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  5. WATCH | Shaheen Afridi and Marnus Labuschagne indulge in heated battle at MCG on Day 1

WATCH | Shaheen Afridi and Marnus Labuschagne indulge in heated battle at MCG on Day 1

The second Test between Australia and Pakistan got underway at the iconic MCG today. After opting to bowl first, Pakistan bowled superbly in overcast conditions especially in the post lunch session. Shaheen was exceptional as he troubled Labuschagne a lot.

Written By: Aditya Kukalyekar @adikukalyekar New Delhi Published on: December 26, 2023 16:26 IST
AUS vs PAK
Image Source : GETTY Marnus Labuschagne and Shaheen Afridi

Pakistan finally seemed to have arrived to Australia late on Day 1 of the ongoing second Test against the home side at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). The opening day of the Boxing Day Test witnessed more than 60000 fans turning up to the stadium and they got to see some intense Test cricket during the course of play. While Australia took the opening session with Pakistan nipping out only David Warner just before lunch, the real battle began in the second session between Marnus Labuschagne and Shaheen Afridi.

Conditions changed drastically in the post lunch session and as it turned overcast, the red cherry moved significantly troubling the batters. Marnus Labuschagne was new to the crease and had his fair share of troubles facing Shaheen. It was an intense battle between the two players as they got involved in a heated battle as the latter also mimicked Labuschagne even as the batter didn't give up and kept fighting. However, Australia's number three was also pumped up and that showcased in his actions every time he faced a delivery from Shaheen.

The crowd also got involved soon as they cheered every delivery when the left-arm pacer ran in with intensity. It was a passage of play which Test cricket fans must have definitely enjoyed. Eventually, Labuschagne prevailed not giving away his wicket by the end of the day remaining unbeaten on 44 off a massive 120 deliveries with only three fours to his name.

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Australia lost three wickets during the 66 overs of play on a rain-marred play as Steve Smith's barren run in Test cricket continued. He scored only 26 runs off 75 balls before getting out to Aamer Jamal while Warner (38) and Usman Khawaja (42) also missed out on scoring half-centuries. Australia ended the day at 187/3 and will be keen on piling up more runs in the first innings.

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