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The Boxing Day Test between Australia and Pakistan ended with Australia winning by 79 runs. Here's a recap of the match.
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The Boxing Day Test between Australia and Pakistan ended with Australia winning by 79 runs. Here’s a recap of the match.

Australia has emerged victorious in the series, with a 2-0 lead and preparations are underway for the David Warner Farewell Jubilee in Sydney in the upcoming year. We will be present, equipped with resolutions or hangovers, or perhaps both. The fans are still lingering and the Australian players can be spotted around, happily posing for photos and greeting people. It’s a delightful sight.

It’s time for us to leave the MCG as the Boxing Day Test comes to an end. We’ll meet again in 2024.

Here is the wire report.

Gervase Green states that the Twitterverse may be filled with fake anger or harmful nonsense, but this is not one of those instances. However, he expresses his discomfort with the Australian team’s display of excessive celebration and praising each other when the first replay of the Rizwan dismissal was shown on the screen. Considering that it took Richard Illingworth many more reviews to reach a final decision that still seems uncertain, the behavior of the Australian team appeared to be aimed at influencing the outcome. While it may be expected and difficult to prevent, I personally would prefer if they did not engage in such actions.

I don’t see how it could influence the outcome. The third umpire is looking at the review screens, not at the players on the field. In any case, players try to influence the on-field umpire every time they appeal.

Guy Hornsby is reporting in from a short while ago, just before the ultimate collapse.

“This is another glorious captain’s spell from Pat. Rizwan and Salman looked busy and you thought they could take it to 80-odd to get by the close, but Cummins brought himself on after a great spell from Hazlewood and did what he does. Rizwan will feel hard done by but on balance that looked like the wristband. And Jamal never looked comfortable with the short ball and that odd hingeing duck. And now it’s right back with Australia. Salman or bust, you feel. What a great pitch and a fantastic Test match.”

The atmosphere at the MCG is lovely. The spectators have been allowed onto the field to wander around, admire the cricket pitch, play with a football, and more. The late afternoon sun is casting a beautiful glow over the entire ground. It’s a pleasant sight.

Pat Cummins has been awarded the Johnny Mullagh / Unaarrimin Medal for his outstanding performance in the match. He consistently disrupted Pakistan’s batting momentum and prevented them from gaining a foothold in the game.

The additional 30 minutes proved to be successful. The umpires will have a day of rest tomorrow. Pakistan’s downfall came quickly after they had a glimmer of hope for achieving something extraordinary. However, Australia’s fast bowlers proved to be too strong, causing the lower order to crumble. Going from 219-5 to 237 all out, they lost 5 wickets for only 18 runs if you’re not comfortable with the math. It’s unfortunate that the match did not end in a close and exciting manner. Tomorrow’s few hours could have been filled with tension and created lasting memories.

The game is over! The first ball is gone. Another short ball causes the batter to lift their glove in front of their face, resulting in a deflected edge. This time, it’s Carey who quickly runs from behind the stumps to catch it near the short fine leg, making a diving forward catch.

He continues on his way. He had to continue facing them, indeed. Starc pitched a short ball, and he swung towards the leg side, but the ball hit the top edge and flew down to the fielder at deep third. Mitch Marsh had to cover some distance, and when he landed, it was not as graceful as the Spruce Moose landing on the ground. However, he managed to hold onto the ball.

The 67th over saw Pakistan reach 237-8 with Salman scoring 50 runs and Hasan at 0. Salman has played a great innings, but he made a mistake by taking a single from Cummins’ third ball of the over. This left Shaheen with a difficult task. However, Salman did manage to complete a fifty, showing his skill as a proper batsman despite being in the team as a spinning all-rounder.

The outcome remains unchanged using the identical approach. Shaheen attempts to turn the ball towards midwicket from a shorter distance, resulting in a leading edge that pops up and is caught by the short leg fielder.

Cummins took five wickets in the innings and a total of ten wickets in the match.

In the 66th over, Pakistan’s score is 236-7 with Salman at 49 runs and Shaheen at 0. Salman decreases his aggression and plays defensively against Lyon, then takes a single on the penultimate ball. Shaheen also defends well.

In the 65th over of the match, Pakistan’s score is 235-7 with Salman at 48 runs and Shaheen at 0. Cummins is now bowling and Salman manages to hit a boundary with a top-edged pull over fine leg. He then attempts a big square drive on the next ball but only gets a small portion of it, resulting in an inside edge past his leg stump. Salman does a 360 spin to locate the ball and starts running, hoping for two runs, but it’s not possible. Shaheen, who is now at bat, has to face three balls. He chooses to leave the first one, edges the second one into the ground, and bunts the third one to midwicket, successfully surviving.

