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Australia vs Pakistan, 2nd Test at Melbourne, AUS v PAK, Dec 26 2023 - Match Result

RESULT
2nd Test, Melbourne, December 26 - 29, 2023, Pakistan tour of Australia
318 & 262
(T:317) 264 & 237

Australia won by 79 runs

Player Of The Match
5/48 & 5/49
pat-cummins
Match centre 
Scores: Ranjith P | Comms: Andrew McGlashan
Scorecard summary
Australia 318/10(96.5 overs)
1st INNINGS
42 (101)
2/51 (22)
Pakistan 264/10(73.5 overs)
1st INNINGS
5/48 (20)
54 (76)
4/73 (18.5)
Australia 262/10(84.1 overs)
2nd INNINGS
4/32 (18.1)
Pakistan 237/10(67.2 overs)
2nd INNINGS
60 (71)
5/49 (18)
50 (70)
4/55 (13.2)

6.25pm Australia win by 79 runs and take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series and wins the Boxing Day Test. It felt like the match would go into the fifth day, but the pacers bowled their hearts out, led by their captain Pat Cummins, and once Babar Azam lost his wicket, Australia had an opening and kept breaking partnerships. The drop from Abdullah Shafique will haunt Pakistan, but they should be proud of themselves for making a significant improvement after the lopsided affair in Perth. Plenty of positives for the tourists. Gnasher will be here to cover the post-match presentation.

6.30pm Thanks Rvel. What a terrific Test match. Pakistan should think that overall this was a game they could have won. But it's also to their credit that they have pushed Australia harder at home than many sides of late. Cummins has produced one of the great days. What a year he's had as a captain and bowler. Time for the chats...

Shan Masood "We have to look at the bigger picture. The smiles are that there are a lot of positives. We can easily be 'what if', but if you give a quality side like Australia sniff like we did, sometimes with the ball and with the bat and also in the field if you drop someone in form like Mitchell Marsh, we might not have been chasing [317] today, but in the bigger picture this is the way we want to play Test cricket. Fighting until the end and a result was possible for us. It's a reflection of four days, the game kept turning. Pat Cummins came in with that spell and that's why he's one of the best bowlers in the world. Then again with the bat, Steve Smith and Mitch Marsh's partnership. From our guys, we've taken 20 wickets which we haven't done in Australia for a while, that's a box ticked, in terms of runs everyone got good starts but against quality sides we want to get 100s. A lot to work on. But this is a blueprint."

Pat Cummins (who is also player of the match) "Love playing here, Boxing Day is the biggest Test match each year. You've got a few options here, a bit of seam in the last few years, and I like a bit of up and down bounce. Little bit twitchy, felt okay but they were batting pretty nicely. Anything with a 3 in front of it was the aim, so we got that, felt like we had enough to bowl at but a little bit tight. Steve and Marsh's partnership got us back in the game, we were behind for a little while. They had their tails up, the wicket was tough. That was a huge partnership and gave us something to defend. Even at 4 for 16 the dressing room was really calm, there's real trust and support and it feels like each week another matchwinner stands up. Think we'll look back and remember 2023 as one of the special ones."

Well, what a four days that has been. Playing a superb pitch, which Shan Masood very impressively acknowledged at the end, too. Australia can't lose this series but there are still vital WTC points to play at Sydney in a few days time, which will also be David Warner's farewell to Test cricket. So they'll be a lot going on. For now, I'm going to wrap things up. From Gnasher and Rvel thanks for your company and see you again soon.

67.2
W
Starc to Mir Hamza, OUT

What a snare! That finished off quickly, Starc picks back to back wickets and Australia win by 79 runs. A vicious rising delivery aimed at the body, he dangles his bat, looks away and ball grazed the edge, Smith charges in at slip and grabs an absolute stunner

Mir Hamza c Smith b Starc 0 (1b 0x4 0x6 1m) SR: 0

For those who are still ruminating over Rizwan's dismissal, here's the relevant MCC law of cricket:

5.6 Contact with the ball

In these Laws,

5.6.1 reference to the bat shall imply that the bat is held in the batter's hand or a glove worn on his/her hand, unless stated otherwise.

5.6.2 contact between the ball and any of 5.6.2.1 to 5.6.2.4

5.6.2.1 the bat itself

5.6.2.2 the batter's hand holding the bat

5.6.2.3 any part of a glove worn on the batter's hand holding the bat

5.6.2.4 any additional materials permitted under 5.4

shall be regarded as the ball striking or touching the bat or being struck by the bat

67.1
W
Starc to Salman, OUT

Marsh snags one in the deep! Super stuff. Takes on the short ball and gets an edge that flies away to Mitchell Marsh at third man; he came charging in from deep and takes a stunning catch diving forward! Swung big but didn't control his bat and Salman's gritty resistance finally comes to an end.

Agha Salman c Marsh b Starc 50 (70b 6x4 0x6 109m) SR: 71.42
end of over 671 run • 1 wicket
PAK: 237/8CRR: 3.53 
Hasan Ali0 (2b)
Agha Salman50 (69b 6x4)
Pat Cummins 18-2-49-5
Nathan Lyon 19-1-84-0
66.6
Cummins to Hasan Ali, no run

Touch short and seaming in sharply from outside off, fell short of the man at gully

Former ICC umpire Simon Taufel on Channel Seven's broadcast in Australia: "For me, conclusive evidence was the ball on top of that wristband attached to the glove, with the spike (on Snicko). Very comfortable from where I'm sitting that Richard Illingworth the third umpire had conclusive evidence to overturn that decision."

