Aus vs Pak, 3rd Test, 2023-24 – Not again! Saim Ayub adds to Pakistan’s first slip woes

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Ever since, Pakistan moved the cordon around, with Agha Salman taking a superb catch the same evening Shafique was shunted out in Melbourne. The following morning, Babar Azam was at first slip and pouched an equally sharp chance. However, on the second morning of the final Test in Sydney, debutant Saim Ayub found himself filling in at first slip for just one over when David Warner nicked another dolly straight to him. It was perhaps inevitable he would put it down, and he duly did. Here’s a rundown of Pakistan’s worst misses.

15.1 Aamer Jamal to Khawaja, FOUR, dropped! Short outside off, goes for the pull, gets a big top edge which loops over the cordon and Shafique, running back from first, never settles under it. Not a simple chance, but had time to get there

2.6 Shaheen Shah Afridi to Warner, no run, Edged and dropped! Can you believe it? What have you done Abdullah Shafique! It was a regulation catch at first slip and once again Pakistan not taking their chances! That was an extraordinary delivery on a length and moved away just enough to scratch his outside edge, was a touch low and just burst out of his hands. They give Warner a big reprieve!

15.1 No, no, no! Scurries in and hammers it on a length, gets it to zip away outside off and it’s that man again Abdullah Shafique who drops another soda in the slip cordon. This is unbelievable! Marsh gets a huge reprieve. Will he make the bowlers suffer?

13.2 Aamer Jamal to Warner, no run. Edged and dropped! Can you believe it? Saim Ayub, the culprit. Just burst out of his hands! That was a regulation catch! Lovely delivery a back of a length and it’s whooshing away in the corridor, a tentative poke at it and Pakistan nearly got their first breakthrough. This is poor from the young man.

For once, however, Warner didn’t pile on the runs and punish Pakistan too severely after his reprieve. Ten overs and 14 runs later, he would nick off to first slip again. This time, Babar was back in that position.

24.3 Salman to Warner, OUT. Caught at slip! This rags from the surface! Salman should have been on sooner! What a delivery. Drifting into leg, Warner is playing back from the crease, closes the face, it bites and spins sharply across him to catch the shoulder of the bat and Babar takes a nice catch rolling to his left.

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