Hafeez, Imam help Pakistan to bright start against Australia

Hafeez, Imam help Pakistan to bright start against Australia

Hafeez, Imam help Pakistan to bright start against Australia

Asad Shafiq missed out on a century but scored a fluent 80, adding 150 runs for the fifth-wicket stand with Sohail as Australia's bowlers toiled for almost two days under hot and humid conditions on a flat wicket.

The veteran Mohammad Hafeez (126) and Imam-ul- Haq (76) had put Pakistan in command on the first day with their 205-run opening partnership.

Haris Sohail was batting on 15 with night watchman Mohammad Abbas on one at the end of the day's play.

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed had earlier won the toss and elected to bat first on a dry wicket at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.

Opener Imam-ul-Haq was unbeaten on 23 while nightwatchman Asif was dismissed for nought, unable to guard Azhar from coming to bat in a crucial stage.

It was a total contrast from the pre-lunch session when Australia - resuming at 30-0 - reached 137 without loss with both Usman Khawaja and debutant Aaron Finch defying Pakistani spinners during their resistance-packed stand.

But it was a day highlighted by Asif who triggered a memorable Australian collapse against spin in Asia.

His stats - just as impressive as Asif's - show that he conceded only 29 runs, took four wickets with an economy rate of 1.53 runs.

Bilal banished Khawaja, Shaun Marsh (7) and fellow debutants Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne for ducks, before also removing Australia skipper Tim Paine (7) and last man Nathan Lyon (6) as the visitors lost 10 wickets for 60 runs to be bowled out for 202 and trail by 280 on first innings.

Before Asif´s brilliance Abbas had forced Finch to drive straight into the hands of Asad Shafiq at short mid-on.

The Green Shirts managed to score 45 runs in the 16.2 overs of the second inning that they played.

Khawaja hit eight fours before miscuing a premeditated sweep and was caught at short leg while Finch had five boundaries and a six in his knock.

Meanwhile, Wahab Riaz returned to the Test team after a one year gap as the second fast bowler in the team.

Asif has figures of 4-28 in 17 overs.

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