Pakistan have taken a firm grip on the first Test in Dubai with a 189-run lead and 10 wickets in hand after the third day against Australia, and on a pitch that is becoming increasingly difficult to bat on.

Australia were bowled out for 303 midway through the final session of day three. A total highlighted by David Warner‘s brilliant 133, but blighted by the five other top-eight batsmen who made at least 22 but none of which could pass 38. Pakistan’s openers Ahmed Shezhad (22) and Azhar Ali (16) negotiated 12 overs with alarmingly few alarms to be 0-38 at stumps. Azhar opened in place of Mohammad Hafeez who had rolled his right ankle nastily by stepping on Mitchell Johnson‘s foot in an attempt to field off his own bowling. Hafeez (1-54) was unable to complete his over and it remains unknown if he will be able to bat.

Warner and Chris Rogers put on 128 for the opening wicket, 113 of which was scored late on day two, but no other partnership was able to pass 50. Warner added 48 with Steve Smith and Mitchell Marsh and Brad Haddin added 42 together. Five of Australia’s other top-eight batsmen made a start, yet only Warner was able to push on for the big score needed if Australia was to reel in the Pakistan first innings of 454. After Warner’s century, the next top score was Rogers’ 38, indicative of not only the deteriorating nature of the pitch, but some loose shots from Australia’s batsmen.

Warner was bowled by the third ball after tea. A ripping leg-break from debutant spinner Yasir Shah that spun sharply out of the footmarks, fizzed past the outside edge and knocked back the middle peg.Pakistan are 38/0 at the end of the day and would look to capitalize on the lead that they have and perhaps take Australia out of the game, while Australia on the other end would be looking to take quick wickets and try and get the ball to reverse as early as possible. With a lead of 189 alreadyAustralia must take 3-4 wickets in the 1st session tomorrow to stay in the game.

Brief scores:

Pakistan (1st innings): 454 all out

Australia (1st Innings);  303 all out

Pakistan (2nd Innings): 38/0


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