures of 5-48. Pakistan’s tail showed far more resistance than expected to push its overnight score from 194-6 to be dismissed for 264 in reply to Australia’s 318.

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Australia's 54-run lead after the first innings was helped by Pakistan's 52 extras.

Fast bowler Aamir Jamal frustrated Australia’s bowling attack Thursday, hitting an unbeaten 33 in just his second test. Afridi, who averages 6.74 with the bat, also thrashed his way to his highest test score of 21.

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Cummins had strong support from spinner Nathan Lyon (4-73).

Pakistan is trying to avoid losing its 16th consecutive test in Australia.

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Australia had resumed Wednesday on 187-3, following a rain-interrupted first day of play in which only 66 of the scheduled 90 overs were bowled.

Australia won the first test in Perth by 360 runs.

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The third test in the three-match series is scheduled to begin Jan. 3 at the Sydney Cricket Ground, where Pakistan won its last test in Australia in 1995.

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Published December 28th, 2023 at 10:32 IST

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