Pak vs Aus: Mitchell Starc takes six as Babar Azam narrowly misses century


ADELAIDE:     Mitchell Starc took six wickets and denied Babar Azam a century to break stubborn resistance from the Pakistan batsmen Sunday as they work to save the day-night second Test at Adelaide Oval.
The visitors resumed on an overcast day teetering at 96 for six in reply to Australia´s first innings 589 for three declared, built on the back of David Warner´s monumental 335 not out.
At the end of the opening session on day three, they had moved to 213 for eight with a dogged Yasir Shah unbeaten on 66 — his maiden Test 50 in his 37th match — and Mohammad Abbas with one.
In a scintillating spell under lights on Sunday night, left-armer Starc snapped up four quick wickets but the gloomy conditions offered little movement on Sunday and Azam and Yasir took advantage.
They put on a disciplined 105-run stand with Azam looking destined for a third Test century until Starc pounced again, with the 25-year-old edging an attempted drive to Tim Paine behind the stumps on 97.
Azam — who scored a century in the first Test at Brisbane and is rapidly emerging as his country´s top batsmen — left the field dejected but to a standing ovation.
The very next ball Starc grabbed his sixth, with Shaheen Afridi plumb lbw before Abbas fended off the hat-trick ball.
Starc currently has 6-50 off 21 overs, his 12th five-wicket Test haul.
It was also a commendable effort from Yasir, who made the most of two second lives.
He had a near-miss off the bowling of Marnus Labuschagne on 33. Steve Smith believed he caught him at slip and made a big appeal, but replays showed the ball fell just short of his fingertips.