Australia facing major task in Dubai Test

Australia facing major task in Dubai Test”

Despite the emotional rally and a new-look Test side for Australia, the squad struggled to make an impact early against Pakistan.

Hafeez, a late inclusion in the squad after a double hundred in a domestic match, was unbeaten on 113 while fellow opener Imam-ul-Haq was 75 not out after Pakistan won the toss and chose to bat on a flat Dubai Stadium pitch. Just when it seemed Australia would have to tea wicketless, debutant Debutant Marnus Labuschagne struck with his seemingly innocuous leg-spinners.

Labuschagne then had Babar Azam (four) run out shortly after tea with a pinpoint throw from midwicket which left Babar well short of his crease. Sohail moved through the 90s quickly thwacking Holland for a huge six down the ground before a late-cut of the same bowler brought him a century for the very first time in Test cricket. "So I wanted to get out of that panic situation and I am happy that I have done that today".

Finch will open the batting at Dubai International Cricket Stadium alongside Usman Khawaja, with Head and Labuschagne to slot in at No.5 and No.6. Resuming on 255 for 3, Pakistan lost nightwatchman Mohammad Abbas in the fifth over of the day to Peter Siddle who got the ball the shape away enough to sneak past the batsman's defences for 1.

It was a welcome change of fortunes for Lyon after he was earlier foiled by the DRS.

Lyon looked unsafe from his first ball with Marnus Labuschagne appearing to chastise himself after failing to get his hands on a half-chance at bat-pad.

Australia finally took the second new ball in the second session but after being cautious against Mitchell Starc and Nathan Lyon at the start, Shafiq and Sohail once again opened up.

"I would've taken it after four overs, so I'm about an hour-and-a-half out", former Test batsman Mark Waugh said on Fox Sports.

Fast bowler Peter Siddle was the pick of the bowlers with 3-58 while Lyon finished with 2-114 from 52 overs.

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