Cricket

Bad Light Ends Day Two, Statement, Death of Shane Warne

Bad Light Ends Day Two, Statement, Death of Shane Warne

Pakistan subjected Australia to 162 overs of torture but saw their late second day declaration in the first Test marred by poor lighting amid comedic scenes.

The hosts posted 4-476 at Rawalpindi and declared late on Saturday, hoping to give young speedsters Shaheen Shah Afridi and Naseem Shah at least 10 overs to make inroads into the Australian order.

In the end, the bowling alley was opened by spinner Sajid Khan due to poor light.

And then the game was scrapped before the sequel could begin as the skies grew even darker.

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Australia fly-half Usman Khawaja and David Warner had waited in the middle for almost 10 minutes while the referees consulted with Pakistan captain Babar Azam and finally made a decision.

The decision was that only the spin could be thrown, effectively negating the purpose of Babar’s statement in the first place.

The only positive for Pakistan is that the ball remains almost nine for the start of the third day with only one passing.

But Australia were the big winners of the odd end to the day with Usman Khawaja making five runs from four ball and David Warner blocking the last two balls of the day to reach the stumps without a loss.

Australia will take the stick back at 0-5 on Sunday – 471 runs behind, looking to bat long in hopes of salvaging a draw.

On a day of darkness for world cricket following the tragic death of Shane Warne, Australia wore black armbands, as there was a moment of silence before play.

The tourists could take just three wickets for the day as Pakistan racked up the pain in batting-friendly conditions, with Azhar Ali hitting 185-for-361 and Imam-ul-Haq 157-for-358.

The highlight of the day for Australia was when Babar Azam (36) was knocked out with superb field play by Marnus Labuschagne. Labuschagne won the ball one-handed and with little more than a stump to aim for, threw the stumps at the non-attacking end with Babar just wide of his crease.

Labuschagne celebrated the wicket extravagantly, doing his best to inject energy into the Australians who had worked hard on the pitch.

Earlier, Pat Cummins was the man who finally broke a 208-point stand between Imam and Ali in the second session of day two, trapping the front-runner with a hint of reverse swing.

In a brutal, wicketless first session for Australia, a huge opportunity presented itself with the tourists not reconsidering a call for falling behind Imam.

Despite a half-hearted appeal, UltraEdge showed a small spike as the ball passed the bat tip.

Cummins saw the replay on the ground and winced in anguish after deciding not to take the exam, despite having two available.

“It’s like when you’re on the ground in the slides and nothing comes for ages, you start to turn off a bit and then something happens, and you’re like, ‘what?’ Rob Key said in a comment, “So you missed your chance.

“Cummins was deadpan. Nobody had that much interest.

It would have been Australia’s first wicket in nearly 80 overs of cricket and Nathan Lyon’s second in the game.

Former Pakistani captain Waqar Younis noted that Steve Smith seemed keen to revisit but was turned down.

“Smith was stunned. It was Carey who wasn’t convinced, and he just went straight to the bowler and he said, ‘no, I don’t think he hit him,'” he said.

“But Smith was just surprised they didn’t take the exam.”

In the second session, Australia did the opposite, taking an exam only to be taken late despite no interest from either Carey or Cummins, who passed the delivery. In the end, Cummins consulted square-legged Smith who shrugged before the captain called for review.

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The action, however, was undoubtedly overshadowed by the sudden death of cricketing legend Warne, who died aged 52.

Warne was on vacation in Thailand when his friends found him unconscious at his villa in Koh Samui and was pronounced dead at the Thai International Hospital.

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