The Roar
The Roar


Fear Aamer: Young quick joins legends with six of the best, Smith's farcical delay slammed, Warner's baggy green returned

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5th January, 2024
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Wasim Akram. Aamer Jamal. List ends.

That’s the company the 27-year old Pakistan paceman finds himself in after another stunning performance on Day 3 in Sydney, where he skittled Australia’s lower order to earn the tourists a surprise first-innings lead.

Following on from his defiant 82 on the first day to haul Pakistan’s total to 313, Jamal claimed figures of 6/69 to lead the visitors’ fightback, with the last four of those wickets falling within seven balls just minutes after tea.

Having claimed Usman Khawaja on Day 2, Jamal had a second earlier in the day when he continued Travis Head’s miserable series by trapping the left-hander LBW.

But that was just a taste of what was to come: with Australia 6/289 at tea and just 24 runs in arrears, Jamal first had Mitchell Marsh mistiming a drive to wide mid-off for 50, before demolishing the tail at a rapid rate.

Pat Cummins was utterly bamboozled by a low full toss, the captain gone LBW for a second-ball duck after a second Pakistan review; before Nathan Lyon was caught after a scrabble by Saud Shakeel in the gully, and Josh Hazlewood steered a simple catch to Salman Ali Agha at slip for a second-ball duck.

The haul is Jamal’s second six-for of his maiden Test tour, having also claimed 6/111 on debut in Perth, and leaves him with a remarkable 18 wickets at 19.22 for the series – and with two dropped sitters at slip off his bowling to boot.


He also joined the legendary Akram as the only Pakistanis to take a five-for and score a half-century in a Test in Australia, with the cricketing great himself labelling Jamal as ‘the find of the tour’.

“I’m over the moon,” Jamal told Fox Cricket after completing his haul.

“[I’m] feeling proud to be representing my country at this level and performing for them.

“This is a wonderful achievement for me.”

Aamer Jamal.

Aamer Jamal. (Photo by Jason McCawley – CA/Cricket Australia via Getty Images)

‘Surely not’: Smith slammed for bizarre delay

First bad light, then rain interrupted play on Day 2 of the Sydney Test – but Steve Smith has upped the ante on Day 3.


The star veteran refused to face up to Pakistan spinner Salman Ali Agha, calling for the SCG groundstaff to deal with an apparent issue with the sightscreen.

After a lengthy delay, the issue was revealed to be a miniscule piece of rubbish that had blown onto the tarps behind the bowlers arm – with staff first bringing out a broom, and then one attendant receiving the biggest cheer of the day by clambering onto the rigging and retrieving the debris.

So insignificant was the issue that at first, former greats Michael Vaughan and Ian Smith couldn’t believe that was what had put Smith off.

“Surely it’s not that little thing there, is it? Surely not,” Vaughan said on Fox Cricket.

“Don’t bet it. Do not bet against that being a distraction,” Smith replied.

“Here we go – Test cricket, let’s just have a delay,” Vaughan added.

Then, when the groundstaff attendant actions confirmed the rubbish was indeed the issue:


“Tell me it’s not that little thing!” Vaughan cried.

“What did we say – don’t bet against it? Do not bet against it, Vaughany!” Smith said, before the commentary box descended into fits of laughter.

“I think there’s a few people who can’t believe it – including the Pakistan players,” fellow commentator Harsha Bhogle said.

As if to prove a point, Smith lofted Salman over his head for four one ball after the resumption – but the veteran would perish shortly after, punching a drive straight to Babar Azam at short cover for 38.

“He’s fallen for it!” Ian Smith proclaimed, as the disbelieving Australian stared dumbfounded at the pitch.

However, the commentators were adamant the dismissal was all Smith’s fault.


“He’s looking at the pitch surface, and he stands for quite some time after this… he stays there looking at it. Look, look at that! That is an absolute ‘I’m blaming the pitch here’,” Smith said.

“It’s nothing to do with the pitch – he’s a great player, and he’s fallen into the trap,” Vaughan added.

‘Load off my shoulders’: ‘Relieved’ Warner reunited with baggy green after mysterious return

David Warner will finish his farewell Test with his cherished baggy green caps, after it was at last returned following a nationwide search.

The retiring opener’s most prized cricketing possession was stolen from his luggage in the days leading up to the Sydney Test, with Warner taking to Instagram to plea for its return.

He was forced to begin the match with a replacement cap – but the 37-year old had happier news to share on Friday morning.


“I am pleased and relieved that I have got my baggy back in my hands,” he said in an Instagram video.

“Any cricketer knows how special that cap is and I’ll cherish this for the rest of my life.

“I’m very grateful to all those involved in locating it, the Qantas team, the freight company, the hotel and our own team management.

“It’s a load off my shoulders going into the last couple of days so I really appreciate it. Thank you all.”

According to reports, the backpack containing the caps was mysteriously dropped off at the Australian team hotel, with Warner and Cricket Australia as yet unsure of who returned it or when it was taken in the first place.


Fox Cricket’s crew made sure to have some cheeky fun at Warner’s expense during lunch program The Big Break, with a graphic hinting former teammate Mitchell Johnson, who blasted the opener in an infamous column in The West Australian earlier this month, was responsible for the theft.

The news came as a boost to Warner after a disappointing start to his final Test, with the opener visibly frustrated after falling for 34 in the first session on Day 2.

He was given a life on 20 after Pakistan’s latest dropped sitter – debutant Saim Ayub following Abdullah Shafique’s example from the SCG and shelling a simple catch at first slip, having been moved into the cordon just minutes prior due to regular slipper Salman Ali Agha’s toilet break – but couldn’t cash in.

Australia will resume on Day 3, Jane McGrath Day at the SCG, at 2/116 in reply to Pakistan’s 313.