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World Test Championship

Australia fast bowlers dominate despite Asad Shafiq's resilience

Aus v Pak, 1st Test, Day 1, report

Australia's pace trio of Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood took nine wickets between them to shoot Pakistan out for 240 on the opening day of the first Test in Brisbane.


Pakistan enjoyed a solid start to the day as the openers saw off the first session unscathed with 57 runs on the board and they took the score to 75/0 a few overs into the second session of play. In defying Australia's formidable attack for that long, Azhar Ali and Shan Masood registered the highest opening stand for the first innings of a Test match, for any overseas combination at the venue, surpassing Bruce Edger and John Wright's 64-run association from almost four decades ago.

However, things were to go downhill soon. It was Pat Cummins, Australia's spearhead and the No.1 bowler in MRF Tyres ICC Test Rankings for bowling, who gave the hosts a much-needed opening, ending Shaan Masood's 97-ball stay for 27, with a sharp outswinger that took the leading edge en route to Steve Smith at second slip.

Skipper Azhar Ali was dismissed the next over, nicking one to Burns at first slip off Josh Hazlewood, on 39. Mitchell Starc then replaced Cummins in the attack and struck with the third ball of his spell to have Harris Sohail caught behind for 1, while Hazlewood continued his merry ways against Babar Azam, who played a reckless shot off a wide half-volley, falling to the pacer for the fifth time in seven innings. Lyon removed Iftikhar Ahmed for 7 as the visitors slipped to 95/5.

Just too good: Pat Cummins rattled Asad Shafiq's middle stump with an absolute peach
Just too good: Pat Cummins rattled Asad Shafiq's middle stump with an absolute peach

Unfazed by the drama at the other end, Asad Shafiq continued his glorious run and marched his way to 24th Test fifty. He found able support in Mohammad Rizwan (37) and Yasir Shah (26), with the former striking seven fours during his 34-ball stay. Starc was back to his ruthless best in the closing minutes of day's play, striking off successive deliveries with the second new ball, to leave the debutant Naseem Shah to face the hat-trick ball, which he survived. 

Cummins then breached Shafiq's defense with an absolute peach, that seamed in to hit the top of middle to end his stay on 76. It didn't take long for the hosts to wrap up things, with Starc taking the final wicket that saw Pakistan's innings end in the 87th over.

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