Millennium Post

Pakistan in command despite Warner’s century

Pakistan in command despite Warner’s century
Pakistan’s spin bowlers shared six wickets between them to take control of the first Test against Australia despite a brilliant hundred by David Warner on the third day on Friday. Warner smashed 133 for his ninth Test century and his third in as many innings to match the indomitable Donald Bradman.

But Pakistan hit back to dismiss Australia for 303 in their first innings, for a first innings lead of 151, after they had made 454. By the close, Pakistan had made 38-0 in their second innings with Ahmed Shehzad (22) and Azhar Ali (16) at the crease, stretching their lead to 189. Debutant leg-spinner Yasir Shah (3-66) led the spin attack while left-armer Zulfiqar Babar (2-81) and Mohammad Hafeez (1-54) also chipped in as, apart from Warner, none of the other batsman made big scores. Michael Clarke failed with a 13-ball two and so did Alex Doolan (five).

It was Warner who anchored the innings, becoming seventh Australian batsmen to score three consecutive hundreds, the feat last achieved by Adam Gilchrist (2005) and Bradman (1948). But with his third ball after lunch, Shah spun sharply to bowl Warner, who had hit 11 fours and two sixes during his 174-ball knock, but his fall saw Australia slump against spinners. Mitchell Marsh (27) and Brad Haddin (22) took Australia to 248-5 during their 42-run stand for the sixth wicket but Pakistan broke through with the new ball, taken as soon it was due after 80 overs.

Paceman Imran Khan (1-54) had Haddin bowled off an inside edge while Babar had Marsh lbw. Warner saw Australia lose Chris Rogers (38), Doolan and Clarke in the space of just 30 runs before he and Steven Smith (22) added 48 for the fourth wicket. Warner drove Khan to cover boundary for his eighth four to complete his hundred off just 128 balls.

The left-hander had hit a century in each innings against South Africa at Cape Town in Australia’s last Test in March this year. Australia, resuming on a strong position at 113-0, lost Rogers when he played on to seamer Rahat Ali who finished with 2-55. Rahat was again involved when his direct throw from mid-on found Doolan short of his crease as he attempted a sharp single.

Clarke, short on match-practice after failing in the warm-up game, survived just 13 balls before giving a bat-and-pad catch to short-leg off Babar, who had figures of 2-77.

Smith helped Warner to take the score to 206 before he fell in the penultimate over before lunch, playing straight into the hands of point to give Shah his first wicket.

BRIEFSCORES Pakistan 454 and 38 for 0 lead Australia 303 (Warner 133, Yasir Shah 3-66) by 189 runs.
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