Azhar Ali hit a daddy hundred on Day 2 of the historic 1st Test between Pakistan and Australia at the Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium as the hosts dominated proceedings in the series opener. Although not scoring at a rapid pace, Pakistan declared at 476/4 before Australian openers David Warner and Usman Khawaja could only find past when poor light led to early stumps on Saturday.
Day two started on a tough note as both Australian and Pakistani players observed a minute’s silence Remembering Shane Warne and the victims of Friday’s attack at a mosque in Peshawar.
PAK vs. AUS, 1st day of testing 2 highlights
Captain Pat Cummins had to work hard as Imam-ul-Haq and Azhar Ali picked up where they left off on Friday, slowly but steadily accumulating runs for Pakistan in the first innings. Ali finished with 185 while Imam hit 157 to wear down the Australian bowling attack that used up to 8 bowlers.
Imam was at 143 when Australia made a timid appeal against him, which was rejected.
Australia chose not to review the decision, but UltraEdge showed a spike as the Nathan Lyon delivery passed the bat.
Cummins then wasted a review trying to put Azhar behind in the after-lunch session.
Three balls later, Imam wasted one of his own trying to overturn a lbw decision against him. The bespectacled opener had to go, however, as replays confirmed the Cummins delivery would have hit the center stump.
Imam’s 157 was peppered with 16 borders and two sixes.
Marnus Labuschagne shines on the field
Marnus Labuschagne outran Babar Azam, who made 36, with a straight throw and ended Azhar’s marathon 185 innings when he brought about a backswing from the batsman.
Number three hitter Azhar hit 15 boundaries and three sixes during his 361-ball stay in the crease.
Babar declared the innings 45 minutes before the game was scheduled to end, but the gathering darkness deprived Pakistan of a chance to unleash their fast bowlers with the new ball.
Instead, off-spinner Sajid Khan snuck into an over before the game was abandoned due to deteriorating light at Pindi Cricket Stadium.
Australia’s first tour of Pakistan since 1998 includes three Tests, three one-day tours and a Twenty20 International. (With Reuters submissions)