by: Atika Mehboob TN Sport Pakistan:
Pakistan’s World Test Championship hopes suffered a blow as they were docked two points and fined 10% of their match fee for a slow over-rate in the first Test against Australia. This penalty comes just after their heavy defeat against the Aussies, adding to the pressure on the beleaguered tourists.
The two-point deduction leaves Pakistan on the second place in the World Test Championship table. The immediate focus, however, will be on salvaging some pride in the Boxing Day Test. To prepare for the Melbourne encounter, Pakistan will play a two-day practice match against Victoria XI.
Adding to the intrigue surrounding the series is the pre-tour controversy over the pitch served up in the Prime Minister’s XI match in Canberra. Head coach Mohammad Hafeez’s accusation of pitch doctoring by the hosts has injected an extra dose of tension into the already heated rivalry.
Whether Pakistan can overcome the penalty, the losing streak, and the off-field distractions to emerge victorious at the MCG remains to be seen. The Boxing Day Test promises to be a captivating clash, with Pakistani resilience pitted against Australian dominance.