November 24, 2019 / 2:10 AM / 12 days ago

Cricket-Azam resists but Australia close in on victory in Brisbane

SYDNEY, Nov 24 (Reuters) - Pakistan rearguard action buckled in the face of Australian pace on the fourth morning of the first test at Brisbane on Sunday with the tourists reduced to 144 for five at lunch, still needing 196 runs to avoid an innings defeat.

Babar Azam, who scored his 12th test half century on his way to an unbeaten 67, and wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, who was 17 not out, resisted until the first break but Australia know there is not much more batting to come in the Pakistan order.

Pat Cummins earlier removed opener Shan Masood for 42 to break a 68-run partnership with Azam before his fellow paceman Josh Hazlewood pitched in five balls later to dismiss Iftikhar Ahmed for a duck.

Pakistan had resumed on 64-3 after a miserable day three at the Gabba in which they were pillaged for runs by Australia’s batsmen and then lost a good chunk of their top order.

Marnus Labuschagne (185) and David Warner (154) helped the hosts accumulate a first-innings tally of 580 in reply to Pakistan’s 240.

The second and final test, a day night affair, starts at the Adelaide Oval on Friday. (Reporting by Nick Mulvenney, editing by Jane Wardell)

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