On the third day of the third Test match between Australia and Pakistan in Sydney, Pakistan pulled off an incredible recovery, taking the vital wickets of Marnus Labuschagne and Steve Smith back-to-back.
The breakthroughs turned the tide against the hosts, who were trailing Pakistan by 114 runs going into lunch at 199-4.
During the long morning practice, Smith and Labuschagne, who are renowned for their outstanding performance at the Sydney Cricket Ground, were well-prepared. But Pakistan pulled off a masterful trap, positioning fielders around short extra cover. Smith, who had made 38 runs off 86 balls, was caught by Babar Azam while trying an aerial drive off a delivery from Hasan Ali.
A few moments afterward, Labuschagne was bowled for sixty runs by offspinner Agha Salman. His middle stump was knocked over when the ball spun quickly out of the rough and entered the bat-pad gap.
Australia looked ready to attack Pakistan’s 313 runs in the first innings, but this swift double-wicket breakthrough put an end to their progress and left the side reeling. With just 83 runs scored off 33 overs at a run rate of 2.49 per over, the morning session saw a grueling performance of cricket.
Even though Pakistan had already lost the three-match series against Australia, who had won the previous Test in Melbourne, their disciplined bowling and tenacious fielding efforts had finally paid off.