Karachi Test: Usman Khawaja’s unbeaten hundreds puts Australia in the driver’s seat on Day 1 against Pakistan

Pakistan-Australia, Test 2: Australia rode an unbeaten 124 from Usman Khawaja and a 72 from Steve Smith as they dominated action with the racquet on Day 1 on a dry Karachi court.

Karachi Test: Khawaja, Smith poke fun at Australia on day one vs Pakistan (AP Photo)

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Pakistan reached stumps on Day 1 of Test 2 at 251/3
  • Usman Khawaja hit 100, Steve Smith folded for 72
  • David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne didn’t pose much of a problem for the scorers

Australia rode Usman Khawaja’s undefeated hundred to dominate the opening day of the 2nd Test against Pakistan at the National Stadium in Karachi on Saturday. On what appeared to be another flat wicket, the Australian batsmen made slow but steady progress after captain Pat Cummins won the toss and opted to bat.

Islamabad-born Khawaja had agonizingly fallen below 100 in the opening test in Rawalpindi, where he scored the highest score for his side with a snappy 97. The elegant left-hander made amends in Karachi, where he set the backswing and hit an unbeaten 127 that included 13 fours and a six.

Smith made 72 before losing to Hasan Ali in the penultimate over of the day. Night watchman Nathan Lyon had yet to open his account as Australia ended the day at 251/3.

“It would have been nice to have Smith there at the end, but we had a good partnership,” said Khawaja.

“We still have a lot of shots to go. In the second session it started to reverse and made it difficult to score against the tempo bowlers.”

Looking raised in touch, Khawaja hit free on the side of the leg after being fed regularly on his pad.

However, his opening partner David Warner was less convincing, surviving a couple of LBW objections and being hit in the shoulder by a short delivery from Hasan Ali.

Seamer Faheem Ashraf broke the opening 82-run stand with a back of a length Warner, who made 36, could only push behind the stumps against Mohammad Rizwan.

Pakistan followed suit shortly after, when Sajid eliminated Marnus Labuschagne for a duck with a direct throw from the middle.

KHAWAJA, SMITH DOMINATE

Khawaja and Smith stabilized the ship during the second session.

Khawaja took a single off Nauman Ali to equal his third hundred in four Tests since his January recall after a more than two-year absence.

The Pakistan spinners resorted to a negative line after the tee, rolling wide down the side of the leg to stem the flow of the run and the batsmen were happy to just pad them away.

Leg spinner Mitchell Swepson makes his Test debut, joining Lyon in Australia’s two-man spin attack while Josh Hazlewood sits outside. (With Reuters submissions)

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