Late strikes put Pakistan ahead on day 1

Khawaja and Smith did partnership of 138 runs for the third wicket. © AFP

Khawaja and Smith did partnership of 138 runs for the third wicket. © AFP

On a hard-battled day of Test cricket, Pakistan turned out to be the more joyful side by stumps in Lahore on Monday (March 21) subsequent to arranging a magnificent rebound in the last meeting. The hosts were under the siphon after Steve Smith and Usman Khawaja baffled them on what gave off an impression of being a low and slow surface at the Gaddafi Stadium.

The duo batted for over 50 overs and put on 138 for the third wicket and appeared to solidly place Australia in charge in the series decider. Having won the throw and picking to bat first, it would have been the ideal beginning for Australia considering the wicket is relied upon to help turn later on. Nonetheless, Naseem Shah struck only two overs after the Tea break as Smith was caught leg-before-wicket. The bowler discovered some opposite swing as the ball nipped back in pointedly to ping Smith directly before the center stump and the player didn’t try investigating the call.

Exactly when Travis Head was discovering real confidence after a jumpy beginning, Pakistan struck again to stick Australia back and this time, it was the other very much set player. Khawaja, who had entered the nineties, attempted to flick Sajid Khan through midwicket however simply figured out how to get a main edge that was pouched in magnificent design by Babar Azam at slip.

Pakistan’s choice to stay with the old ball delivered profits as Naseem figured out how to track down the external edge of Head to make something happen. Alex Carey and Cameron Green batted out the last couple of overs before stumps and have a monstrous undertaking in front of them on the subsequent day on the off chance that Australia are to exploit the throw.

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Prior in the day, Shaheen Afridi nearly refuted that throw result when he made the new ball offer some genuine conversation starters. He eliminated David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne in about three conveyances as the left-hander was first caught lbw before the world’s main hitter made the long stroll back in the wake of edging behind. That put the onus on Smith and Khawaja to reconstruct for Australia and they figured out how to get past the initial meeting minus any additional harm.

While Smith seemed, by all accounts, to be careful in his methodology, Khawaja was significantly more familiar despite the fact that run making wasn’t the most straightforward on this sluggish track. At one phase in the subsequent meeting, Smith was impeded for some time and made just 24 runs off 85 conveyances enroute to his fifty with Khawaja doing the main part of the scoring. However, with the two players looking very much set having been at the wrinkle for more than 50 overs, Australia would have wanted to complete the day on top before Pakistan’s vivacious rebound.

Brief score : Australia 232/5 (Usman Khawaja 91, Steve Smith 59; Shaheen Afridi 2/39, Naseem Shah 2/40) vs Pakistan on day 1.

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