Two leading cricket nations – Pakistan and Australia – have been battling it out on the cricket field in Melbourne this week. Two T20s were followed by two Tour Matches, with the first of the three remaining Test Matches having kicked off today. While Pakistan’s batting lineup does not come close to the proficient Australian pacers, the opening partnership of its players definitely gave hope to Pakistani fans across the world with the game taking off to a great start. Cricketers Azhar Ali and Shan Masood displayed true sportsmanship with a brilliant 75-run partnership, with both taking 39 runs and 27 runs, respectively.
But there came a twist as soon as Pakistan resumed its innings after a lunch break, with Mitchell Starc bagging four wickets and Pat Cummins getting three out. Following the glitch in Pakistan’s batting, the team was only able to manage three runs as four wickets fell almost back-to-back after lunch. From 75-0, the Pakistan cricket team saw a hit as its score went down 78-4 before they knew it. Their saving grace, however, was Asad Shafiq’s 76-run knock, with Pakistan managing to score 240 in 86.2 overs.
The match took place at the world famous Gabba. Shafiq undoubtedly turned out to be the hero of today’s match. The lower-middle-order batsman added 76 valuable runs to Pakistan’s total score of 240 runs. Spinner Yasir Shah too played a valuable 26-run knock against the experienced Australian side. One must not forget 16-year-old Naseem Shah’s efforts as he still recovers from a personal tragedy – the loss of his mother in his hometown Lower Dir in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa – while he was away from home and serving his country. Like any other day, Twitter was in for a field day today too, with ample memes and posts hitting the social media platform. Here are the best tweets from the matches that have taken place in Australia:
Babar Azam is an Excellent white ball batsman but believe me, He can even better inTest only if he can differentiate both. He' only the ingredients to be BEST in Test.— Team Babar Azam (@Team_BabarAzam) 21 November 2019
Test demands Patience & he sometimes lacks that. Hopefully he'll learn & will do better in 2nd innings #PAKvAUS pic.twitter.com/ujS5PmBL8B
Babar Azam, however, left thousands of his fans disappointed as he failed to deliver today. “Babar Azam is an excellent white ball batsman but believe me, he can do even better in Test, only if he can differentiate both. He only needs the ingredients to be BEST in Test. Test demands patience and he sometimes lacks that. Hopefully he'll learn & will do better in 2nd innings #PAKvAUS,” wrote a fan page of the ace cricketer.
Harris Sohail also received the wrath of furious users. “Harris needs a chapaiir (slap)! Lazy, brainless approach. Has been downright horrible in every game he's played this series, regardless of the format! Not a fan of Fawad Alam but can you imagine him playing like Harris and still be part of the squad?” added another user.
Harris needs a chapaiir! Lazy, brainless approach. Has been downright horrible in every game he's played this series, regardless of the format!— OAK (@OAK1857) 21 November 2019
Not a fan of Fawad Alam but can you imagine him playing like Harris and still be part of the squad? Fucked up #PAKvAUS
Naseem Shah received tonnes of praises for his performance. “16 years old and your first contract in Test cricket is to face Pat Cummins & Mitch Starc armed with the second new ball ... welcome to the big time Naseem Shah,” was one of the many appreciation posts, penned by a former ABC channel sports reporter. Naseem’s apt delivery was followed by tears for the young lad who recently lost his mother.
16yo and your first contract in Test cricket is to face Pat Cummins & Mitch Starc armed with the second new ball ... welcome to the big time Naseem Shah #PAKvAUS— Glenn Mitchell (@MitchellGlenn) 21 November 2019
Then came a post applauding the stars of the day – Shaan, Yasir, Azhar and Asad. It read, “Pakistan 240 all out from 94/5 is a fighting effort. Though we should have made 300 but we can take it on day 1 pitch. Top knock from Asad Shafiq who guided the team in difficult time. Yasir Shah, Shan and Azhar also played well and did fair job.”
Well played by both openers in first overs. No bad shots, reserve and watchful. So far both left very well and just wait for the one closer to them to offer the shot. See off the shine and than go for normal game later on.#PAKvAUS— Ahmer Najeeb (@AhmerNajeeb) 21 November 2019
You’d like to think it’s unbelievable that Pakistan dropped Abbas but we’ve been doing the most ridiculous things under Misbah’s tenure! We’ve been choosing premature bowlers- big names and basically shashkas over winning combinations, cricket stats and logic! Over it- #PakvAus— Hadeel Obaid (@hadouken51) 21 November 2019
Misbah Ul Haq’s coaching also came under fire, with many expressing dismay at some of his decisions. “You’d like to think it’s unbelievable that Pakistan dropped Abbas but we’ve been doing the most ridiculous things under Misbah’s tenure! We’ve been choosing premature bowlers- big names and basically shashkas over winning combinations, cricket stats and logic! Over it,” wrote a cricket journalist Hadeel Obaid.
KP has become power house of cricket #PAKvsAUS #PAKvAUS No.6 onwards in test XI all from KP. Iftikhar, Rizwan, Yasir Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Imran Khan, Naseem Shah. Plus Fakhar Zaman, Usman Shinwari, Khushdil Shah, & Junaid Khan played recently too. All Pakhtun bowling attack too— Yasir (@yasir_umair) 20 November 2019
Some users even hailed Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as the power house of cricket, with all leading and up-and-coming players hailing from the province. “KP has become power house of cricket #PAKvsAUS #PAKvAUS No.6 onwards in test XI all from KP. Iftikhar, Rizwan, Yasir Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Imran Khan, Naseem Shah. Plus Fakhar Zaman, Usman Shinwari, Khushdil Shah, & Junaid Khan played recently too. All Pakhtun bowling attack too,” one user noted.
Green shirts are ready to take on red hot Aussies . Australia got outstanding record in Brisbane but everyday is a new day. Best of luck to both teams and fans wanted a good test match which could create interest in the series #PAKvAUS pic.twitter.com/MhER4RlkP9— Ahmer Najeeb (@AhmerNajeeb) 20 November 2019
Here are the other posts that added hope, wit and excitement amongst Pak-Australia fans:
Babar Azam has proved many times that he's best in T20Is & ODIs.— Team Babar Azam (@Team_BabarAzam) 17 November 2019
His recent scores in Tests is good too but to become Great, He needs couple of big innings & there's no better place to do than Down Under. This Australian Summer could be the "Making of Babar in Tests"#PAKvAUS pic.twitter.com/F3fig3kBij
Skipper Azhar Ali 24 off 81 & Shan Masood 17 off 72 balls played obediently to the tunes of thuk thuk head coach Misbah #PAKvAUS— Mishi (@Mishi827) 21 November 2019
Bol k lab azad hai tere
Azhar while giving interview just after lunch break:— Ahmer Najeeb (@AhmerNajeeb) 21 November 2019
There is little bit grass and moisture in the pitch so our strategy is to see off new ball. AUS bowlers bowled well, no lot of bad balls. What we want, not to loose wickets upfront and we did it in 1st session.#PAKvAUS
AUS came back strongly after lunch. Tough lengths with slight movement doing the damage. Shan done the angle and bounce and Azhar done for consistent length at corridor of uncertainty by Hazlewood. Top stuff AUS and now real test session for PAK from here.— Ahmer Najeeb (@AhmerNajeeb) 21 November 2019