AUS vs PAK, Sydney Test: Pakistan claims slender lead on third day after Jamal takes six wickets

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Aamir Jamal took six for 69 as Pakistan claimed a slender first-innings lead in the third Test against Australia on Friday but the home bowlers hit right back to leave the match in the balance heading into the final two days of the series.

Paceman Josh Hazlewood (4-9) tipped the scales towards the home side with three wickets in the penultimate over of the day to leave Pakistan reeling on 68-7 with a lead of 82 runs.

Mohammad Rizwan, who had made six not out, and Jamal, who had yet to score, will resume on Saturday looking to set Australia a more imposing fourth-innings target on a deteriorating pitch.

“It’s quite tough, (a chase of) under 100 would be outstanding but anything under 130 would be ideal,” said Hazlewood.

“There’s a lot of rough there, Rizwan’s obviously the key so hopefully we see that back of him nice and early tomorrow.”

A bumper crowd of more than 37,000 packed into a Sydney Cricket Ground swathed in pink for the annual Jane McGrath charity day but the early action was underwhelming.

Pakistan’s bowlers delivered 33 dot balls at one stage as Australia, who had resumed on 166 for two, took its time in its pursuit of the tourist’s 313.

Steve Smith departed for 38 and Marnus Labuschagne (60) joined him in the dressing room before lunch, undone by a peach of a delivery from spinner Agha Salman that clattered into his wickets.

Seamer Jamal, whose brilliant rearguard 82 was the highlight of day one, got in on the act by removing Travis Head lbw for 10 and spinner Sajid Khan bowled Alex Carey for 38 just before tea to leave the host on 289-6.

Australia would have been confident of a first-innings lead but Jamal came out firing after the break to secure his second six-wicket haul of the series after taking 6-111 on debut in the first Test in Perth.

The 27-year-old, playing only his third Test, took four wickets in just seven balls, first winkling out Mitchell Marsh for 54 caught behind.

Pat Cummins and Hazlewood both went for ducks and Nathan Lyon managed just five runs as Australia gave up its last four wickets for 10 runs to be dismissed for 299, a deficit of 14 runs.

“I’m over the moon, proud to be representing my country at this level,” Jamal said.

Pakistan is looking to end a losing streak of 16 Tests in Australia since its last win in 1995 but quickly discovered that there was a long way to go yet.

Abdullah Shafique’s miserable series continued when he was bowled by an absolute jaffa from Mitchell Starc in the first over to make it a pair of ducks in the match.

Skipper Shan Masood went for a golden duck two balls later, caught behind off Hazlewood, as the post-tea fireworks continued and Pakistan slumped to 1-2.

Debutant Saim Ayub settled the innings with Babar Azam before being trapped in front for 33 by Lyon. Azam followed for 23, caught behind off Head’s spin and then came Hazlewood’s devastating late spell.

Australia has already wrapped up the series after victories in the first two Tests in Perth and Melbourne but is desperate to send David Warner out a winner at his home ground in his final Test.

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