Pakistan v Australia – Second Test Ratings

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at 2018.10.21
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Having escaped defeat in the First Test through an immense batting effort in the fourth innings, Australia saw no reason to change their tactics.

This time, however, their bold plan of collapsing in their first innings and then being forced to bat for multiple sessions in their second to save the game fell apart at they inexplicably lost by 373 runs. Unlucky.

Here are the ratings for the Second Test between Pakistan and Australia.

Nathan Lyon
Grade: B+

Australia began the Test well, reducing Pakistan to 5/57 after Nathan Lyon took 4/0 from six deliveries.

Other, less classy, bowlers would have taken a hat-trick at some point in that kind of run. Not Lyon. He successfully spaced out the Pakistan collapse to avoid such a run-of-the-mill outcome.

Loads of Australian bowlers have taken hat tricks. Merv Hughes, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, Peter Siddle and Damien Fleming to name but five. Heck, Fleming even almost took one twice. It’s all just so tiresomely predictable.

But not Lyon. I guess that’s yet another reason why he is the GOAT.

Marnus Labuschagne
Grade: A+

Pakistan recovered from the early collapse via a 147 run partnership between Fakhar Zaman and Sarfraz Ahmed.

Both batsmen were on the brink of centuries until Australia’s most thrilling new cricketer, Marnus Labuschagne, stepped to the crease.

Labuschagne, a part-time leg-spinner and full-time excitement machine, dismissed both batsmen for 94, presumably just for the neat symmetry of it.

He’d already also taken a catch off his testicles at short leg that he’d procured with minimal use of his hands. And then followed it up by clumsily dropping a catch at short mid-wicket when he foolishly got his hands involved.

Later when he batted, he managed to be run out at the non-striker’s end because he couldn’t be bothered putting his bat down when Mitchell Starc drove a ball straight back at the stumps, then top-scored in the second innings as Australia failed to save the Test.

He bowls, he fields, he bats. He takes catches, he drops catches. He runs people out, he gets run out. His hairline is in the shape of an M for Marnus. He is everything Australian cricket needs. And more.

What will be Labuschagne’s next spectacular cricketing feat? Will he break Bannerman’s record? Will he hit seven sixes in an over? Take a catch in his armpit? Be bowled off a wide?

Who can say? Anything is possible.

Make mine Marnus!

The Marshes
Grade: B+

With Pakistan being all out for 282 on the first day, Australia had a chance to take control of the Test. Did they do so?

They did not.

Instead, they were bowled out for 145, with the Marsh brothers forming an integral part of the collapse, scoring 3 (Shaun) and 13 (Mitch).

They followed it up with 4 and 5 respectively in the second innings.

Batting averages for the series: 3.5 (Shaun) and 7.5 (Mitch).

Luckily, Mark Waugh on Fox Cricket reassured us that the Marsh’s spots in the side were safe. Which is good news.

For a moment, fans all around Australia were worried that a string of failures would cost the brothers their spots. In the end, though, it seems as if common sense will prevail.

Look, they’re lovely blokes, with a great lineage. And all they need is an opportunity to find some form. They’ll come good. They’re experienced cricketers and you don’t want to discard them now when runs are just around the corner.

With a bit of luck, if we just stick with them for the six Tests over the summer that will get them warmed up in time for a big Ashes tour next winter.

Can’t we just give them a chance, for once?

Run Outs
Grade: F

"What on Earth are the Australians up to now?"

“What on Earth are the Australians up to now?”

Pakistan looked to bat Australia out of the game In their second innings and effortlessly did so despite one of the most disturbing run outs of all time when a return throw from Mitchell Starc saw Azhar Ali, happily chatting with Assad Shafiq in the middle of the pitch, run out.

It was a display of the worst kind of sportsmanship from Australia, putting the lie to their claim that the dark days of a ‘win at all costs’ mentality were behind them.

An obvious misunderstanding from the batsmen, who had clearly assumed the ball had gone for four, could easily have been rectified by a simple warning from Tim Paine.

Instead, a gross violation of the Spirit of Cricket took place as Paine smashed the stumps down without so much as a warning.

The Ugly Aussies have resurfaced. I can only assume James Sutherland is on a plane to Abu Dhabi as you read this to investigate what’s gone so wrong. Sadly, I see no solution other than to suspend Paine and Starc for a year.

Play fair, Australia, or pay the price.

The Summer
Grade: C+

With Usman Khawaja injured, Paine and Starc likely to be suspended and the Marshes hanging by a thread despite barely being given a proper opportunity at Test level, the question naturally arises as to who will face India over the Australian summer.

To my way of thinking, the Australian cricket team should consist of the following:

1 Labuschagne
2 exciting young red-haired leg-spinning genius Lloyd Pope
3 Glenn Maxwell
4 the eight nearest other Australians

That’ll get the job done. They might not win, but they’ll be as entertaining as all get-out. And, ultimately, isn’t that the most important thing?

(Originally published at https://www.theroar.com.au/2018/10/20/the-liebke-ratings-pakistan-vs-australia-second-test/)

Pakistan v Australia - First Test Ratings
Australia v South Africa - First ODI Ratings

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