Australia vs Pakistan day/night, second Test at Adelaide Oval, every ball live and ad free on Fox Cricket 501 from 1.30pm AEDT.
Mitchell Starc avenged his Ashes disappointment to put Australia within seven wickets of a big win over Pakistan in the day-night Test at Adelaide Oval.
Starc took six wickets in the first innings and one in the second as only rain stopped Australia’s charge on Sunday.
Pakistan is 5-154 on day four, still needing 133 more runs to make the hosts bat again. Australia had to wait 23 overs for its first wicket on day four, with Shan Masood making 68 before holing out to Nathan Lyon and Asad Shafiq (57) caught at fine-leg. Masood paid the price for charging Lyon, undone by a shorter length and unable to clear mid-on.
“Nathan Lyon could sense he was coming,” Shane Warne said on Fox Cricket. “He (Masood) was just a beat too early. If he was just a beat later he (Lyon) wouldn’t have been able to adjust and he (Masood) might have been able to get the elevation.”
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WHAT WE LEARNED: Lesson for Aussies and Smith after rare nightmare
PINK BALL NOT MOVING AT ALL
Pakistan’s batsmen have proved a much sterner test on day four than they looked under lights on days two and three, with the pink ball proving a much easier challenge to deal with during the day.
“Absolutely no seam, no swing, there’s nothing,” Fox Cricket expert Michael Vaughan said. While the pink ball has always been at its most dangerous under lights it normally still favours the bowlers and the panel was at a loss as to why it was staying so stubbornly on the straight this Test.
“I think it’s the least I’ve seen the pink ball swing and seam for a Test match,” Shane Warne said. “It’s only been last sort of half hour, 40 minutes under lights where it had done a fair bit. It normally does a bit more than that in the Test matches we’ve seen so far.”
LYON BACK TO HIS BEST
He’s still waiting for his first wicket for the Test but Nathan Lyon was back to his best on day three at Adelaide, according to Fox Cricket expert Shane Warne.
Lyon had century-maker Yasir Shah dropped twice yesterday, leaving him with figures of 0-65. The spinner has had a tough time of it since the first Ashes Test, averaging 52.76 since that match but Warne saw signs the Lyon of old had re-emerged in Adelaide.
“He was outstanding yesterday,” Warne said on Fox Cricket. “I thought Nathan Lyon started to get back to the Nathan Lyon that we really like – the nice shape, the nice bounce, the turn. When he got it right he was a handful.
“When Nathan Lyon is bowling in this sort of form he is very hard to play and it makes the Australians’ bowling a lot easier because they can rotate the quicks.”
The king of spin’s one piece of advice for Lyon was to get a silly point in.
“He underuses the bat-pad on the off-side,” he said. “It changes their technique by just putting that man there. Suddenly they start trying to play back, suddenly they only go half-forward, if they do all that sort of stuff it’s changing their game and the bowler is in control.”
LEE: AUSTRALIA’S HORROR DAY IN THE FIELD A ONE-OFF
Australia’s standards in the field slipped badly on day three at Adelaide Oval, with Yasir Shah enjoying six lives on his way to 113. Twice Yasir edged to slip only to survive because Steve Smith was too deep in the cordon, while Tim Paine missed a stumping and Marnus Labuschagne dropped him twice — once off his own bowling and again at bat-pad.
Fox Cricket expert Brett Lee pinned the struggles on the difficulty Australia’s fielders had seeing the seam of Kookaburra’s pink ball.
“Yesterday was one of those days where it just didn’t stick,” Lee said on Fox Sports News’ Cricket AM. “What they’ve all said is it’s hard to pick up the seam. On a normal red Kookaburra ball you can pick up the seam, it’s a lot clearer, the white seamer. This one has got a darker seam, a green or even a black seam.
“I’d put it down as the ball. I’ll put it down as the seeing conditions. This probably won’t happen again for the Aussies.”
The good news from Adelaide is there is no rain forecast for the remainder of the day’s play, with the BOM listing a zero per cent chance of any rain.
PONTING NAMES LEFT-FIELD BOLTER FOR NEW ZEALAND TEST SERIES
Ricky Ponting believes uncapped 20-year-old Cameron Green deserves to be in the mix as Australia’s reserve batter for the three-Test series against New Zealand.
The former Australian skipper suggested it would be a “left-field” decision by the selectors, but could help the young gun in the long run as he spends valuable time around the international squad.
“Cameron Green is probably the in-form batsman in the country,” Ponting told cricket.com.au.
“It’d be a pretty left-field decision to make because he’s been batting so low for WA. But he’s not doing much wrong, he’s an exciting talent, and maybe to just include him and have him around the squad and give him a taste of what it’s like might not be a bad thing.
“He’s very young and very raw, but what he’s doing in Shield cricket suggests there’s a whole lot of talent there with both bat and ball.
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