Aussies dec­i­mate Pak­istan in­nings to take charge

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

BRIS­BANE:

A with­er­ing spell of fast bowl­ing backed up by ex­cep­tional catch­ing had Pak­istan on their knees as Aus­tralia took charge of the day-night first Test in Bris­bane yesterday. Aus­tralia’s three-man pace at­tack-Mitchell Starc, Josh Ha­zle­wood and Jack­son Bird-dec­i­mated the tourists’ first in­nings un­der the Gabba lights. Starc and Ha­zle­wood took three wick­ets each and Bird chimed in with two for seven to leave skip­per Steve Smith pon­der­ing whether to en­force the fol­low-on af­ter a seven-wicket fi­nal ses­sion.

At the close, Pak­istan were hang­ing on at 97 for eight and trail­ing by 332 runs with Sar­fraz Ahmed on 31 and Mo­ham­mad Amir not out eight. “We lost the ses­sion com­pletely, the credit goes to the Aus­tralian bowlers,” fast bowler Wa­hab Riaz said.

“We will def­i­nitely try to fight back, ob­vi­ously it’s a huge lead right now, but we can try our level best, try to re­strict them, if we get to bowl again.”

Rookie Peter Hand­scomb hit a maiden cen­tury in Aus­tralia’s first in­nings 429, but it was the bowlers cou­pled with in­ept Pak­istan bat­ting which had the pink ball hurtling to an early res­o­lu­tion.

Ha­zle­wood put the tourists on the skids with two wick­ets in two balls in his fifth over. Babar Azam got a thick edge which flew to Steve Smith at sec­ond slip for 19 and vet­eran You­nis Khan feathered the next ball to wick­et­keeper Matthew Wade for a duck.

Skip­per Mis­bah-ul-Haq was never com­fort­able un­der the lights and played well away from his body, nick­ing to Matthew Ren­shaw at first slip off Bird for four.

Asad Shafiq soon fol­lowed, prod­ding at Starc to give Khawaja an­other slips catch for two. Sami As­lam, who was twice clocked on the hel­met as he turned his head away from ris­ing Ha­zle­wood de­liv­er­ies, was caught be­hind off Bird for 22 off 100 balls.

Wa­hab Riaz and Yasir Shah fol­lowed within min­utes of each other but Sar­fraz and Amir saw out play to stumps.

Hand­scomb made the most of his op­por­tu­nity and fol­lowed up a half-cen­tury on de­but against South Africa in Ade­laide last month with a pol­ished 105 in Aus­tralia’s first in­nings of 429.

Hand­scomb was out shortly af­ter tea when he chopped a Wa­hab de­liv­ery on to his stumps, one ball af­ter Josh Ha­zle­wood was caught at first slip in Mo­ham­mad Amir’s pre­vi­ous over.

Tailen­ders Nathan Lyon (29) and Bird (19) hit out in a crowd-pleas­ing last-wicket stand of 49, while Wa­hab Riaz and Amir both fin­ished with four wick­ets each.

“Ul­ti­mately, we need to take 20 wick­ets to win the game and if we give the bowlers time to rest up they can come out fir­ing and hope­fully rat­tle through them again,” Hand­scomb said. — AFP

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