Sport Cricket Bob Hawke’s SCG beer: Ex-PM steals the show as Handscomb tons up
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Bob Hawke’s SCG beer: Ex-PM steals the show as Handscomb tons up

peterhandscomb
Peter Handscomb now averages 83 in Test cricket. Photo: Getty
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Australia remains in a commanding position at stumps on day two of the third Test against Pakistan, but it was the antics of former prime minister Bob Hawke that really got the crowd going.

Just like he did at the same ground in 2012, Hawke, on request from the SCG crowd, skolled a beer before raising his glass to celebrate.

The incident was captured on the big screens and television cameras, with even Australia captain Steve Smith and coach Darren Lehmann applauding the 87-year-old’s effort.

Peter Handscomb was Australia’s star on day two, hitting his second Test century before falling for 110 in bizarre circumstances as the hosts reached 8-538 before declaring.

Playing a late cut, Handscomb’s bat made the lightest of touches on his own stumps and he was eventually given out hit wicket by the third umpire.

Opener Matt Renshaw (184) add 17 runs to his overnight score, while Hilton Cartwright looked composed on Test debut before falling for 37. Matthew Wade (29) and Mitchell Starc (16) also made contributions.

After Josh Hazlewood (2-32) captured two early wickets, Pakistan finally offered some resistance to finish the day on 2-126, still trailing by 412 runs.

Azhar Ali was 58 not out at stumps on Wednesday, while Younis Khan was on 64.

But the day belonged to Hawke and Handscomb, with the former telling ABC Grandstand that he loved the Sydney crowd.

“They’re good aren’t they? I’ve always had a good relationship with the Australian people,” he said.

“I don’t drink so much beer now. I like a glass of red wine. I don’t drink very much, really.”

Watch Bob Hawke skoll a beer at the SCG in 2012:

It wasn’t always the case for Hawke, who set a world beer drinking record in 1955 while studying at Oxford University as a Rhodes Scholar.

The young would-be PM downed 2.5 pints (1.4 litres) in 11 seconds as part of a college penalty.

On Wednesday, Hawke, who said he still plays golf every Friday, added that he had taken great pride in the way Australia had fought back from an embarrassing start to the Test summer.

“I was a bit worried about them a few months back. I think everyone was,” he said.

“There’s been some sensible selections and players have responded.

“Australia’s like that. When we are up against the wall, we fight back.”

hiltoncartwrightdebut
Hilton Cartwright drives through the offside. Photo: Getty

One of those inclusions, Handscomb, looked at home at Test level as Australia, resuming day two at 3-365, maintained their aggression.

That was despite Renshaw falling early, after he played on to Imran Khan (2-111).

Matt Renshaw
Australia’s Matt Renshaw raises his bat after being dismissed for 184. Photo: AP

Cartwright dispatched his first ball at Test level for four through the covers when Mohammad Amir (0-83) overpitched and he and Handscomb got to work on a 91-run partnership.

The debutant did not score quickly, but looked organised before he was dropped on 25 by Younis Khan.

Cartwright did not make the most of his life, bowled by a ball that nipped back in off the seam after lunch, but at the other end, Handscomb was relatively untroubled, and brought up his century with a single to mid-wicket.

He eventually departed after another excellent innings, which gave Starc free rein to swing hard.

He smashed two sixes but fell five short of his MCG record when he holed out to substitute fielder Mohammad Rizwan.

That triggered Australia’s declaration and it paid early dividends as Hazlewood removed both Sharjeel Khan (4) and Babar Azam (0) in the fourth over.

Sharjeel, on Test debut, wafted outside off-stump and was caught behind by wicketkeeper Wade.

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Josh Hazlewood celebrates his early double salvo. Photo: Getty

Babar followed suit when he was trapped in front as Pakistan limped to tea at 2-16.

David Warner, one of the best fielders in the world, had chances to run out Azhar on 12 and Younis on 32 at the non-striker’s end, while he dropped a sharp one-handed catch at leg slip in the day’s penultimate over.

-with AAP 

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