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Mitchell Starc, Mitchell Swepson spearhead blitz

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The second Pakistan Test appeared to be headed for the same outcome as the first when Australian captain Pat Cummins called his troops in with 556 runs on the board early on day three.

But fast bowler Mitchell Starc and debutant Mitchell Swepson destroyed the script.

After a ruthless Australia forced Pakistan to field for 189 overs as they piled up their third-highest innings total in the country in history, it seemed inevitable that, as had happened in Rawalpindi, the Karachi Test would end in a draw.

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An Australian win is now, all of a sudden, the most likely result at stumps on day three after the visitors skittled the hosts for 148 in 53 overs, before increasing their lead to 489.

Swepson ignited the blitz when he executed a brilliant run-out in the 14th over to end the innings of Abdullah Shafique.

The leg-spinner sent the opener packing when he pounced on the ball at backward point and shattered the stumps with a direct hit, as the Pakistan pair attempted to steal a daring single.

Swepson finished with the figures of 2-32 from nine overs and will always have a top-class batter as his first Test scalp, after removing Pakistan captain Babar Azam.

But the spearhead of the Australian rampage was Starc, who staged a reverse-swing masterclass en route to capturing 3-29 from 13 overs.

The left-arm quick was on a hat-trick after dismissing first drop Azhar Ali and No.5 Fawad Alam in consecutive balls.

He produced a stellar delivery on his hat-trick ball, but wicketkeeper-batter Mohammad Rizwan played and missed.

“Good ball,” said former England batter Rob Key on Fox Cricket.

“Probably the ball of the game, ball of the series, but it’s too good for Rizwan.

“Well bowled, Mitchell Starc.”

Aussie debutant Swepson runs out Pakistan batter

Australia reached stumps on day three at 1-81 from 17 overs.

David Warner lost his wicket for seven, and Usman Khawaja (35) and Marnus Labuschagne will resume in the middle on day four.

“They’ve got themselves in a terrific position with a couple of days to go,” said former Sheffield Shield batter Mike Haysman.

This is Australia’s first tour of Pakistan since 1998.

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