Ahmed ton lifts Pakistan

Published: Thursday 23rd October 2014 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Sarfraz Ahmed’s explosive century lifted Pakistan to an imposing total but David Warner wrested back some of the momentum for Australia on day two of the first Test in Dubai.

Sarfraz needed just 80 balls to bring up his ton and although he was out shortly afterwards for 109, his efforts following earlier half-centuries from Misbah-ul-Haq and Asad Shafiq lifted the default hosts to 454 all out.

Yet they did not have it all their own way as Australia closed on 113 without loss, with Warner’s impressive 75 off just 77 balls helping to make significant inroads on a pitch offering plenty of turn for the spinners.

It was Warner’s sixth successive score of 50 or more in Tests and leaves the game finely poised, as it had been after the opening day’s play.

Pakistan, resuming on 219 for four, had been watchful for much of Wednesday but Younis Khan’s century gave the middle order a platform to be more attacking and it was one they did not waste.

Shafiq was given a let off in the second over of the day, however, when his inside edge off Nathan Lyon was dropped by Alex Doolan at short-leg.

It proved a costly drop with Misbah launching Lyon for six in the same over and it was a session to forget for the off-spinner, who went at five an over in his opening spell despite conditions being in his favour.

Misbah and Shafiq continued to steadily accumulate, with the former reaching his 50 in the sixth over of the day.

Yet after plundering another six off Steve Smith, the Pakistan captain fell for 69 to the part-time leg-spinner when he tried to repeat the trick in the next over, succeeding only in finding Mitchell Johnson at deep mid-off.

The wicket failed to dampen Pakistan’s spirits as Sarfraz tucked into some poor bowling from Smith, first getting off the mark with a four from a full toss before finding the boundary rope again following a long hop.

Shafiq brought up his half-century off 99 balls shortly before lunch, while Sarfraz continued to motor on, reaching his own 50 off just 42 balls before crunching three fours in an over off Smith.

Shafiq thumped Steve O’Keefe back over the bowler’s head but the slow left-armer would have his revenge next ball, claiming his maiden Test wicket in the process, when the batsman top edged to Mitchell Marsh running back from square-leg.

It ended a stand of 124 but Sarfraz was proving harder to stop and he brought up his second Test hundred by effortlessly lifting Marsh on the up over the slips for his 14th four.

From there, though, the wicketkeeper-batsman found the going tougher and he perished from the last ball before tea, stumped off the 105th ball he faced missing a sweep off the beleaguered Lyon before Pakistan’s tail meekly folded.

Nevertheless, the batsmen’s efforts had firmly put Pakistan in the driving seat before Chris Rogers and, in particular, Warner brought Australia back into the game with an unbroken century stand.

While Warner settled to his task with some fluid strokes all round the wicket, Rogers (31no) was more tentative.

The veteran struggled to get to grips with the spin of Mohammad Hafeez and was dropped on 13 by Younis at first slip off Zulfiqar Babar.

Rogers’ problems only served to highlight the excellence of Warner, who brought up his 50 with a reverse sweep off Yasir Shah for four before smashing the bowler back over his head for six shortly afterwards and end a tough day for Australia on a high note.

Published: Thursday 23rd October 2014 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Local business search