Dubai test: Siddle provides breakthrough but Pakistan still dominate

Mae Harvey
October 10, 2018

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

Mohammad Hafeez (48) and Imamul Haq (36) are unbeaten at lunch on day one as Pakistan reach 89/0 against Australia.

Australia named three debutants with batsmen Aaron Finch, Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne coming into the team for its first test since the ball-tampering incident at Newlands, South Africa in March that saw captain Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft receive lengthy bans for their part in trying to change the condition of the ball with a piece of sandpaper. Off-spinner Asif grabbed 6/36 as Australia lost 10 wickets for just 60 runs.

Asif removed them both in the same over and Mitchell Marsh was the next highest-scoring Australia player with just 12, but Pakistan opted against enforcing the follow-on and were three wickets down for only 45 runs at stumps.

In a spell of 22 balls, Asif took four wickets as Australia slumped to 180-5 by tea.

Asif's feats on debut had only been bettered by fast bowler Mohammad Zahid (7-66 vs New Zealand in Rawalpindi in 1994) and spinner Mohammad Nazir (7-99 against New Zealand in Karachi in 1969).

Hosts Pakistan handed a debut to offspinner Bilal Asif, with 26-test seamer Wahab Riaz selected ahead of rookie Mir Hamza.

Leg-spinner Yasir was unlucky not to be amongst wickets, having dropped Mitchell Marsh off his own bowling for two and wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed missing a stump in the first session with Khawaja on 17.

Abbas finally made the breakthrough and was grateful to Asad Shafiq, who somehow snaffled Finch's drilled shot at short mid on.

Yasir went wicketless after 28 probing overs.

Limited-overs specialist Finch displayed patience after resuming the day on 13 and brought up his half-century with a sweep to the deep midwicket boundary.

The second and final Test starts in Abu Dhabi from October 16.

It was for the eighth time in Test cricket both the captains also kept wickets and the last time this happened was in September 2014 - Denesh Ramdin and Mushfiqur Rahim at Gros Islet.

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