Hazlewood has Pakistan reeling after Jamal's 3rd Test heroics

Australia’s Josh Hazlewood (C) celebrates taking the wicket of Pakistan’s Sajid Khan during day three of the third cricket Test match between Australia and Pakistan at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 5 January, 2024AFP

Josh Hazlewood claimed three wickets in an electrifying over to bowl Australia into a potential winning position over Pakistan in an absorbing third Test in Sydney on Friday.

Paceman Hazlewood ripped through to reduce the tourists from 67 for four to go to the close on the third day at 68 for seven, a lead of 82, on a deteriorating Sydney Cricket Ground pitch.

Pakistan's last genuine hopes of building a challenging target for Australia to chase in the fourth innings hinge on Mohammad Rizwan, who is six not out, and bowling hero Aamer Jamal, who is yet to score.

Hazlewood swung the contest, taking 4-9 off five overs, after Australia snared two wickets for just one run in the first eight balls of the second innings to rock the Pakistan top order.

"On this wicket we were attacking the stumps as much as Pakistan were doing," Hazlewood said.

"A lead of 82 but, as you can see, the wicket, it's quite tough. Anything around 130 would be ideal to chase.

"Rizwan is a dangerous player, hopefully we will see the back of him early tomorrow."

The visitors looked to have the edge after dismissing Australia for 299, to take a first-innings lead of 14, on the back of an inspired 6-69 from Jamal.
In a superb four-wicket spell after tea, Jamal first had Mitchell Marsh caught at mid-off by Shan Masood for 54.

'Over the moon'

Two balls later he had Pat Cummins lbw for a duck and followed up with the dismissals of Nathan Lyon (5) and Hazlewood (0).

"I am over the moon. Feeling proud to be representing my country at such a level and performing for them," Jamal said. "This is a wonderful achievement for me.

"I just back myself every time. Even if I concede runs, I back myself."

The stung Australians roared back removing Abdullah Shafique for his second duck of the Test and skipper Shan Masood first ball.

Young debutant Saim Ayub, out without scoring in the first innings, showed poise and technique in putting on 56 runs with Babar Azam, before he was lbw to Lyon for 33. It was Lyon's 507th Test wicket.

Azam fell 14 balls later, getting a nick off Travis Head to wicketkeeper Alex Carey for 23.

Then Hazlewood struck with his electrifying fifth over, the penultimate one of the day.

Earlier, Marsh continued his rich vein of form in Australia's first innings after scores of 90, 63 not out and 96 in the first two Tests.

Marsh and Alex Carey (38) put on 84 to restore the innings after the loss of Steve Smith, Marnus Labuschagne and Head earlier in the day.

Head was lbw to Jamal for 10, losing a review in the process after scores of 40, 14, 17 and 0 in the first two Tests of the series.

Pakistan grabbed the prized wickets of Smith and Labuschagne, who both average over 70 in Tests at the SCG, within the space of six balls.

Smith, on 38, was caught by a carefully laid Pakistani trap of a trio of fielders around short extra cover, off medium-pacer Hasan's bowling.
He was soon followed by Labuschagne, bowled for 60 off

147 balls by off-spinner Salman.It was a deserved reward for the toiling Pakistanis, who have battled away with disciplined bowling and determined fielding despite already losing the three-match series.