Live Updates

  • 11:46 AM IST

    It’s announced! Persistent rains have forced the umpires to call for early stumps. We will have an early start tomorrow.

  • 11:08 AM IST

    It is still raining. With not much time left for the end of the day’s play, we can expect an early finish today and an early start tomorrow.

  • 10:29 AM IST

    There’s no stopping the rain here. The covers are on and the rain has just got heavier a few minutes back.

  • 10:17 AM IST

  • 10:07 AM IST

    Meanwhile, commentator Mark Nicholas has been rushed to hospital after he complained of pain in abdomen.

  • 9:57 AM IST

    The allotted time for the Tea session has ended but the rain hasn’t stopped yet. So basically we just have to wait more!

  • 9:36 AM IST

    Pakistan 142/4: Azhar Ali 62, Asad Shafiq 4: And that is the end of the second session. It’s actually raining in MCG and hence Tea has been taken early. Good session for Australia as Jackson Bird got rid of 2 giants from the Pakistani side i.e Younis Khan and Misbah-ul-Haq. Other than this, Azhar Ali has been the strong point for Pakistan as he is still batting on 62.

  • 9:18 AM IST

    Pakistan 126/4 | Azhar Ali 54, Asad Shafiq 0: A beauty of a catch by Maddison to dismiss Misbah-ul-Haq. Jackson Bird gets his second wicket. Thick inside edge and the ball rolls over the pad and falls in front of Maddinson at Short leg who is quick as lighting to grab hold of it. The decision was revived just to be sure and Misbah is walking back. Asad Shafiq walks in!

  • 9:15 AM IST

  • 8:56 AM IST

    Pakistan 111/3 | Azhar Ali 50, Misbah-ul-Haq 0: GONE! Younis Khan is castled by Jackson Bird. Just after Azhar Ali got to his fifty, Younis leaves a big gap in between bat and pad and Bird bowls it full enough for the ball to sneak through the gap and topple the middle stump. A promising stand for the 3rd wicket ends here. Will Australia capitalise on this??

  • 8:51 AM IST

  • 8:30 AM IST

    Nathan Lyon has replaced Josh Hazlewood. Both the bowlers have taken a wicket each so far today… With a short leg in place, the off-spinner is attacking the pads.

  • 8:26 AM IST

    Very, very impressive this young fast bowler is.

  • 8:21 AM IST

    The curse of the G?

  • 8:18 AM IST

    BREAKING: Azhar Ali remembers how to hit boundaries. He had just hit the first boundary of his innings, after 36 runs and 94 balls.

  • 8:07 AM IST

    NOT OUT! For a very long time Hazlewood has been trying to hit the pads of these two right-handers. He finally manages to hit once, and after a loud appeal Younis Khan was given OUT. The batsman challenged the umpire’s decision, and the review showed the ball would have missed the leg stump.

  • 8:03 AM IST

    Australia are in search of wickets. Starc and Hazlewood are bowling aggressive lines to the two Pakistani right-handers. Younis Khan is being tested by short pitch bowling by Starc, which the veteran batsman has negated very well so far.

  • 7:45 AM IST

    Mitchell Starc has completed the first over of the post lunch session. Pakistan would be looking to consolidate their position, while Australia will be aiming a few quick wickets to dent their opposition…

  • 7:05 AM IST

    WICKET! Josh Hazlewood had started to appear frustrated towards the end of the first session, maybe because of not getting a wicket. But then, he does not have to worry as Hazlewood walks back with the figures of 8-4-8-1 in the first session. This time, he has got Babar Azam caught in the slips at the stroke of lunch, and it will be fair to say both teams have shared honours so far.

    OUT! Babar Azam c Steven Smith b Josh Hazlewood 23 (43)

  • 6:57 AM IST

    PAKISTAN 57/1; Azhar Ali 23, Babar Azam 23: It has been a good day so far for the Pakistanis, who have crawled past 50-run mark in the first session. Azhar Ali remained lucky on a few occasions, but so far it has been Babar Azam who has shown far more intent to make runs on this wicket.

  • 6:43 AM IST

    50 up for Pakistan! It’s been a very slow and cautious start, and Pakistan are now slowly getting the runs. Azhar Ali and Babar Azam, both are looking very positive in the middle.

  • 6:24 AM IST

    Nathan Lyon has been the only bowler so far today who has created some impact on this MCG wicket.

