Zulfiqar haul sinks Australia

p5112Sport-6-1

Published: Sunday 26th October 2014 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Pakistan emphatically ended Australia’s hopes of regaining the number one Test ranking with a 221-run win in the first Test in Dubai.

Australia entered the two-match series needing to win both games to displace South Africa at the top, but will instead head to Abu Dhabi later this week hoping to avoid a first series loss to Pakistan since 1994.

Pakistan had won just two Tests against Australia in the intervening period – at one point losing 13 in a row – and while they were without mystery spinner Saeed Ajmal following his ban for an illegal bowling action, their slow men led the way to a memorable success.

Left-armer spinner Zulfiqar Babar fittingly completed the job, and his first five-wicket Test haul at the age of 35, when Peter Siddle squeezed a bat-pad catch to Azhar Ali.

Zulfiqar and debutant leg-spinner Yasir Shah claimed 14 wickets between them in the match to leave Australia in a spin ahead of the second Test.

The tourists lurched to 105 for seven in the morning session before Steve Smith and Mitchell Johnson half-centuries offered the merest hope they might fight out a draw.

Smith’s wicket was the only to fall during the afternoon session, after he dug in for 55 from 175 balls, before he fell victim to Yasir, who returned four for 50.

Smith had expertly used his feet to the slow men but after skipping down to the leg-spinner he popped a catch to short-leg with the umpire review confirming he had to make a slow walk off.

Johnson then teamed with Siddle in a 43-run stand that took Australia into the final session of the match until he overstretched attempting to smother Yasir’s spin.

It was a close call that went Pakistan’s way as TV umpire Nigel Llong ruled Johnson’s back foot was still on the crease as wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed removed the bails.

Siddle then survived a reviewed lbw call by the barest of margins before Zulfiqar had him caught pressing further forward to finish with figures of five for 74 and seven wickets for the match.

Published: Sunday 26th October 2014 by The News Editor

Comments (0)

Local business search