KARACHI: Babar Azam stood like a rock with young opener Abdullah Shafique to keep Pakistan’s hope alive of saving the second cricket Test against Australia.
Babar returned undefeated on 102 and Abdullah was unbeaten on 71 as Pakistan saw off a tough and challenging fourth day at 192 for two after Australia had declared their second innings at 97 for two to set Pakistan an improbable 506 runs target.
Babar had joined hands with Abdullah after middle-order batter Azhar Ali misread the bounce of the wicket and ducked to a Cameron Green delivery to be adjudged leg before at the total of 21 for two.
Babar’s 102 was his first century in twenty one innings and sixth of his career. The champion batter has faced 197 deliveries of which 12 have been converted into boundaries.
Abdullah, who was dropped by Steven Smith on 20, showed his excellent temperament, patience and technique to face 226 deliveries. His 71 includes four fours and a six.
However, the day belong to Babar who once again demonstrated why he classified as one of the best batters of this era. The right-hander successfully fended off everything Pat Cummins and his world-class bowlers threw at him with his extraordinary talent.
Nevertheless, it’s still a long way to go for Pakistan – 90 overs on the fifth day with the second new ball in operation. Of course, if Pakistan has any chances of saving this Test and taking the fight to Lahore, then Babar is the key.
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