Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins puts Australia in a strong position at end of day 1

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Picture Courtsey: First Post

It was an absorbing day’s of Test cricket between hosts Australia and Pakistan on the first day of the first Test match played at Gabba, Brisbane on Thursday.

Pakistan captain Azhar Ali won the toss and decided to bat first. Shan Masood and Azhar Ali batted with solid defensive technique against top quality pace bowling of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins. In the first hour of the Test match, both openers scored 33 runs. After the drinks break, Ali and Shan continued to survive with defensive technique. Pakistan ended the first session at 57 for 0.

The second session saw the Australian fast bowlers wreaking havoc among the Pakistani batsmen. Pat Cummins got the breakthrough dismissing Shan Masood for 27 with a good catch from Steve Smith at slips. Masood and Azhar added 75 runs for the opening wicket. Hazlewood struck immediately to remove Pakistani captain Azhar Ali for 39. Haris Sohail fell cheaply with a good delivery from Mitchell Starc.

Babar Azam played a loose stroke and was dismissed for 1 run by Hazlewood with a good catch by Joe Burns at slips. Nathan Lyon was bought into the attack and got the wicket of wicket of Iftikhar Ahmed to leave Pakistan in big trouble at 94 for 5. Mohammad Rizwan and Asad Shafiq played with positive intent. Pakistan went into the tea break at 125 for 5.

In the third session Mohammad Rizwan counterattacked with lovely boundaries. Pat Cummins dismissed Rizwan for a quickfire 37 off 34 balls. Rizwan and Asad Shafiq added 49 runs for the 6th wicket. Asad Shafiq looked confident with his stroke play. Yasir Shah came to the crease and gave good support to Asad. Both these batsmen took on Australian bowlers. Asad reached his fifty off 99 balls and helped Pakistan go beyond 200.

Mitchell Starc struck with the new ball immediately getting the wicket of Yasir Shah for 26. Shah and Asad added 84 runs for the 7th wicket. Starc dismissed Shaheen Shah Afridi off the next ball. Pat Cummins bowled a beauty to dismiss Asad Shafiq for well-made 76. Naseem Shah and Imran Khan Jr added 13 runs for the last wicket before Starc dismissed Naseem. Pakistan were bowled out for 240 in the first innings.

Pakistan 240 in 86.2 overs ( Asad Shafiq 76, Azhar Ali 39, Mitchell Starc 4/52, Pat Cummins 3/60)

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