Yahoo Cricket Con – Alex Carey was settling into the leg side as Stralia’s first Test for Pakistan turned into a farce. Image: Fox Grillo
Cricket fans and commentators were left helpless after one of the darkest and most lifeless Test matches in recent times.
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Stralia’s return to Pakistan after 24 years ended in bizarre scenes on Tuesday night as the first Test ended in a draw with just 14 wickets taken in the match.
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In one of its toughest and batting-dominated matches in decades, Pakistan finished strongly with opener Abdullah Shafique scoring his maiden Test century with 136, while the opposition Opening partner Imam-ul-Haq scored two tons for his match of 111.
Abdullah and Imam combined to create the highest unbeaten opening partnership against Stralia in Test history, as Pakistan declared at 0-252 before the match was declared a draw.
Stralia took just four wickets in the entire match after Pakistan declared a lead of 4-476 in the first innings.
The match descended into a farce late on the final day when Stralia captain Pat Cummins rested his fast bowlers for the second Test.
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Part-time spinners Marnus Labuschagne and Travis Head bowled 15 and 13 overs respectively, while Steve Smith and even Usman Khawaja bowled.
Nathan Lyon bowled 26 overs without a wicket, using some extraordinary tactics in search of the breakthrough.
At one point, batsman Alex Carey steadied the leg side of Lyon’s bowling, with Stralia filling the side with the batsmen and bowling outside the batsmen’s pads.
Now Nathan Lyon and Alex Carey choose the strategy behind #PAKvS pic.twitter.com/0rMAquagJ9 – cricket.com. (@cricketcom) March 8, 2022
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This controversial tactic was also used by Pakistan’s bowlers, who dismissed Steve Smith and Cameron Green with leg balls.
Stralia, Pakistan and the ICC are all hoping for a better wicket for the second Test in Karachi, with the Rawalpindi pitch offering next to nothing for the bowlers.
“The worst testing site of this century. And that includes the Boxing Day presentations,” tweeted AFL reporter Jon Ralph.
Cricket writer Melinda Farrell wrote: “What a shame. Everything is perfect for this test, except the most important thing which makes it a competitive and interesting test.”
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The worst testing ground of this century. And that includes Boxing Day presentations: Jon Ralph (@RalphyHeraldSun) March 8, 2022
Unfortunately. Everything is perfect for this Test except the most important thing to make it a competitive and exciting Test. #PAKvS — Melinda Farrell (@melindafarrell) March 8, 2022
What an absolute joke the #PAKvS test match was filled with stats. 14 wins in most of 5 days. pic.twitter.com/QOVOEGWIUA — Sulaiman (@Sule456) March 8, 2022
@TheRealPCB should be ashamed of himself. The first test of #pakvs was a joke. The world ridicules our rubber courts. What a waste!#PAKvsS https://t.co/ECTM3NC98R — Biscuit (@Biscuit666666) March 8, 2022
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Most useless cricket match ever, what a joke #PAKvS – Brendan Gough 🇦🇺 (@bjgough86) March 8, 2022
Shame on Pakistan that we ruined this historic test match @iramizraja #PAKvS — سید سردار (@SyedJoanshah) March 8, 2022
Stralia’s four wickets for the Test came at a historic low dispatched over 200 overs.
Those knocks cost 182 runs per scalp, the most in any Test they have played over two innings.
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Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood were ultimately winless in the match, while Cummins and Lyon picked up a point each.
“It wasn’t a super fair contest between bat and ball,” Cummins said, before insisting that there was no reason to be concerned about Stralia’s bowling attack.
Players leave the field after the first match between Stralia and Pakistan ended in a draw. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images) (AAMIR QURESHI via Getty Images)
Stralia is likely to use an extra spin in the second Test, with favorite Mitchell Swepson making his debut on the Karachi wicket expected to spin.
The Bullsheet November 2020 Bullsheet Page 21
“We will spend the next few days looking at it, looking at the various plans that are coming up for Karachi,” Cummins said.
“We all played about 25 or 30 overs per match, which compared to many Stralian Test matches, is actually quite a light workload.
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