Australia's Usman Khawaja (second left) watches the ball after playing a shot during the first day of the third and final Test match between Pakistan and Australia at the Gaddafi Cricket Stadium in Lahore. Image Credit: AFP

With two matches drawn in the current Pakistan and Australia Test series, it was expected the curator of the iconic Gaddafi Stadium will lay out a sporty pitch for the decider but to the disappointment of all, there was no grass on the wicket and it was flat like a road.

That Pakistan got two wickets in the first session was due to the brilliance of the ICC Player of the Year for 2021, Shaheen Shah Afridi who bent his back and got two wickets in one over.

But after that normal duty resumed with both Usman Khawaja and Steven Smith grinding the Pakistan bowlers and building a partnership of 138 runs and it looked hard work for the bowlers. There was nothing for the spinners and only the fast bowlers got some assistance from the dead track. That Pakistan dropped a few chances did not help their cause either.

Early wickets

At the end of the day the score might show 232/5 and look like it was an even day but with Alex Carrey and Chris Green at the crease it looks like it might be another toil for the bowlers and if Pakistan don’t pick wickets early morning, Australia should cross 400. And we expect Pakistan to continue in the same way, bat the same way to ensure they don’t repeat the same mistake as in the first innings of the second Test match.

The Gaddafi Stadium was holding a Test match after 13 years and there were hardly any fans in the stadium to witness this game which was a shame. One expected some lessons learnt from the first two matches but sadly it’s once bitten thrice shy.