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Pakistan’s Bowlers Break Record in Melbourne Test

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Pakistan’s bowlers set an undesirable record in the Melbourne Test against Australia by giving away a total of 52 runs in extras while successfully bowling out the hosts for 318 in the first innings. This extra run tally marked the highest ever conceded in a Test innings at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG). Despite a commendable performance in the morning session, where Pakistan took seven wickets to dismiss Australia before lunch, the significant contribution of extras became a notable aspect of the day’s play.

Notably, the extras turned out to be the second-highest contributor to Australia’s runs on the second day of the Test match. Aamer Jamal spearheaded the charge for Pakistan with 3-64. Australia resumed on 187-3 after a rain-marred opening day saw David Warner, Usman Khawaja, and Steve Smith depart in overcast conditions conducive to seam bowling after Pakistan won the toss and elected to field. But Labuschagne was a rock, digging in for an overnight 44 off 120 balls. He padded up alongside Head on nine with the sun shining, smacking a boundary off Shaheen Shah Afridi in the opening over to signal Australia’s intent to get the scoreboard moving.

The explosive Head drove Hasan Ali to the ropes off his first ball and followed it up with another in the same over to quickly get in the groove. But his attacking flair cost him, lashing at a wide Afridi delivery that took a thick edge and was well collected by a diving Agha Salman in the slips. At the other end, Labuschagne kept plugging away to bring up his 17th Test half-century. Marsh was given out twice in successive balls during a fiery Ali over while on seven by West Indian umpire Joel Wilson.

He reviewed both decisions for LBW and caught behind and survived. Marsh responded by driving Ali for four in his next over then smashed a big six and another boundary when part-time spinner Salman came on. But just as the match appeared to be slipping away from Pakistan, Jamal bagged the crucial wicket of Labuschagne, who edged to Abdullah Shafique at slip. Carey and Starc quickly followed him back to the dressing room as Pakistan cashed in with a new ball before Marsh holed out to Jamal at backward point off Mir Hamza and the tail folded. Australia won the first Test of the three-match series in Perth by 360 runs.

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