Aus­tralia strug­gle on open­ing day

Yorkshire Post - Sports Monday - - SPORT -

CRICKET: Open­ers Mo­ham­mad Hafeez and Imam-ul-Haq bat­ted Pak­istan into a strong po­si­tion af­ter day one of the open­ing Test against Aus­tralia in Dubai.

Pak­istan closed on 255-3 af­ter mak­ing the Aus­tralians toil in their first Test out­ing since their con­tro­versy-hit tour to South Africa six months ago.

Aus­tralia lost that se­ries 3-1, but made the head­lines due to the ball-tam­per­ing scan­dal that saw Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Ban­croft handed lengthy bans.

Re­turn­ing to the Test arena at the Dubai In­ter­na­tional Cricket Sta­dium, Aus­tralia cap­tain Tim Paine lost the toss and saw Pak­istan run up 205 for the first wicket – the coun­try’s fifthbest in Test his­tory – as Hafeez recorded his 10th Test cen­tury.

The part­ner­ship was fi­nally bro­ken just af­ter tea when spin­ner Nathan Lyon had Imam caught be­hind for a Test-best 76, and Hafeez fell seven overs later for 126 when he was trapped lbw by Peter Sid­dle.

The 37-year-old all­rounder, whose pre­vi­ous Test ap­pear­ance was over two years ago, had struck 15 fours in his 208-ball in­nings to en­sure a tough start to the two-match se­ries for the Aus­tralians in the Dubai heat.

The tourists made an­other break­through be­fore stumps, how­ever, with Jon Hol­land draw­ing a mis-hit drive from Azhar Ali (18) as Pak­istan lost a third wicket in the fi­nal ses­sion to tem­per their progress slightly.

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