AUS vs PAK, 2nd Test: Video of Shaheen Afridi sledging Marnus Labuschagne during fiery spell goes viral
On the first day of the second Test in Melbourne, Pakistan made crucial breakthroughs by dismissing Australian openers David Warner and Usman Khawaja. The match hung in the balance before rain interrupted play, leading to an early tea on Tuesday.
During the first day of the Boxing Day Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground, there was a heated exchange between Pakistan's fast bowler Shaheen Afridi and Australia's Marnus Labuschagne. On Tuesday, in the second session, Shaheen was observed sledging Labuschagne, who managed to withstand a challenging spell from the Pakistani pace bowler. Shaheen exhibited some aggression in an attempt to unsettle Labuschagne, but the Australian batsman displayed remarkable composure in the initial stages of his innings. The intense battle between the two players has garnered widespread attention, with numerous pictures and videos circulating on social media.
On the first day of the second Test in Melbourne, Pakistan made crucial breakthroughs by dismissing openers David Warner and Usman Khawaja. The match hung in the balance before rain interrupted play, leading to an early tea on Tuesday.
At the break, the home team stood at 114-2, with Marnus Labuschagne at 14 and Steve Smith at two, as Pakistan's bowlers reaped rewards. Warner's departure for 38 just before lunch disrupted a threatening 90-run partnership with Khawaja.
Upon resumption, Pakistan continued to apply pressure, eventually claiming Khawaja's wicket at 42. Labuschagne and Smith then faced challenging bowling, managing to weather the storm with runs proving hard to come by.
The home team aims to clinch the three-Test series after a commanding 360-run victory over the visitors in Perth, and they got off to a strong start in the ongoing match.
Opting to bowl after winning the toss, Pakistan captain Shan Masood made the decision on what seemed to be a seam-friendly pitch under overcast conditions.
Led by Shaheen Afridi, the Pakistani bowlers generated considerable movement but missed early opportunities, notably when Abdullah Shafique dropped Australia's opener David Warner at two with a regulation catch at second slip.
Warner, who impressed with a score of 164 in the first innings at Perth in his farewell Test series, had a stroke of luck when he survived an edge that flew over the slips for a boundary when he was on 17.
However, Warner's fortune took a turn for the worse when he played a reckless shot against part-time spinner Agha Salman in the last over before lunch. Babar Azam took a catch at slip, capitalizing on a thick outside edge.
Khawaja, who has been Warner's opening partner for a significant period, has been in a controversy with the International Cricket Council (ICC) regarding his efforts to raise awareness about the humanitarian crisis in Gaza. His request to display a sticker featuring a black dove holding an olive branch on his bat was denied. As an alternative, Khawaja walked out with the names of his daughters displayed on his shoes.
The 37-year-old quickly got off the mark, hitting a boundary off the second ball he faced. He continued to keep the scoreboard ticking over with two more fours in the first over after the drinks break.
However, just as he seemed set for a substantial innings, Hasan Ali induced an edge that was well caught by Salman in the slips, leaving Australia at 108-2.
As dark clouds loomed overhead, the floodlights were switched on in the mid-afternoon. Labuschagne and Smith adopted a survival mindset as the bowlers intensified the pressure before rain interrupted play.
It's worth noting that Shaheen Afridi had an opportunity to secure a wicket early in the match, but Abdullah Shafique dropped a catch in the slips, granting Warner a reprieve.