Pakistan snatch draw after Babar Azam epic in the 2nd Test against Australia


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The Second Test between Australia and Pakistan finished in a tie, with the hosts holding off a late attack by the Aussies to ensure a miraculous escape.

Pakistan avoided defeat on the last day when the Australians declared twice, thanks to skipper Babar Azam's 196 and Mohammad Rizwan's 104*.

With Babar and Rizwan at the crease, Pakistan appeared to be on track for a draw, but the Test was turned on its head when the former departed after edging a Nathan Lyon delivery onto his pad and bouncing up into Marnus Labuschagne's hands.

When Lyon bowled Faheem Ashraf for a golden duck with the next ball, the tide swung firmly in Australia's favour, as Pakistan moved from 4-392 to 6-392 in the shortest time.

Sajid Khan was the next wicket to go for nine runs, leaving Pakistan at 7-414 and facing the prospect of losing the Test.

Rizwan and Nauman Ali, on the other hand, refused to falter, despite the fact that Rizwan was handed an additional life when he was dropped by Usman Khawaja with three overs to spare and before scoring his second tonne of the season.

Babar had been dropped twice on successive balls by Travis Head and Labuschagne when he was on 161.

On the last day, Australia had their time, and perhaps should have taken two wickets earlier in the second session after the umpire ignored vociferous LBW calls for Babar and Rizwan, despite reviews revealing the visitors were dealt a terrible hand.

Both reviews revealed that a crucial factor was the umpire's decision, implying that if the umpire had immediately thrown Babar and Rizwan out, they would have been sent home.

Nonetheless, they went on to each score a century.

Babar also broke the record for the highest score by a captain in the fourth innings of a Test match, beating Michael Atherton's 185*.

It was a tremendous effort by Azam, who faced nearly 400 balls in his time in the middle, the fourth most in men's Test fourth innings history, but it could have been over far sooner.

Azam's pads were clipped by a Nathan Lyon ball, prompting a vociferous appeal from the Australians, but the umpire was unconvinced.

Replays proved the ball was pitched outside off, the impact was in line, but the wickets was an umpire's call, meaning Babar would live to fight another day.

After the final frame of the review was disclosed, Lyon cut a distraught figure, and it would have been the breakthrough Australia needed to make their way through the rest of Pakistan's batting line.

Mitch Swepson then trapped Rizwan in front of the stumps, prompting another chorus of Australians to appeal, but the umpire did not raise his finger.

Cummins chose to appeal the decision, but it was again an umpire's call, and Rizwan was permitted to continue at the crease, similar to the Azam incident.

Fawad Alam was on his way back to the field for 9 after edging a Cummins delivery through to Alex Carey just minutes after Pakistan captain Babar reached 150 runs.

After the Australian skipper snared Abdullah Shafique on 96, Alam was the second wicket of the day for Australia and Cummins, as the opening edged the delivery to Steve Smith at first slip.

With Pakistan falling 63 runs short of the 506-run goal, the West Indies still hold the record for the highest chase in Test cricket, having scored 418 against Australia in Antigua in 2003.

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