Pakistan squandered a golden chance to end a 28-year wait for their first Test win against Australia Down Under, conceding a 79-run loss during the second match of the series in Melbourne. After bowling the hosts out for 262 in the second innings, Pakistan made a solid start to their 317-run chase, with captain Shan Masood notching a quick-fire half-century. However, Masood’s dismissal triggered a series of dismissals, and Babar Azam (41) being bowled out by Josh Hazlewood all but handed the result in Australia’s favour.
However, the innings was not without its share of controversy, and a pivotal moment unfolded during the chase when a delivery from Pat Cummins eluded Mohammad Rizwan’s inside edge in the 61st over. The on-field umpire initially dismissed a fervent appeal from the Australian contingent, prompting the Aussie captain to opt for a review.
Richard Illingworth, the third umpire, meticulously examined the replays on multiple occasions. Even with hotspot technology unable to definitively confirm the presence of an edge, the umpire turned to the snickometer for further analysis. In a rather dramatic turn of events, the revelation came forth that the ball had brushed past Mohammad Rizwan’s wristband. With the edge conclusively confirmed, the on-field umpire was compelled to overturn his initial decision.
Mohammad Rizwan, visibly incredulous and stunned by the turn of events, engaged in a heated argument with the on-field umpire, but the decision ultimately stood.
The dismissal of Mohammad Rizwan emerged as the decisive moment in the game, particularly considering he was the last recognized batter in the Pakistan lineup. Despite Agha Salman’s efforts at the other end, there was a lack of support from the tailenders. The batters occupying positions 8 to 11 failed to contribute a single run, with Salman eventually succumbing for 50 as the ninth wicket in the Pakistan innings.
The batting order ultimately collapsed, and the side was bowled out for 237. The victory in Melbourne paved the way for Australia to claim an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series, solidifying their dominance over Pakistan in the home Test series.