82 to win.

64th over: Pakistan 230-7 (Salman 43, Shaheen 0) That’s really it, Salman Agha can’t do this job with only this dicey Pakistan lower order for company. Shaheen Shah Afridi, who loves a slog, Hasan Ali similarly, and Mir Hamza who is deemed to be worse than either of the other two.

I wonder if we will extend the game by an extra 30 minutes? The umpires convene for a discussion at 5:58 PM local time, so I anticipate that we will. They then speak to Cummins. And we will indeed take additional time.

Salman suggests, why not attempt to achieve victory by that time? Lyon is bowling. He hits two runs past slip, aggressively hits one over midwicket for four, attempts to score two more through deep square leg, then steps back to skillfully hit three runs through cover and maintain control of the strike! Perfectly executed strike-farming! 11 runs from the over and he will be up next to face the next bowler.

Pakistan requires 87 runs to secure a victory.

In the 63rd over of the match, Pakistan’s score is 219-7 with Salman scoring 32 runs. The bowler is Cummins once again. Aamer Jamal is in survival mode as he faces the first four balls. There are three slips, a gully, and a short leg fielder. On the fifth ball, he attempts a drive but only manages to hit it to mid off. The sixth ball is a menacing short one that he defends as best as he can. However, he ends up getting a glove on it and it goes high up in the air. Cummins positions himself and catches it halfway down the pitch.

Australia’s Pat Cummins celebrates the wicket of Pakistan’s Aamer Jamal with his teammates

In the 62nd over, Pakistan’s score is 219-6 with Salman at 32 and Jamal at 0. Salman attempts to hit Lyon’s pitches multiple times but ultimately does not follow through. The over results in no runs.

In the 61st over, Pakistan’s score is 219-6 with Salman at 32 and Jamal at 0. Aamer Jamal comes to the crease, who had a good performance with 33 runs in the first innings but will need to do even better this time. He almost hits the ball onto his stumps for zero, having to jump back and kick it away.

The controversy surrounding the end of the Pakistan dream is possibly resolved here. Rizwan is furious when a dangerous delivery from Cummins narrowly misses him and strikes his forearm. He massages the affected area as the Australians appeal for a glove touch. The umpire initially denies their appeal, but it is referred to the third umpire for review. After several minutes of reviewing replays, the third umpire determines that the Hot Spot technology shows contact with the very top of Rizwan’s wristband. Was there really contact? Even after multiple replays, it is still uncertain. However, the onfield decision is supposed to be final. Ultimately, it is overturned and Rizwan is given out.

Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan walks off after losing his wicket

In the 60th over, Pakistan has a score of 219-5 with Rizwan at 35 and Salman at 32. Cummins chooses to continue with Lyon. Rizwan comes forward but ends up yorking himself. He stays in his position and hits one to long on. Salman follows suit but only kicks the ball as he’s not in a good position to attack it. The field is set with long on, deep midwicket, and deep point. In response, Salman opens his wrists and sends the ball through cover for two runs.

Alert! The psychological barrier of 100 has been reached! Pakistan needs only 98 points to win.

In the 59th over, Pakistan has a score of 216-5 with Rizwan at 34 and Salman at 30. Cummins comes back to bowl from the Members End, after Hazlewood’s three-over spell. He tries a bouncer to make Rizwan duck, but Rizwan remains unbothered by the high bounce. The field has one slip and a gully, with deep forward square leg, long leg, and fine leg positioned for the short ball. However, the next ball is angled towards the off stump, rather than being a bodyline delivery. Rizwan takes advantage of this and hits an audacious uppercut for four runs over the slip. He then pulls for another run to the deep. Salman expects a short ball but ends up driving at a length ball, almost getting caught out.

101 to win.

In the 58th over, Pakistan has scored 211 runs for the loss of 5 wickets. Rizwan has scored 29 runs while Salman has scored 30 runs. Salman confidently hits a powerful straight drive for four runs. He then expertly cuts Lyon’s delivery for four more runs. This display of skillful batting is impressive. Lyon’s bowling is being targeted and he has given away 69 runs in his 15th over, averaging almost five runs per over. Salman ends the over by blocking any further attempts by Lyon. He has now surpassed Rizwan’s score.

106 to win.

The 57th over sees Pakistan at 203-5 with Rizwan at 29 and Salman at 22. Rizwan manages to avoid being hit by the ball while simultaneously trying to play it, crouching down and raising his bat. Hazlewood attempts to catch him out with a low delivery, but it hits his pad and the umpire correctly rules it not out. Australia decides not to challenge the call. No runs are scored in this over by Hazlewood.

