Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood Shine As Hosts Seize Advantage Against Pakistan On Day 2 Of The Gabba Test
Australian fast-bowling trio including Mitchell Starc (3-45), Josh Hazlewood (3-19), Jackson Bird (2-7) wreaked havoc as Pakistan lost eight wickets with scorecard reading 97 for 8 on Day 2 of the first Test at the Gabba. The visitors currently trail by 332 runs and need to score 132 more runs to avoid the follow-on.
While grabbing opportunities with both hands, Australia dominated the game session after another as that seemed the game plan of captain Smith, which even yielded results at his will. The final session saw fall of seven wickets.
In an ugly incident, the spectator was handcuffed on the ground after running onto the pitch and the play was stopped for three-odd minutes.
The crowd went wild after witnessing the splendid bowling performances from the hosts with a hint of seam and swing and the extra bounce got the better of Pakistan batters, who eventually were tackled down to the ground by Aussie bowlers.
Somehow, after reeling at 67 for 8, Sarfraz Ahmad unbeaten 31 off 31 balls and Mohammad Amir 8 off 35 balls helped their side come close to the 100-run mark.
The heroes with the pink ball – Starc, Hazlewood bagged three wickets -whereas Bird picked two wickets after bowling nine overs which included six maidens while conceding just six runs.
After the dropped catches, the summary of Pakistan batting line-up can be summed as: Edges after edges, nods after nods, and two in two balls as the game swung early from Pakistan.
In the fifth over of Pakistan’s innings, Azhar Ali was caught in the slip cordon on the bowling off Starc on 5 off 10 balls. At dinner break, Pakistan were 20 for one.
Followed by Babar Azam’s 19 off 41 balls, who showed show patience at the crease before nicking the ball off Hazlewood in the safe hands of Smith, Younis Khan went back to the hut without scoring a run on the very first ball he faced. Misbah-ul-Haq could add only four runs and Asad Shafiq two as half of the Pakistan team was back to pavilion on 54.
Sami Aslam, who watched his team-mates fell around him, made 22 off 100 balls, eventually succumbed to fast bowler Jackson Bird, attempting to flick the ball down the leg.
Earlier, Australia were all-out for 429, after resuming second day of the day-night Test on 288-3.
Hitting the deck hard, Amir and Wahab picked four wickets each. Meanwhile, leg-spinner Yasir Shah settled with two.
Leading from the front, Smith (130 off 122 balls) and Handscomb (105 off 240 balls) completed his maiden ton in his second Test, opening batsman Matt Renshaw’s (71 off 125) was later supported by vital 49-run partnership between Nathan Lyon (29 off 24) and Jackson Bird (19 off 43 balls) for the tenth wicket when Australia was 380 for 9. Wicket-keeper batsman Matthew Wade, Mitchell Starc and Hazlewood were dismissed cheaply.
Pakistan 97 for 8 in 43 Overs
Sarfraz Ahmed 31* off 31 balls
Australia all-out on 429 in first innings
Steven Smith 130 off 222 balls
Peter Handcomb 105 off 240 balls
Tahir Ibn Manzoor
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