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Cricket: Babar, Abdullah provide strong reply to Australia in Karachi Test  

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KARACHI: Pakistani captain Babar Azam with opener Abdullah Shafiq provided solid resistance against devastated Australian bowling attack as scored 192 runs for the loss of two wickets in reply to chase 506 runs target on the fourth day of Karachi Test, on Tuesday.

Pakistan needs 314 more runs to win the match with 8 wickets in hand.

Babar Azam made a much-needed century and remained at the wicket on 102. On the other end, Abdullah Shafiq played unbeaten 71 at the day playoff.

The Pakistani skipper completed his century after sweeping Mitchell Swepson at fine leg in the 78th over. 

This was Babar’s sixth Test century, the last time the skipper had crossed 100-runs was in February 2020 against Bangladesh when they had toured Pakistan.

Australia, resuming their second innings at 81-1, had batted for just 26 minutes at the start of play to add 16 runs before declaring on 97-2.

The home team had hoped Azhar would anchor the second innings but the senior batsman fell in a comical way, bowled lbw by Cameron Green when trying to evade a short-pitched delivery.

Azhar chose not to review as he trudged off but was left to regret it as television replays showed he had gloved the ball.

Australia could have had Shafique on 20 but the experienced Steve Smith spilled a straightforward catch in the slip-off pacer Pat Cummins, much to the disappointment of his teammates.

Shafique has so far hit three boundaries and a six while Azam’s knock has included seven boundaries.

Earlier, Haq and Shafique were all cautious as it took them until the fifth over to score the first run before off-spinner Nathan Lyon struck.

The in-form Haq, who scored a hundred in each innings of the drawn first Test in Rawalpindi, was trapped lbw for one as he failed to connect with a sliding delivery.

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