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Pak vs Aus: Pakistan’s Imam, Shafique stay solid to set up thrilling final day

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  • Pakistan reach 73-0 at stumps chasing 351 for win.
  • Australia’s Khawaja scores second ton of series.
  • Cummins makes sporting declaration in final session.

Pakistan openers Imam-ul-Haq and Abdullah Shafique made a solid start on Thursday to set up a thrilling final day in the deciding third Test in Lahore, keeping the hosts in the hunt for a series-clinching win against Australia.

Australia captain Pat Cummins made a sporting declaration in the final session of the fourth day at the Gaddafi Stadium, calling his side’s second innings closed on 227-3 and setting Pakistan a target of 351 to chase.

On a wicket offering turn for the spinners and some deliveries keeping low after pitching, Imam and Shafique denied Australia any success to take Pakistan to 73 without loss at stumps with the hosts needing 278 more for victory.

Imam was unbeaten on 42 with Shafique 27 not out.

Steve Smith, who has had a tough time in the series with his catching, dropped an edge from Shafique off part-time leg-spinner Marnus Labuschagne in the final over of the day’s play.

The first two Tests — the first between the sides in Pakistan since 1998 — were drawn.

Khawaja hundred

Australia opener Usman Khawaja earlier continued his run-scoring spree against Pakistan, remaining unbeaten on 104 after completing his second hundred of the series.

The 35-year-old left-hander scampered for two runs in the final over before tea to complete his 12th hundred in Tests.

Pakistan-born Khawaja, who top-scored for Australia in the first innings with 91, also scored 97 in the opening Test at Rawalpindi and 160 and 44 not out in the second at Karachi.

He added 96 for the opening stand with David Warner, who hit six fours and a six in his knock before being dismissed shortly before lunch for 51, cleaned up by fast bowler Shaheen Shah Afridi.

Khawaja, who returned to the Test side after two years in January during the home Ashes series against England, was bowled on 31 by pacer Naseem Shah but was reprieved when the television umpire ruled the bowler had overstepped the crease.

He also added 65 for the second wicket with number three Marnus Labuschagne, who made 36. Former captain Steve Smith was out for 17 after becoming the fastest to reach 8,000 runs in Tests during his knock.

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Rise in ICC Men’s Twenty20 International Rankings for Pakistani Players

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Pakistan skipper Babar Azam moved up the T20I batting rankings to take third place after scoring 33 runs off of just 10 balls in Tuesday’s nail-biting run chase against Canada. In contrast, Mohammad Rizwan, who batted at wicketkeeper, retired to fourth place.

In the bowling rankings, returning pacer Mohammad Amir rose 65 places to 82nd, and Naseem Shah climbed 21 places to joint-thirty-third.

Also, left-arm spinner Imad Wasim stormed up the rankings, taking 34th position. While Shadab fell three spots to fourteenth, Imad rose one spot to eleventh in the T20I all-rounder rankings.

The ICC Men’s Twenty20 International Bowling Rankings have Pakistan’s star pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi falling to number twelve, despite the fact that he has not played up to his usual standards. The right-handed speedster Haris Rauf, on the other hand, fell two spots to 36th.

After taking two wickets in a Twenty20 International match against New Zealand, Afghanistan’s veteran all-rounder Mohammad Nabi was named the “big winner” in the most recent rankings update by the major cricketing organization.

As a result of his recent two-wicket haul against New Zealand in Guyana, the 39-year-old Mohammad Nabi jumped to the No. 1 slot on the list for all-rounders, making him the clear winner in the latest rankings update, according to a press statement from the ICC.

In the wake of a massive shuffle at the top of the T20I rankings for all-rounders, Nabbila improves by two spots to take first place, with Marcus Stoinis of Australia climbing three spots to take second place and Shakib Al Hasan falling four spots to fifth.

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A petition has been filed criticizing the cricket team’s bad performance in the T20 World Cup.

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A lawyer in Gujranwala has submitted a formal request to the court, urging for legal measures to be taken in response to the substandard performance of the national cricket team.

The petition has been lodged in the court of the district and sessions judge, citing sections 22A and 22B of the Pakistan Penal Code. It identifies all individuals involved, including captain Babar Azam, team management, and the coach, as parties.

The petitioner voiced profound apprehension at the underwhelming performance of the national cricket team, deeming it a squandering of funds and a breach of the nation’s confidence. The petition alleges that the team jeopardized millions of rupees and the nation’s integrity, claiming that the players and team management chose financial gain over the honor of the country.

In addition, the petition emphasizes the significant emotional distress experienced by individuals during matches against America and India, considering these performances to be particularly offensive. The user is requesting a suspension of the team until a detailed investigation is carried out by the interior secretary and a comprehensive report is finalized.

The petitioner further condemns the intrusion of political personalities in the team’s matters, contending that whenever political selections are made as coaches and chairmen, it results in the team’s decline.

The court has instructed the police to respond to the petition by June 21.

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Mohammad Rizwan has achieved an undesirable record in the T20 World Cup.

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Pakistan achieved the target of 107 runs with only three wickets lost and 15 balls remaining, thanks to a solid half-century by Rizwan.

The right-handed batsman achieved an undefeated score of 53 runs from an equal number of deliveries, including three boundaries and one six. This is the initial fifty runs scored by a Pakistani batsman in the current tournament.

Nevertheless, Rizwan required 52 deliveries to achieve his fifty runs, making it the most time-consuming half-century in the whole T20 World Cup’s history.

South Africa’s David Miller previously held the record for scoring a half-century in 50 balls against the Netherlands at the same stadium.

Rizwan commenced the batting for Pakistan alongside Saim Ayub (6), but they were unable in providing the Pakistani team with a satisfactory beginning when Ayub lost his wicket in the fifth over, leaving the team with a mere 20 runs on the scoreboard.

Subsequently, Skipper Babar Azam joined Rizwan on the batting crease, and the pair effectively guided the team’s pursuit of runs with a resilient partnership. Babar and his partner contributed 63 runs for the second wicket until Babar was dismissed by Dilon Heyliger in the 15th over.

He achieved a scoring rate of one run per ball, accumulating a total of 33 runs, aided by a single boundary and a six.

Mohammad Rizwan briefly collaborated with Fakhar Zaman, who only managed to score four runs and was out on the second delivery of the 18th over, with the team needing just three more runs to win.

Usman Khan secured victory for Pakistan by elegantly directing the ball towards the midwicket area, resulting in a two-run score.

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