The first test played between Pakistan and Suspension hit Australia in Dubai was compared with some of the classic escapes in Test cricket and there was only on man who stood between Pakistan and Victory-Usman Khawaja. The southpaw put his critcs to rest by scoring 226 runs in the match. And, Aaron Finch, Travis Head and the skipper Tim Paine played around him to ensure that the visitors don’t bite dust in the sub-continent. Pakistan tried all they could, but just failed a bit in closing out the game. They dominated the entire match except for the last day in which the Paine and co played for pride.
Toss and Teams:
With series still wide open, the players come to Abu Dhabi for the second last Red Ball match of the series. Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first with a couple of changes to their playing XI. Imam-ul-Haq and Wahab Riaz make way for the debutants Fakhar Zaman and Mir Hamza. While the Aussies take the field unchanged.
How did the Pak batsmen fair?
With only five runs on board and just three overs up, Hafeez was sent back packing by Marcus Labuschagne by a spectacular catch at short-leg. Peter Siddle and Mitchell Starc bowled tight line to stop the scoreboard from ticking. With the introduction of spin, Lyon got Azhar Ali for fifteen and Harris Sohail for a golden duck, and Nathon Lyon came back for the next over and picked up a couple of more wickets, he had picked up 4 wickets in 6 balls to reduce Australia to 57/5 with Fakhar Zaman on 33 and the skipper new to the crease.
While the Pakistan team looked all at sea, Sarfraz Khan decided to attack the bowlers to pull his team out of the situation, stitch a partnership with Zaman and get them to a respectable total. Which eventually, the pair did. The pair knit a 147 run stand and they fell for 94 a piece. And the Oz bowlers wrapped up things for 282.
The Australian openers were sent out on a tricky mission of surviving last 7 overs of day’s play. It might have seemed easier than it was with Khawaja and Finch in crease. But, ironically the man who saved the first test match for his country fell for 3. Then walked out the night watchman, Peter Siddle who could survive only 10 balls and was trapped in front of the wickets by Mohammad Abbas. Australia ended the day on 20/2.
Shaun Marsh and overnight standing batsman Aaron Finch walked out hoping to repeat Zaman and Sarfraz’s feat but Abbas was too hot handle. Marsh was picked up by Abbas in the 4th over of the day. Miz Hamza and Abbas put a check on Australia’s runs, making them toil for it. Abbas also picked up Australia’s 4th wicket, Travis Head for 14. The spinners, Yasir Shah and Bilal Asif helped Abbas in the cause to put Australia at 91/7 at Lunch on Day 2.
This pretty much looks like Dubai test. Australia falling apart, Pakistan ripping off the line-up. Now it’s pretty much Pakistan’s game. Or did I speak too soon? It’s a test match, anything can happen. Let’s hope Australia put up a show and give us another nail-biting finish at Abu Dhabi as well.