Our event of the day takes place in Abu Dhabi where Pakistan and Australia will be competing in the 3rd Day of the 2nd Test match between the sides. After Australia came from behind to salvage a draw in what was a thrilling 1st Test of this two Test series last week, including an extraordinary performance from Usman Khawaja, much is at stake in this 2nd test. Over the first two days in Abu Dhabi, Pakistan have continued to impress, as they currently lead Australia by 281 runs with 8 wickets remaining. With Pakistan scoring 282 all out and Australia 145 all out in their 1st innings, Pakistan have convincingly moved ahead, standing at 144-2 in their 2nd innings. If the Test continues in this vein, Australia are going to have to amount another stirring comeback to have any chance of claiming victory here, which should make for fascinating viewing. One thing is for sure, they will need quick wickets in the morning session. Before the match started, clearly history is on the Australians' side in this fixture, with the overall record between the sides reading 31 victories for Australia to just 14 for Pakistan, with 18 draws.
However, recent history is particularly balanced, with two victories each in the last five matches between the teams, as well as that draw in the 1st Test in Dubai. Most pertinent however is the fact Australia haven’t won a Test series in Asia since 2011 and it will take quite the performance to turn this game around. Pakistan are without Imam-ul-Haq for this Second Test, after he injured his arm during Day 5 of the First Test, but don’t seem to be struggling in his absence. Both sides would receive a significant boost with a victory here, as Australia are looking to improve their record in Asia and regain some form after a difficult year, whilst Pakistan have not won a test match in the UAE since a victory in Abu Dhabi back in October 2016 against the West Indies. Since then they haven't won a Test in the UAE in four attempts, losing three and drawing the first Test of this series in Dubai. With two hungry sides facing off once again after such a close encounter last time out, it should be a fantastic watch.
Honourable mentions around the globe go to the NBA game between the Portland Trail Blazers and the Los Angeles Lakers. This match harbours particular significance as it should be the first game in Lakers colours for LeBron James. If anything is to make a match an instant classic, it’s the debut of perhaps the greatest ever, turning this fixture into unmissable viewing. Elsewhere in America, the MLS is throwing up some great matches, including Los Angeles Football Club continuing their first ever season at home to New England Revolution. Also in America, the MLB has the Boston Red Sox up against the Houston Astros in Game 5 of the ALCS. Back over the other side of the Atlantic, on Golf’s European tour it's day one of the Andalucia Valderrama Masters. Lastly in Belgium, Antwerp plays host to day four of the European Open in ATP tennis, which includes Britain’s Kyle Edmund in action as the tournament reaches the round of 16 stage.
Whatever you’re watching, enjoy!
Photos by Cricket Australia; Cricket Pakistan
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