  • 6:22 AM IST

    Not much turn but plenty of bounce on the offer for Nathan Lyon. Meanwhile, Pakistan No. 3 Babar Azam has gotten off to a positive start.

  • 6:03 AM IST

    It is time for drinks, with Pakistan reaching 19 for 1 after 13 overs….

  • 5:58 AM IST

    WICKET! Nathan Lyon has provided a breakthrough on his third ball of the match! Sami Aslam walks back after scoring mere 9 off 41 balls. Lyon comes around the wicket and sends down a delivery pretty straight in the line of the off-stump. Good bounce on the offer, and the ball shoots up straight to the first slip! Pakistan 18/1 after 12 overs.

    OUT! Sami Aslam c Steven Smith b Nathan Lyon 9 (41)

  • 5:53 AM IST

    After 11 overs, Pakistan have crawled to 17 for no loss. Here is Nathan Lyon…

  • 5:43 AM IST

    The MCG curator David Sandurski said before this Test that the wicket will be assisting to fast bowlers in the first hour, and life should be comfortable for the batsmen thereon. Pakistan have done well to reach 16/0 in 9 overs so far.

  • 5:26 AM IST

    PAKISTAN 8/0; Sami Aslam 2, Azhar Ali 6: First runs on the 18th ball in the innings for Sami Aslam, who works it on the leg side to collect a couple. Meanwhile, a very interesting battle is brewing up between Azhar Ali and Josh Hazlewood.

  • 5:12 AM IST

    PAKISTAN 3/0; Sami Aslam 0, Azhar Ali 3: Good start by Hazlewood who beats the edge of Azhar Ali’s bat a couple of times. First runs for the Pakistani opener as well as the team; Azhar punches one towards deep midwicket to collect three.

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Hello and welcome to CricketCountry’s live coverage of Pakistan tour of Australia 2016-17. This is Day One of the second Test between the two teams. The Boxing Day Test is being played at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG), Melbourne. This is the second game of the three-match Test series. Australia have taken 1-0 lead in the series after winning the first Test at Brisbane by 39 runs. Even though the hosts dominated the Test for most part, the win did not quite come easily to them. They first put 429 on the board and then bundled out Pakistan for 142. Once they declared their second innings at 202 for 5, a win looked a formality. However, there was a twist in the tale.

Chasing a daunting 490 to win, Pakistan almost pulled off a stunning chase, courtesy Asad Shafiq’s brilliant counterattacking knock. Batting at No.6, Shafiq scored a majestic 137 and kept Pakistan in the hunt. He was ably supported by fifties from veteran batsman Younis Khan and Azhar Ali. Later, Pakistan’s lower-order also chipped in with useful contributions and took the visitors close to victory. However, Australian bowlers held on to their nerves and ensured there was no upset, as they wrapped up a 39-run win.

Mitchell Starc (4) and Jackson Bird (3) wickets were the chief architects of the win in the final innings while Nathan Lyon also took 2 vital wickets. Starc, Bird and Josh Hazlewood were brilliant in the first innings too, when their effort of three-wickets each restricted Pakistan to a paltry 142, ensuring a huge 287-run lead. Skipper Steven Smith’s 16th and Peter Handscomb’s maiden Test hundred were also the reason behind the substantial lead. Young Matt Renshaw also contributed a solid 71 at the top of the order.

Live cricket scorecard: Australia vs Pakistan, 2nd Test at Melbourne

In the second innings too Australia batted well, with Usman Khawaja and Smith scoring half-centuries and helping the side set Pakistan a target of 490 to win. Remaining job was done by the bowlers, who despite a massive scare by Pakistani batsmen, managed to pull off a win and take all-important 1-0 lead in the series.

Buoyed by the win, Australia have named an unchanged squad for the second Test at MCG. They will look to plug the gaps from the first game and put up a clinical performance on display in the second game. Though they won the first game, the manner in which the victory came may not have impressed them. At Melbourne, the hosts will aim for a comprehensive win. Pakistan on the other hand, despite losing the first Test, must be proud of the effort they put up. They will look to take inspiration from the chase and look to play same brand of cricket in the second Test too.

Teams:

Australia: Steven Smith (c), David Warner, Matt Renshaw, Usman Khawaja, Peter Handscomb, Nic Maddinson, Matthew Wade (wk), Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird

Pakistan: Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Azhar Ali, Sami Aslam, Babar Azam, Younis Khan, Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Yasir Shah, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Amir, Rahat Ali

Match timings:

10:30 am local time | 05:00 am IST