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Test Cricket: Looking back at Day 1 of the 2nd Test before Day 2 begins between Pakistan v Australia in Abu Dhabi

Australia may feel gutted with not winning the toss where Pakistan took the opportunity to bat first on their preferred pitch.

But they stuck themselves straight into work through early three wickets in the morning.

Mohammad Hafeez baffled by Mitchell Starc’s aggressive & short-pitched bowling which signaled his early spell in the middle thanks to Marnus Labuschagne’s juggling catch at short leg.

Then Nathan Lyon came into the rescue for Australia by demolishing Pakistan’s top & middle order.

He may not have achieved the successful hat-trick ball.

But Lyon did outstanding where he picked up four wickets in six balls.

Between Lunch & Tea, Pakistan calmed down nicely going into 200.

Credit to the patient batting from their Skipper Sarfraz Ahmed while Fakhar Zaman survived.

Both batsmen reaped great rewards in the middle through patient and basics with each scoring 94.

But Marnus Labuschagne gets the job done with 3/45 in hand.

He denied both possible hundreds from Fakhar Zaman and Sarfraz Ahmed as well as Bilal Asif for 12.

Very well done from the part-time leggie who’s mainly a batsman.

Don’t forget the skipper in Paine who’s excellent at changing tactics which worked well for the Australian Test side as well as himself through his catch behind the stumps off B. Asif.

Yasir Shah did very well batting a bit on 28 as well as Mohammad Abbas on ten as they look on to help Pakistan reach 300.

But both quicks of both Mitchells of Marsh & Starc clean-bowled this tail stand (Y. Shah & M.Abbas) as Pakistan all out for 282.

2nd Innings

Australia’s hopeful of finally build a significant top-order partnership & not early collapses like they did last week.

Well, it looks like they haven’t at this stage.

Pakistan did make lost time when Mohammad Abbas picked up two early wickets.

First up, Usman Khawaja should’ve left it the first time.

But Abbas’s good short ball saw Khawaja misjudged with the flick shot.

When Sarfraz Ahmed took a successful dive with the catch, the umpire isn’t so sure first-hand.

But Sarfraz grabbed a great take in changing the decision to OUT.

With not much time left in Day 1, Australia brought on Peter Siddle.

As the nightwatchman, Siddle defended until Abbas struck him with the LBW on the last ball of the day.

2nd Innings Continued into Day 2

Australia will need Aaron Finch and Shaun Marsh to stay on and build a significant top-order partnership.

So will Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh & Marnus Labuschagne just in case if either Finch or S. Marsh gets out early.

Yes, Labuschagne is a great player on the field through his three wickets with the ball & two catches at short leg.

But he needs to do outstanding with the bat if he warrants a long-term place in the Baggy Green.

Let’s hope so as some people regard him as the “Reverse” Steve Smith.

Labuschagne has the qualities of the suspended Australian Skipper as he’s confident of showcasing his Sheffield Shield form & turn into regular 50 & 100s at Test Match Level.

Just look Travis Head’s 72 in the 4th innings after bouncing back from a 1st innings debut Duck last week.

Otherwise, he’ll have to go back to square one and get his spot back by the time returns home in Queensland.

2-20 isn’t good enough to say Australia had a great Day 1.

It’s still unfinished business after their bowling has completed the hard work.

Otherwise, they will complain the same thing regarding the top-order collapse coming from the 1st Test.

Key Points

  • Fakhar Zaman became the second Test Debutant to score a 50 after Aaron Finch.
  • Nathan Lyon surpassed Brett Lee (310) & Mitchell Johnson (313) as the 4th highest All-Time Wicket Taker in 314 wickets for Australia.
  • It’s the first time that there are 12 overall wickets taken during Day 1 of the 2nd Test.
  • Sarfraz Ahmed gets his 15th Test half-century, having last scored 68 in Dubai a year ago during the 2nd Test v Sri Lanka.

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