66.5
Cummins to Hasan Ali, no run

Over the wicket, thumped hard into the deck and gets some inward seam movement towards leg stump, ducks underneath it. Hasan Ali can certainly bat, got a hundred in QeA trophy 2020/21 but this is a different ball game altogether against a very accomplished bowling line-up in trying conditions

66.4
W
Cummins to Shaheen Shah Afridi, OUT

Once again it's that man again, Pat Cummins who provides another crucial breakthrough. The man, the myth, the legend, Cummins picks up second 10 wicket haul in 57 Test matches; it's been an incredible bowling display. Pitched short and got him in a tangle, he pokes at it gingerly and ball pops up in the air, Marnus gobbles it up gleefully at short leg. Australia cluster together in joy

Shaheen Shah Afridi c Labuschagne b Cummins 0 (6b 0x4 0x6 16m) SR: 0

Steve: "Aussie fan but unimpressed with the decision to give an extra 30mins to the team already well on top. They made it to the end of the day, were tired, rain might have saved them tomorrow, it was a decision that favoured only one team. Left a sour taste for me"

66.3
1
Cummins to Salman, 1 run

Haring in and hits short length just outside off, bashes it towards mid-on and pinches a run and gets to his half-century, receives a warm applause from the crowd. He has not given up and is determined to take this down to the wire

66.2
Cummins to Salman, no run

Short ball and gets fierce bounce, looked wide to me

Khalid: "So if Rizwan's wristband had been a little shorter he wouldn't have been out. Absurd." Pakistan fans will not get over it soon that's for sure

Argon: "Those 52 extras will be haunting Pakistan..."

66.1
Cummins to Salman, no run

Short of a length, angling in and straightening down the line middle, pings an on drive towards mid-on and decided to run down the pitch but then changed his mind, avoided mix-up

end of over 661 run
PAK: 236/7CRR: 3.57 
Shaheen Shah Afridi0 (5b)
Agha Salman49 (66b 6x4)
Nathan Lyon 19-1-84-0
Pat Cummins 17-2-48-4
65.6
Lyon to Shaheen Shah Afridi, no run

Tossed up, wicket to wicket stuff, hangs on the backfoot and shields his stumps well

65.5
Lyon to Shaheen Shah Afridi, no run

Short leg in place. Round the wicket, fired it quicker and fuller on middle and off, leans forward and defends it well

65.4
1
Lyon to Salman, 1 run

Lobbed up just outside off, jockeys across on off and caresses it down to long on for a run

65.3
Lyon to Salman, no run

Tossed up fuller and drifts down outside leg

65.2
Lyon to Salman, no run

More flight and lands it fuller, blocked off the backfoot

Kamran: "I blame the person who let Illingworth out of the elevator."

Liara Ibrahim : "You must be revelling in this topsy turvy game Rvel " I'm loving it

65.1
Lyon to Salman, no run

Tossed up, stumps to stumps line, lunges at it and dead bats

end of over 655 runs
PAK: 235/7CRR: 3.61 
Shaheen Shah Afridi0 (3b)
Agha Salman48 (62b 6x4)
Pat Cummins 17-2-48-4
Nathan Lyon 18-1-83-0
64.6
Cummins to Shaheen Shah Afridi, no run

Fraction and lifting off the deck on middle, Shaheen gets his bat behind the line and tucks it towards on side

64.5
Cummins to Shaheen Shah Afridi, no run

On a length and meandering away outside off, gets a thick edge that fell short of the man at third slip, Cummins just keeps finding ways to flummox batters

64.4
Cummins to Shaheen Shah Afridi, no run

Brutal bouncer screaming away outside off, avoids flirting with it

64.3
1
Cummins to Salman, 1 run

Inside edge skews away to backward square

64.2
4
Cummins to Salman, FOUR runs

Takes on the short ball on middle and leg and helps it on its way to deep fine leg boundary. That's audacious!

64.1
Cummins to Salman, no run

Mean bouncer, good purchase off the deck, tailing on leg, goes for the pull and can't connect

Best performances - batters
Spike Graph
Wagon Zone
MR Marsh
96 runs (130)
13 fours0 six
Productive shot
cut shot
23 runs
5 fours0 six
Control
74%
M Labuschagne
63 runs (155)
5 fours0 six
Productive shot
flick
17 runs
1 four0 six
Control
85%
Best performances - bowlers
PJ Cummins
O
20
M
1
R
48
W
5
ECO
2.4
FTYFGSGS
OFFLEG
RHB
1W
1W
3W
LEGOFF
LHB
PJ Cummins
O
18
M
2
R
49
W
5
ECO
2.72
FTYFGSGS
OFFLEG
RHB
2W
LEGOFF
LHB
1W
1W
1W
Match details
Melbourne Cricket Ground
TossPakistan, elected to field first
Series
Season2023/24
Player Of The Match
Series resultAustralia led the 3-match series 2-0
Match numberTest no. 2519
Hours of play (local time)10.30 start, Lunch 12.30-13.10, Tea 15.10-15.30, Close 17.30
Match days26,27,28,29 December 2023 - day (5-day match)
Umpires
TV Umpire
Reserve Umpire
Match Referee
PointsAustralia 12, Pakistan 0
Language
English
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Pakistan Innings
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ICC World Test Championship

TEAMMWLDPTPCT
IND96217468.51
AUS128319062.50
NZ63303650.00
SL42202450.00
PAK52302236.66
WI41211633.33
SA41301225.00
BAN41301225.00
ENG103612117.50