Thursday, 13 December, 2018

Lunch: Pakistan off to a great start against Australia on day one

Hafeez, Imam help Pakistan to bright start against Australia Pakistan v Australia: Haris Sohail scores maiden Test century in Dubai
Frederick Owens | 08 October, 2018, 19:09

Hafeez, a late inclusion in the squad after a double hundred in a domestic match, was unbeaten on 113 while fellow opener Imam-ul-Haq was 75 not out after Pakistan won the toss and made a decision to bat on a flat Dubai Stadium pitch.

Three Australian players are making Test debuts in this match - Aaron Finch, Travis Head and Labuschagne.

After resuming their first innings at the overnight score of 255/3, Pakistan lost night-watchman Mohammad Abbas (1) early.

Sohail and partner Asad Shafiq looked comfortable on a pair of half centuries at the time, leaving Australia desperate with no strategy to conquer the flat pitch.

Australia delayed taking the new ball which eventually worked in Pakistan's favour with both Shafiq and Sohail getting a measure of the surface.

Imam, meanwhile, used his feet well against the spinners and smashed four boundaries and a mighty six over deep mid-wicket off Holland in the 20th over.

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Marnus Labuschagne came to Australia's rescue by inducing an outside edge off Shafiq's bat to finally put an end to a frustrating 150-run partnership.

Pakistan got off to a strong start against Australia, reaching 89 for no loss at lunch on the first day of the series-opening Test match in Dubai on Sunday.

But Shafiq fell to the leg-spin of Marnus Labuschagne minutes before tea as he edged a turning ball to wicketkeeper Tim Paine for the debutant´s first wicket. From 9 off 54, he suddenly moved to 24 off 61 after following up those two boundaries with a big six off Lyon straight past the bowler's head.

Pakistan lost their last six wickets for 72 runs, including the run outs of Babar Azam (four) and skipper Sarfraz Ahmed for 15.

Peter Siddle was the only successful bowler on Monday morning as Australia had yet to take the new ball.

Lyon finished with figures of 2-114 after toiling for 52 overs in the punishing heat. Pakistani opener and veteran Mohammad Hafeez is returning to the national team after almost two years.

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