In a compelling showdown at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Australia emerged triumphant in the Boxing Day Test against an improved Pakistan side, securing a significant victory on the eve of the fourth day’s play and boosting their ICC World Test Championship (WTC) points tally.
Following a comprehensive 360-run defeat in the first Test in Perth, Pakistan displayed notable improvement in Melbourne. Despite their enhanced performance, the Men in Green couldn’t evade a determined Australian squad, succumbing to a 79-run loss.
Australia’s triumph in the Boxing Day Test has propelled them to the third position in the WTC points table, while Pakistan has slipped to the fifth spot.
Here’s a comprehensive overview of how the Boxing Day Test unfolded:
Day 1: Australia Steady Despite Pakistan’s Impressive Bowling
The Pakistan pacers posed consistent challenges to the Australian batting lineup throughout the day. Shaheen Afridi had an early opportunity to dismiss David Warner, but Abdullah Shafique dropped a straightforward chance. Warner and Usman Khawaja weathered the new ball, forming a crucial 90-run partnership. Although Ali Agha Salman claimed Warner’s wicket, Hasan Ali and Aamer Jamal also contributed to the wickets column.
Despite the disruptions, Warner (38), Khawaja (42), and Marnus Labuschagne (44*) guided Australia to a respectable total of 187/3 by the end of the day’s play.
Day 2: Australia’s Disciplined Bowling Counters Pakistan’s Advantage
Unlike the previous Test, Pakistan’s pacers maintained their precision, preventing an early advantage for the Australian side. Shaheen Afridi made an impactful start by dismissing Travis Head. Pakistan’s bowlers, including Jamal, Mir Hamza, and Hasan Ali, maintained pressure with both the old and new ball. Through collective efforts, they bundled out Australia for 318.
Australia’s disciplined bowling effort negated Pakistan’s advantage, setting the stage for a competitive encounter at the MCG.
As the Boxing Day Test unfolded with twists and turns, Australia’s strategic prowess ultimately secured them a crucial victory, reshaping the dynamics of the ICC World Test Championship points table. The resilient performance by both teams added another chapter to the riveting Test series, leaving cricket enthusiasts eagerly anticipating the next chapter in this engaging contest.