Marnus Labuschagne has summed up a shocking performance by Australia’s batsmen with a horror run out in the second Test against Pakistan.
The tourists are in enormous trouble in Abu Dhabi after Pakistan’s bowlers ruthlessly exposed deep cracks in their batting order.
Pakistan began their second innings primed to build upon a 137-run lead after bowling Australia out for 145 an hour before tea on day two.
Australia’s hopes of salvaging a Test hurtling towards an early finish crumbled when Marnus Labuschagne (25) was run out in freakish circumstances after lunch.
“He’ll look back on that until he’s blue in the face,” former Test star Brett Lee said on Fox Sports.
“A sad moment for a guy who was looking in great form.”
The rookie was at the non-striker’s end when Mitchell Starc hit a hard return shot to legspinner Yasir Shah which clattered into the stumps.
Replays showed Yasir had got a finger to the ball and Labuschagne had failed to ground his bat.
“It’s such a shame because he was playing really well. It’s a huge wicket,” former Australian selector Mark Waugh said.
“Just either a brain fade or he thought his foot was maybe in or he thought he didn’t touch it. he hadn’t touched it. Either way, he should have had his bat on the ground.
“Regardless of all those factors, he’s watching the ball go on to his stumps. I just don’t know, you’d have to ask why he did it. I can’t figure it out.”
Starc hit two sixes on the way to 34 and was the last man to fall, trapped lbw by seamer Mohammad Abbas who continued his superb series to finish with 5-33.
Shaun Marsh’s worrying form continued as the tourists lost five wickets in Wednesday’s morning session to crumble to 7-91.
Marsh nicked off to Abbas on three to continue a lean run which now extends to 11 innings.
The 35-year-old has not made a score of note at Test level since scoring 156 in the final Ashes Test, leaving him vulnerable ahead of the home summer.
Aaron Finch fought a lone hand in just his second Test before falling for 39 with none of Travis Head, Mitch Marsh or skipper Tim Paine able to go the distance.
Australia’s batsmen suffered collapses of 10-60 and 3-0 in the drawn first Test in Dubai, and the latest flop had an all-too-familiar feel about it.
This one will feel especially frustrating after Nathan Lyon snared four wickets in six balls on day one to hand his side a dream start.
Lyon admitted Australia’s bowlers lost focus late in the day, allowing the hosts to lift their total to 282 – still well below par at a ground where the average first-innings score is 402.