Published: Mon, October 08, 2018
Sports | By Juana Wells

Pakistan vs Australia: Dubai witnesses a rare instance in Test cricket

Pakistan vs Australia: Dubai witnesses a rare instance in Test cricket

Thanks to Hafeez's century, Pakistan ended the first day of the first Test on 255/3 (90 overs).

The openers Mohammad Hafeez and Imam-ul-Haq have plundered runs at will and have denied them a wicket in the first two sessions of the opening day.

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and elected to bat first, before the hosts handed a debut to offspinner Bilal Asif, with 26-test seamer Wahab Riaz selected ahead of Mir Hamza.

Hafeez enjoyed his share of luck as Mitchell Marsh dropped him at long off off left-arm spinner Jon Holland when he was on 78. At stumps, Pakistan were 255 for the loss of three wickets with Haris Sohail, 15* and night watchman Mohammad Abbas at one* on the crease. Imam hit seven boundaries and two sixes - both off Holland - to improve on his previous best score of 74 not out made against Ireland at Malahide in May. Lyon, Holland and Siddle finished a challenging opening day with a wicket apiece.

Little may be expected of Paine's Australia in a series that will play out when home fans are sleeping, but the 33-year-old skipper is mindful that results, as well as culture, are key to restoring good will.

They lost 2-0 to Pakistan in the UAE in 2014, with Yasir Shah taking 12 wickets and left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar, who is no longer in the global set-up, claiming 14.

The milestone capped a remarkable return for Hafeez, who was overlooked from Pakistan's original 17-man squad and has not played Test cricket since 2016.

If you look at Australia's current playing XI in Dubai, they have three debutants - Travis Head, Aaron Finch, and Marnus Labuschagne.

The Test series will be followed by a three-match T20I series (Abu Dhabi, October 24, and Dubai, October 26 and October 28).

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