Australia stay in control of 1st Test against Pakistan, extend lead to 300 on Day 3 - GulfToday

Australia stay in control of 1st Test against Pakistan, extend lead to 300 on Day 3


Usman Khawaja plays a shot during day three of the first Test match in Perth on Saturday. APF

Australia stayed in control of the first Test against Pakistan despite an early stutter in the second innings after it didn’t enforce the follow-on Saturday.

Steven Smith and Usman Khawaja carried Australia to a watchful 84-2 in the last session on Day 3 for an overall lead of 300 after Pakistan collapsed to 271 all out at the stroke of tea and conceded a 216-run lead.

Smith was unbeaten on 43 and needed a brief on-field treatment after he was struck on the shoulder by a sharp Shaheen Shah Afridi’s ball late in the day with Khawaja not out on 34.

"Obviously getting used to the pace and the bounce of this wicket, it was a little bit hard,” Pakistan batting coach Adam Hollioake said. "Their bowling attack is arguably one of the best fast bowling attacks that we’ve seen in recent history, so they bowled well (and) they put the ball in good areas.”

Nathan Lyon grabbed 3-66 and was just one wicket away from the elusive landmark of 500 Test wickets as Pakistan’s resistance faded in the first two sessions. Australia pacers bowled at a disciplined line and length and Lyon also squeezed the batters on a wicket, which gave him some assistance.

Allrounder Mitchell Marsh took the prize-wicket of Babar Azam in the first session to go along with his spirited knock of 90 in Australia’s formidable first innings score of 487. 

Imam-AusvsPak Imam-ul-Haq (L) plays a shot bowled by Nathan Lyon during the second day of the first Test match. AFP

David Warner, who scored a century in the first innings, and Marnus Labuschagne both fell in an impressive opening spell of debutant fast bowler Khurram Shahzad as Australia slumped to 2-5 early in the last session.

Warner went without scoring as he holed out at midwicket off Shahzad’s short-pitched ball while Labuschagne also got a top edge against the pacer before Smith and Khawaja played out Pakistan pacers cautiously and put the home team in the driver's seat in the opening test of the three-match series.

Earlier, Australian pace trio of Mitchell Starc, captain Pat Cummins and Josh Hazlewood combined well with Lyon and broke Pakistan’s resistance in the first two sessions after Pakistan resumed on 132-2.

The visitors lost nightwatchman Shahzad for 7 in the first over to Cummins (2-35) after he survived a close run-out off the first ball when Travis Head missed the stumps at the non-striker’s end.

DavidWarner-Test100-Pak David Warner of Australia celebrates on reaching a century during play on the first day in Perth, Australia, on Thursday. AP

Babar and the Imam-ul-Haq combined to steady Pakistan as the Pakistan skipper opened his account with his trademark cover driven boundary.

The pair had seemingly blunted Australia’s vaunted bowling attack for most of the first session, until Marsh (1-34) was given the ball and teased Babar (21) into edging behind with his fifth ball of the day to end the stubborn 48-run partnership off 17 overs.

The star batter’s demise triggered a flurry of wickets in the final overs before lunch as Pakistan lost three wickets for 14 runs and went to lunch at 203-6.

AmirJamal-AusvsPak Aamir Jamal celebrates after taking the wicket of Alex Carey (L) during play on the second day of the first Test in Perth, Australia, on Friday. AP

Lyon ended Imam’s impressive and patient innings at 62 off 199 balls, having the opener stumped by Alex Carey for his 498th test wicket.

"They got four world class bowlers (and) they can get you out at any time,” Hollioake said. "That’s the hard thing and that’s probably why they are the No. 1 side in the world. We’ve got to try and find a way of counteracting that. I thought they did that well at the beginning, but when we tried to accelerate, it was hard.”

It was the ninth half-century in tests for Imam and came with four boundaries, but the left-hander finally ran out of patience after staying at the wicket for well over 5-1/2 hours.

Starc (2-68) then claimed his second wicket of the innings, bowling Ahmed (3) through the gate with a ball that came back at the right-hander and uprooted the off stump.

ShaheenShah-Testwicket Shaheen Shah Afridi celebrates the wicket of Usman Khawaja during the first day of the first Test match in Perth. AFP

Australia continued to press Pakistan's middle-order with the second new ball after lunch as Saud Shakeel (28) fended to Hazlewood’s sharp bouncer and ballooned a simple catch to Warner in the slips and Faheem Ashraf (9) was brilliantly snapped low at square leg by Khawaja.

Lyon then had Aamer Jamal (10) got stumped before Travis Head kept the offspinner waiting for elusive milestone when he wrapped up the innings by having No. 11 Shaheen Shah Afridi, who offered a simply catch to Khawaja at mid-on.

On Friday’s second day of the three-match series, Pakistan fast bowler Jamal grabbed 6-111 in his debut test as Australia was bowled out for 487 on the back of Warner’s first century in almost a year in his farewell test series and Marsh’s 90.

PakvsAus-Day3 Shan Masood and Imam-ul Haq walk off after being caught by Alex Carey in Perth. AFP

Opening pair of Abdullah Shafique and Imam then thwarted the host’s attack for 36 overs before Lyon got Shafique for 42. Starc then removed captain Shan Masood for 30 late in the day.

The Australians are the world test champions. Pakistan hasn’t won a test match in Australia since 1995.

Associated Press


Related articles