The third day of the Boxing Day Test between Australia and Pakistan took an unexpected turn when proceedings in the post-lunch session faced a bizarre delay. The cause of the disruption was revealed to be the third umpire, Richard Illingworth, who failed to reach his cabin in time due to being stuck in a lift. Cricket Australia confirmed this unusual incident on their official X handle. As the players and on-field umpires took the field after lunch, they were surprised to find that Illingworth had not taken his seat in the third umpire’s room yet.
Illingworth, an English umpire who recently officiated in the 2023 World Cup final, eventually managed to return to his seat a few minutes later. Despite the rather peculiar experience, he remained cheerful and even passed a wave as he made his way back to the cabin. Cricket Australia posted a video of a seemingly confused Illingworth arriving in the third umpire’s room.
The second Test between both sides is steadily proceeding towards a fascinating finish after Pakistan struck two early wickets in the Australian second innings. After being bowled out for 264 in reply to the hosts’ 318, Shaheen Afridi struck twice within the first three overs – removing the dangerous Usman Khawaja and Marnus Labuschagne – to leave Australia reeling at 6/2 at Lunch. Following the resumption of play, Mir Hamza struck twice in successive deliveries, dismissing David Warner on six and Travis Head on a first-ball duck.
Earlier on Thursday, Pat Cummins took a brilliant five-wicket haul, registering figures of 5/48, while Nathan Lyon picked four wickets. For Pakistan, Abdullah Shafique remained the highest run-scorer in the first innings with an impressive 62 off 109 deliveries. On Day 3, Aamer Jamal (33* off 80 balls) showed resilience and helped Pakistan cut short Australia’s lead in the first innings.
Australia are leading the three-match series 1-0, thanks to a brilliant 360-run win in Perth. Pakistan, meanwhile, are yet to win a Test Down Under since 1995 and are yet to clinch a series win in Australia in the longest format.