In what should have been the defining day of the Boxing Day Test for Pakistan, they suffered yet another batting collapse to hand Australia the advantage at Stumps on the 2nd day. Pakistan hoped to gain an advantage after an improved bowling performance in the first session, but Australia were one step ahead, spearheaded by Pat Cummins' brilliance.
The home side started the day at 187-3 and carried hopes of reaching a formidable total as Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne were at the crease, with Mitchell Marsh and Alex Carey still to come. However, Shaheen Shah Afridi struck within the first hour to remove Head for 17, ending their stand of 50. Labuschagne joined forces with Mitchell Marsh to add 46.
Jamal, who ended Steve Smith's resistance on the opening day, got the better of Labuschagne for 63. The likes of Carey, Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins, and Nathan Lyon couldn't do any significant damage. Marsh departed after smashing 46 off 60 balls as Jamal took a good reflex catch.
Shan Masood and Abdullah Shafique lead Pakistan's counterattacking reply:
Nathan Lyon once again got the opening wicket for Australia as Imam-ul-Haq, edging it to Marnus Labuschagne at slip. Captain Shan Masood and Abdullah Shafique were brilliant on either side of tea as they launched a calculated counter punch on Australia's vaunted-bowling attack.
It took a stunning one-handed take from Cummins to break the threatening partnership as Shafique departed for 62. Cummins struck again in his very next over as Babar Azam yet again failed to make his presence count. The turning point of the innings was arguably Masood's wicket as he mistimed one to the point fielder in Mitchell Marsh.
Josh Hazlewood returned to make another key incision, getting the better of Saud Shakeel with a beauty of delivery to rearrange the stumps. Cummins' third wicket proved to be Agha Salman, who played a loose shot outside off-stump.
Mitchell Starc could have claimed one, but Jamal survived with Mohammad Rizwan to leave Pakistan still 124 runs behind with 4 wickets left in the shed.