WATCH: Babar Azam takes a screamer in the slip cordon to deny Usman Khawaja a century
Usman Khawaja came into the third Test against Pakistan on the back of a brilliant century in the second game at the National Stadium in Karachi. Even at the Gaddafi Stadium in Lahore, he was looking set for yet another ton in the purest format. But after doing the hard yards, he got out after scoring 91 runs off 219 balls with the help of nine fours and one six.
Off-spinner Sajid Khan got rid of him in the final session of the first day’s play. Khan bowled a full-length delivery on the leg stump and Khawaja tried to whip it away through the on side. But the batter seemed to have closed the face of his bat a bit too early and got a thick outside edge. The ball raced to the slip cordon where Pakistan skipper Babar Azam took a brilliant catch.
The Lahore-born Babar showed quick reflexes and dived full stretch on to his right. The captain stuck out his right hand and managed to hold on to the ball to complete the catch. It was a clean catch and his teammates thereafter celebrated with him.
Here’s the video of Babar Azam taking the stupendous catch to dismiss Usman Khawaja
— Pakistan Cricket (@TheRealPCB) March 21, 2022
At stumps on Day one, both Australia and Pakistan would be fairly satisfied with their performance. After electing to bat first, the visitors ended the day at 232 for the loss of five wickets in 88 overs. Shaheen Shah Afridi breathed fire to start with. The left-arm pacer got rid of David Warner and then removed the dangerous Marnus Labuschagne for a duck.
But Khawaja and Steve Smith put on a 138-run stand for the third wicket to bring Australia back into the contest. Naseem Shah, who replaced Faheem Ashraf in the eleven, got rid of Smith to separate the duo. Smith scored 59 runs with six fours before Shah trapped him in front.
Shah also removed the in-form Travis Head, who was in outstanding form in the Ashes. Prior to that, Khan accounted for Khawaja’s crucial scalp. Cameron Green and Alex Carey were the overnight batters at the close of play on Day one.