In the 56th over, Pakistan’s score is 203-5 with Rizwan at 29 and Salman at 22. Rizwan attempts a flick drive with his bottom hand, but Lyon manages to block it during his follow-through. Rizwan then edges the ball past the keeper, but it narrowly avoids being caught by Smith at slip. While it was a mistake, the chance was too difficult to catch.

Salman sweeps for two runs with a top edge over the short fine boundary.

Next, Salman executes a reverse sweep, sending the ball high into the air once more along the third edge. Smith attempts to dive forward at slip, but is unable to make the catch.

There were three unsuccessful shots in the over. Lyon showed disappointment by shaking his head. Pakistan needs 114 runs to win. I previously mentioned that if they scored 200 runs with two wickets down, it would be possible. However, with five wickets down and one more needed for victory, I still don’t believe it’s achievable. Nonetheless, it’s an entertaining thought.

In the 55th over, Pakistan’s score is 198-5 with Rizwan at 27 and Salman at 19. Rizwan hits a powerful shot past cover, making a satisfying sound. Hazlewood is not happy with the three runs and talks to Cummins. Leg slip is in position along with two conventional fielders and a gully. Salman takes advantage of the gap in the gully and hits a four. His attempt to hit it squarer results in a true edge, but there is no fielder at third slip to catch it. It goes for four runs. The next ball is a wild bouncer, which Salman hits for three runs as it goes wide down leg. The ball spills away and the umpire calls it.

Hazlewood, who previously bowled 24 consecutive dot balls, has now given up 10 runs from two legitimate deliveries.

Salman is continuously attempting to hit singles in the space near the cover, but the field is blocking his shots.

119 to win.

In the 54th over, Pakistan’s score is 188-5 with Rizwan at 24 and Salman at 15. Lyon returns to bowl. There are four fielders in the deep for Rizwan, which seems excessive. They are positioned at long on, deep midwicket, deep backward, and deep point. Rizwan hits a single towards the man at long on. Salman also hits a single, but there are only three fielders out for him. Pakistan needs 129 more runs to win.

In the 53rd over, Pakistan’s score is 186-5, with Rizwan at 23 and Salman at 14. Salman once again manages to hit the gap, this time against Hazlewood, resulting in three runs as the ball is pulled just short of the boundary. Lyon’s attempt to dive at backward point is unsuccessful. Rizwan misses his pull shot, sending the ball over the top. Hazlewood, who has replaced Cummins, pitches up and hits the pad, causing an appeal as he runs back from the striker’s end.

The number of people present at this event may have been overestimated, as the official count is now reported to be around 18,000, with a total of 164,000 attending throughout the entire Test. It is possible that there was a mistake in the initial report of 30,000 or 13,000 attendees.

In the 52nd over, Pakistan has scored 182-5 with Rizwan at 22 and Salman at 11. Starc bowls to Rizwan from around the wicket, and despite having two covers and a mid off, Rizwan manages to find a gap for a run. Salman hits a square drive but Lyon prevents it from reaching the boundary. Agha Salman has had six shots that were stopped by fielders.

He has been struck now. He quickly moves to avoid a bouncing ball, looking away and turning his head as it stays low. The ball hits above his ear on the side of his helmet. Starc walks over and puts a hand on Salman’s shoulder, showing concern. Salman gives him a thumbs-up in response.

Wore that flush. He’s staying out there and saying he’s fine, but I’d be surprised if he’s not wobbly after that. It usually shakes up players after a few minutes. We’re doing the physio and new helmet routine now.

After being delayed, the next ball he hits a four, steering it past Marsh in the gully from a back of a length delivery. They now need 135 runs to win.

In the 51st over, Pakistan’s score stands at 177-5 with Rizwan at 21 and Salman at 7. Rizwan impressively plays a fine shot, pulling the ball towards the leg side and earning four runs. He quickly moves to the next ball and drives it towards mid off, managing to reach his ground in time. This brings Pakistan 140 runs away from their target.

Earlier, I mentioned a row of 24 dotted balls. Some kind individuals have created a video showing them strung together.

In the 50th over, Pakistan’s score is 172-5 with Rizwan at 16 runs and Salman at 7 runs. Starc is bowling around the wicket to the right-handers, similar to how he dominated Pakistan at the MCG on a tense final day in 2016. It was a nearly impossible victory at the beginning of that day. Back then, he was able to generate more reverse swing. Rizwan scores a run with a slice, while Salman guides two runs.

Source: theguardian.com