Abbas's triple bring Pakistan closer to win over Australia

Annette Crawford
October 10, 2018

Australia trail Pakistan's first innings total of 482 by 345 runs with all their wickets intact.

The Victorian's return to Test cricket comes nearly 10 years to the day since he departed for India for his first tour with Australia, and he relished seeing Aaron Finch, Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne make their debuts.

Finch, who played 93 one-day internationals for Australia before earning his first test cap, showed patience and restraint in accumulating 59 from 139 balls, including five boundaries and a six.

Missing suspended duo Steve Smith and David Warner, Australia's top six in Dubai included three debutants in Aaron Finch, Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne.

Australia made short work of the tail, but still had the small matter of getting through 13 overs in fading light against Mohammad Abbas, Wahab Riaz and, most crucially, Yasir Shah.

Finch rued that neither he nor Khawaja were able to reach triple figures, saying it had been their responsibility not to allow Pakistan's bowlers fresh targets at both ends.

Usman Khawaja will open with Finch, with Mitch Marsh promoted to fourth in the batting order behind his brother Shaun. The last time Pakistan played a Test, they were shockingly beaten 2-0 by Sri Lanka in UAE.

Labuschagne has been selected at the expense of opener Matthew Renshaw and will bat at No.6 while Siddle has edged out the uncapped Michael Neser for the right to partner Mitchell Starc alongside spinners Nathan Lyon and Jon Holland. "So I wanted to get out of that panic situation and I am happy that I have done that today".

Pakistan resumed on Monday at 3-255 with Shafiq and Sohail piling on more runs after Mohammad Hafeez (126) and Imam-ul-Haq (76) combined for a 205-run opening stand.

Paceman Peter Siddle gave Australia an early breakthrough when he bowled nightwatchman Abbas for one with a hint of reverse swing.

Part-time leg-spinner Marnus Labuschagne finally broke through just before the tea break when he lured Shafiq to drive the ball away from his body and got the thick outside edge to Paine behind the wickets.

The second and final Test will be played in Abu Dhabi from October 16.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

Discuss This Article