Pakistan v Austalia

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1st Test – Day 1

As predicted, Pakistan’s batsmen had trouble with Mitchell Johnson’s pace and newfound accuracy. After winning the toss and batting first, Pakistan were in trouble early as both openers were back in the pavilion by the fourth over with the score on 7. Younis Khan and Azhar Ali then pulled off the customary rescue act, putting up 108 in 298 deliveries. 


Both batsman batted at strike rate of less than 30 for most of their innings, before playing more positively towards the end of their partnership. Azhar Ali was out for 53, caught by Doolan off Johnson’s bowling, playing a rare rash shot, giving Johnson his second wicket. 


Misbah-ul-Haq picked things up where Azhar left off, putting 83 on the board with Younis from 165 deliveries. Younis brought up his 25th test hundred, his first against Australia, to become the joint highest century scorer from Pakistan along with Inzamam-ul-Haq and the only Pakistani to have scored test hundreds against all teams. 

 

Younis was finally out LBW to Johnson for 106, with the score on 198, but he had played his role in two critical partnerships, with Azhar and Misbah, to take Pakistan to respectability from being 7-2. Mitchell Johnson picked up 3 wickets for Australia with Peter Siddle picking up the fourth, that of Ahmed Shehzad. 


Australia’s tactic of playing two spinners backfired as both proved to be the weak links in the Australian bowling lineup, with Azhar and Younis scoring freely off them. At close of play, the game was evenly poised; Pakistan are on 219-4 with captain Misbah-ul-Haq on 34 and Asad Shafiq on still on the crease although he did look a little edgy towards the end of the day.

 

Pakistan will look to get closer to 350+ but to do that, they will need some determination from Misbah and Shafiq.

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