AUS vs PAK: Pakistan skipper Babar Azam blamed his team’s failure in the series-deciding third Test against Australia in Lahore on “soft dismissals.”
Pakistan ended the fourth day on 73 for no loss, having set a goal of 351. On the final day, they were 165 for 3 at one point before being bowled out for 235, with Nathan Lyon taking five wickets for the visitors.
“We didn’t go defensive, we played positive cricket,” Babar said after the game. “You plan according to the situation. It’s not like you go out, play big shots and go for the runs. We had a good session early in the day but unfortunately, we had soft dismissals and that’s the reason we lost the game.
“We had a simple plan – to take the momentum in hand first and then think [about the target] after the tea. After lunch, we had a plan to play normal cricket. We weren’t able to decide whether to go for a win or a draw. But with all those wickets falling, we decided to go deep as much as we could but we were positive throughout. There were continuous discussions in our dressing room about chasing it down.
“But when your main batters are dismissed, you obviously start thinking differently. Still, Sajid [Khan] and I were trying to build a partnership and extend as much as we could, hoping we could draw. Yet we never held back, kept on playing shots and utilised whatever came in our area. So the mindset was positive but it didn’t go in our way.”
Overall, Babar was pleased with his team’s performance, claiming that Pakistan had the upper hand in the first two Tests Both Tests had ended in stalemates. Only 14 wickets were taken in the first five days of the series opener in Rawalpindi. Pakistan batted out 171.4 overs in Karachi to win the match.
“Overall the series went well, especially the Karachi Test where we dominated and saved the match,” Babar said. “Unfortunately, I got out but even then we had our mindset on chasing. But mistakes are part of the game and it’s too early to think about changes [in the side]. We don’t have to forget their recent performances. Our entire team is experienced now, we have developed a good combination and I have full faith in them.”
Australia’s relentless attack put an end to Pakistan’s resistance late on day five, allowing them to win the deciding third Test by 115 runs and seal the series 1-0. Lyon ended the series with 5 for 83, while Player of the Match Pat Cummins concluded with 3 for 23, and eight wickets in the Test.
Pakistan was dismissed for 235 after losing five wickets in the last session, despite needing 351 to win or batting through 121 overs.
AUS vs PAK Final Test Scores at glance: Australia 391 (Khawaja 91, Green 79, Naseem 4-58) and 227 for 3 dec (Khawaja 104*, Warner 51, Naseem 1-23) beat Pakistan 268 (Shafique 81, Cummins 5-56, Starc 4-33) and 235 (Imam 70, Lyon 5-83, Cummins 3-23) by 115 runs