Australia in commanding position but Pakistan put up late resistance

Published: Wednesday 4th January 2017 by The News Editor

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Australia batted themselves into a commanding position in the third Test against Pakistan before finally coming up against some late resistance on the second day at the SCG.

Matt Renshaw missed out on a double ton as he went for 184, but Peter Handscomb (110) become the third centurion of the innings as he guided the hosts to a mammoth 538 for eight declared.

Josh Hazlewood then made early inroads with two wickets in an over to reduce Pakistan to six for two, before Azhar Ali and Younus Khan provided an impressive response, posting an unbeaten partnership of 120.

However, ending the day on 126 for two, they still remain 412 runs behind and Australia are in pole position to claim a series whietwash.

The day began with Renshaw hoping to convert his maiden century into a double, but that was not to be as the English-born left-hander edged onto his stumps after adding just 17 to his overnight score.

Handscomb then took centre stage as the hosts turned their score into a likely match-winning one.

The batsman, who will play for Yorkshire next summer, scored all around the wicket and went to his second Test ton in just his fourth match off 195 balls.

He got out shortly afterwards in bizarre fashion, though, as chasing quick runs he stepped back into his crease and dislodged a bail with his bat while playing a cut shot.

Mitchell Starc plundered two huge sixes off Azhar but when he was out caught in the deep going for one big shot too many, Smith called time on the innings.

With such scoreboard pressure in their favour, Australia made some inevitable early breakthroughs as Hazlewood did the damage with two wickets in an over.

First he had Sharjeel Khan caught at first slip off a loose drive and then trapped Babar Azam in front to a full ball that would have crashed into middle stump.

The visitors were teetering at six for two and although Ali and Khan added 120, they still have it all to do.

Published: Wednesday 4th January 2017 by The News Editor

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