On the opening day of the New Year’s Test at the SCG, Australian all-rounder Mitchell Marsh faced a rollercoaster of emotions. After providing Pakistan captain Shan Masood a second chance due to a no-ball, Marsh eventually redeemed himself, dismissing Masood for 35 .
The no-ball setback for Mitchell Marsh
Choosing to bat after winning the toss, Pakistan found themselves struggling at 47/4. Skipper Masood and wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan then initiated a recovery for the visitors.
Marsh received the red-kookaburra to bowl in the 26th over of Pakistan’s first innings, and in his fifth delivery, he seemingly had a wicket within grasp. Masood, then unbeaten on 32, tentatively prodded at a length delivery in the channel without employing any footwork, resulting in an edge that went through to Steve Smith at second slip.
Marsh jubilantly celebrated, embracing captain Pat Cummins, but the excitement was short-lived as umpire Richard Illingworth signaled a no-ball with an outstretched right arm. Subsequent replays confirmed Marsh had overstepped, granting Masood an additional opportunity at the crease.
Marsh’s redemption with Shan Masood’s dismissal
Nevertheless, joy finally embraced the Aussie side. In the 30th over of Pakistan’s innings, Marsh delivered another good length ball on the off side, causing it to angle across Masood. The Pakistan captain, attempting to defend the delivery, only managed to produce a healthy edge, once again held by Smith at second slip.
Immediately after securing the wicket, Marsh playfully turned back to glance at the umpire. Only after confirming that he hadn’t overstepped this time did the bowler initiate his celebrations. Masood departed after scoring 35 off 70 balls, including three fours. His dismissal left Pakistan in deeper trouble at 96/5.
Here’s the video:
Mitch Marsh got the wicket of Shan Masood – but it was a no ball!
— cricket.com.au (@cricketcomau) January 3, 2024
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Mohammad Rizwan’s resilient fightback
Despite the setbacks, Rizwan showcased resilience, fighting back with a determined knock of 88 runs. His partnership with Salman Ali Agha (53) added crucial runs, taking Pakistan to 199/6. Rizwan’s gritty innings steadied the ship for Pakistan, contributing significantly to their recovery after the early dismissals. However, the Australian bowlers mounted a solid comeback by dismissing the set batters, reducing Pakistan to 250/9 in the ongoing third session after tea.
Pakistan’s disastrous start
In the earlier morning session, the visitors had a calamitous beginning as both openers Abdullah Shafique (0) and Saim Ayub (0) were dismissed for ducks, courtesy of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood, respectively. Former skipper Babar Azam managed to contribute 26 runs before falling victim to an lbw trap set by Australian captain Cummins. Saud Shakeel (5) was also caught behind off Cummins. Subsequently, Masood and Rizwan forged a 49-run partnership for the fifth wicket before Marsh outplayed the Pakistan captain.