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Australia eye another innings win despite Yasir Shah's defiant ton
Day Three Report

Australia eye another innings win despite Yasir Shah's defiant ton

Pakistan's late-order resistance headlined by Yasir Shah's fighting maiden Test century had Australia toil hard in the field for a major part of the day before the hosts succeeded in eventually enforcing the follow-on.

Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood then removed three Pakistan batsmen to strengthen Australia's bid for a massive innings victory to complete a series sweep.

Pakistan were tottering at 39-3, still needing 248 more runs to make Australia bat again, as rain ruined the final session and the umpires were forced to call an early end to day three.

Asad Shafiq and opening batter Shan Masood will resume Pakistan's battle tomorrow with star batsman Babar Azam having been dismissed cheaply by Hazlewood.

Babar's second-innings failure lies in contrast to his fluent knock earlier in the day where he amassed 97 runs in another exhibition of sumptuous drives.

He stitched a 105-run stand with leg-spinner Yasir, who took the backseat during the partnership and provided able support with his solid defence.

Babar looked destined to reach his second Test century on the trot but Starc spoiled the party with a delivery that just straightened enough to take the outside edge of a drive attempted by the 25-year-old.

The chic shot-maker was left to rue his lavish stroke and let out a cry of anguish depicting the frustration encapsulated by the dismissal.

Immediately after his departure, Starc pinged Shaheen Afridi on the front pad right before the stumps to go on a hat-trick and get a chance to add to his tally of six wickets in the innings.

Shaheen managed to waste a review for his team as replays returned three reds on hawkeye rendering him out for a first-ball duck.

Pakistan's No. 10 Mohammad Abbas was then able to survive the hat-trick ball, rather unconvincingly as he edged a leg-side flick to the point region.

Soon after, Yasir brought up the first half-century of his career with a comfortable push down the ground off Nathan Lyon for a single.

Yasir's battling knock amid gloomy conditions in Adelaide

The thought of the 33-year-old accumulating a hundred seemed ridiculous at the point when Pakistan headed to the tea break at 213-8.

However, Abbas' dogged defence only spurred on Yasir at the other end who led a stunning batting charge with his freewheeling shots.

He was also helped by an uncharacteristic show of sloppy fielding by the Australians including two easy chances shelled by Marnus Labuschagne.

Yasir could also have been stumped by skipper Tim Paine as he charged down the pitch to slog Lyon but the wicketkeeper failed to collect the ball.

Another fortunate moment arrived for Yasir when Steve Smith in the slips thought he caught him fair and square, though the third umpire declared the catch was not taken cleanly.

Nerves started to encircle the batsman as he edged closer to the significant personal milestone and he finally got his century in a dramatic manner when the ball just evaded the leaping Pat Cummins at mid-on.

He instantly went airborne in delight and raised his bat to the galleries in an exuberant celebration that was greeted by a standing ovation from the Adelaide crowd.

Abbas fell for a gutsy 29 and Yasir was the last man to falter while trying to hook the ball off Cummins.

Australia's decision to make Pakistan bat again with an expansive lead of 287 runs instantly paid dividends as recalled opener Imam-ul-Haq perished for a duck.

Captain Azhar Ali's extended lean run saw him get out for nine as Babar was the third man to trudge back to the pavilion before the premature close of play.

Australia look firm favourites to register a comprehensive innings win and will be hoping the rain stays away from their march towards victory.