What Is The Ashes?
Steve Smith scores runs for fun. Smith notched his 17th Test century midway through day four on his way to posting his third consecutive calendar year with Test runs. Smith entered this innings with runs in Hayden , Brian Lara , Marcus Trescothick and Kevin Pietersen are the only other players in history to reach the mark in three consecutive years.
Smith is also enhancing his reputation as the new King of the Boxing Day Test after recording a century in Melbourne for the third year in a row. Matthew Wade continues to underwhelm with the bat after replacing Peter Nevill in the Test side because of his superior ability with the willow.
The Aussie gloveman was caught behind off Sohail Khan for nine towards the end of the second session to continue a run of single figure scores since his recall. Wade has made four, seven, one not out and nine across three Test matches. Nic Maddinson appeared to have finally settled at the crease after entering the match under enormous pressure when it all came undone. The young Aussie No. He has now scored 27 runs in four innings. Peter Handscomb picked up where David Warner and Usman Khawaja left off, reeling off a quick half century on day four.
The inexperienced Aussie No. He was eventually removed by Sohail Khan on 54, playing a loose shot at a wide delivery and hitting the ball straight to Sami Aslam at point. It gives the young Victorian half centuries in each of his first three Tests — a feat not achieved by an Australian in the past 20 years. Alongside Smith — who passed 50 shortly after the wicket fell — Handscomb helped the hosts reduce the deficit to double figures as they continue to feast on spinner Yasir Shah.
Wahab gets the breakthrough and Khawaja's terrific knock comes to an end on Usman Khawaja has missed out on notching his sixth Test century, falling three runs short of the milestone. The Australian first drop made a cautious start to day four as Pakistan pace duo Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz bowled tidy lines.
The pressure paid off when Khawaja played away from his body at a full, wide ball and could only edge the delivery to wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed. Worrying times for Channel Nine cricket host Mark Nicholas. After resting on day two, he returned to work on Wednesday. But Nicholas fell ill again and had to return to hospital. Australian team doctor Peter Brukner was immediately called to assist Nicholas before paramedics were called to stretcher the year-old to a waiting ambulance and then to hospital for further testing.
David Warner had some fun in the sun late on day three. Bad weather is set to again turn the Boxing Day Test on its head as Australia look to press their advantage on day four.
The hosts will resume on Thursday at with Usman Khawaja 95 not out and captain Steve Smith unbeaten on 10 after opener David Warner made a blistering Pakistan had earlier declared on after a magnificent double century of no by opener Azhar Ali. The weather had finally looked to be improving after brief showers early on Wednesday but it appears there will be little respite from the poor conditions.
The first two days of the Test had already been heavily disrupted by rain, with just With Australia up in the series, Pakistan had high hopes of squaring the ledger after an uneven showing in Brisbane. But their poor bowling performance on Wednesday, combined with some fine batting by Warner and Khawaja, has made their task much more difficult. Time is running out for either side to take the 20 wickets necessary for victory, with further rain delays likely to result in a draw.
Pakistan did themselves no favours on Wednesday as quickfire Australian scoring brought the home side roaring back into contention in the Boxing Day Test. Pakistan had control after lunch as opener Azhar Ali shone with an unbeaten and they declared their first innings at Usman Khawaja is on 95 after sharing in a run stand for the second wicket with Warner and captain Steve Smith had made Then there were the field placings for Yasir, their ace leg spinner, who struggled with from just 16 overs.
His only wicket came when opener Matt Renshaw tried to smash a straight ball and was bowled for Khan hit just one boundary in a knock of 21 from 59 deliveries before he was bowled, and like Sami Aslam nine from 41 and Babar Azam 23 from 43 , was removed before he could convert a steady start into a decent score. Outstanding catch from Maddinson! A stretcher came into the back of the broadcast facility to assist Nicholas who was visibly struggling and sweating profusely.
Nine commentator, Michael Slater commented on the medical emergency, as he filled in for Nicholas during the tea break. Slater confirmed Nicholas was experiencing abdominal pain and was undergoing further tests in hospital.
After Ian Gould raised his finger in the 32nd over, replays showed the delivery was missing the leg stump. But Lawry took issue with the theatre that was being robbed from the game by technology-based overturns. Fellow commentator Mark Taylor said the correct decision was made — and argued that was what fans wanted to see most.
Pakistan added 17 runs from the first seven overs of the second session as its patient approach continued. Hazlewood was rewarded for eight economical overs when he found an edge that sailed to Steve Smith at slip.
Azhar Ali remains 26 not out off 73 balls but went the entire session without scoring a boundary. Can you believe it?! Third ball from the GOAT and he gets the breakthrough!
And the GOAT delivered with a wicket! In remarkable scenes, Lyon produced the first breakthrough of the innings with the delivery thousands in attendance were preparing to celebrate anyway. And boy did they. The wicket has been the only highlight for the home side in a tedious opening session. Pakistan appears purely focused on survival, crawling past 50 in the 23rd over. The action on the field was a little underwhelming in the first hour of the Boxing Day Test — but Bill Lawry is back, so who cares?
Hearing Bill Lawry say the words "line and length" into the mic is what gets me up and about on Boxing Day! Azhar Ali and Sami Aslam negotiated the first 11 overs with relative ease.
Azhar survived a big LBW shout from Josh Hazlewood in the fourth over although replays showed the ball was clearing off stump and a run out attempt from Nathan Lyon which would have been out if he hit the stumps. Mitchell Starc was accurate enough but was removed from the attack after three overs. The pitch looks good and the outfield is the quickest Shane Warne has ever seen, making a total of runs a minimum. Sohail Khan has forced his way into the Pakistan XI. Pakistan has won a toss former Australian captain Michael Clarke said both skippers would have been happy to lose.
Misbah-ul-haq opted to bat on day one of the Boxing Day Test but a grassy pitch is expected to offer plenty to the Aussie pace attack in the opening session. I think it was a good toss to lose.
Matt Renshaw aka Turtle. THE three newest faces in the Australian side have begun their Test careers with varying degrees of success. Nic Maddinson held his place for the Boxing Day Test but only just after opening his Test account with just five runs in three innings. Peter Handscomb and Matt Renshaw have enjoyed smoother introductions to the international arena. Handscomb scored his maiden Test ton in Brisbane against Pakistan, and Renshaw scored a half century in that game to go with his unbeaten 34 in the second innings against South Africa in Adelaide.
All three will be on show again in Melbourne come Boxing Day as selectors kept faith in Maddinson and left uncapped all-rounder Hilton Cartwright out of the final XI.
His love for the game is second to none. He loves listening and learning. We might sell his house. Australia will be relying on the trio to ease the burden on skipper Steve Smith and David Warner if the hosts are sent in to bat today.
Nathan Lyon with daughter Harper. Lyon was embraced by the Gabba faithful as a cult hero during the first Test against Pakistan but delivered another lacklustre bowling performance, finishing with figures of and In a match where frontline quicks Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood each bowled 56 overs, Lyon finished with just 40 to his name at one of his favourite grounds and was criticised for not bowling more aggressively.