Abbas's triple bring Pakistan closer to win over Australia

Aubrey Yates
October 10, 2018

The Victorian's return to Test cricket comes nearly 10 years to the day since he departed for India for his first tour with Australia, and he relished seeing Aaron Finch, Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne make their debuts.

Finch, who took an unsuccessful review, hit five boundaries in his knock.

Hosts Pakistan handed a debut to offspinner Bilal Asif, with 26-test seamer Wahab Riaz selected ahead of rookie Mir Hamza.

The pair frustrated the Australian attack with some solid batting as Pakistan reached 329-4 at lunch, with both in sight of centuries.

Head failed to make a run off nine deliveries, while Labuschagne went for a second-ball duck to leave Australia on 171-5.

Sohail and Shafiq grafted through the afternoon session until Marnus Labuschagne's occasional leg-break proved Shafiq's downfall as he edged to keeper Tim Paine. Had the umpire given him out, the call would have stood. Khawaja was unbeaten on 68 and debutant Finch was unbeaten on 59 at the break, both having survived some anxious moments against a threatening Yasir Shah on a Dubai stadium pitch which has started to take spin.

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He was finally dismissed by Nathan Lyon, caught behind as he tried to cut the off-spinner, having easily surpassed his previous best of 76 made against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi a year ago. Resuming the penultimate day on 45 for 3, Pakistan, who amassed 482 runs in the first innings, scored at a steady rate before declaring on 181 for 6.

"Four years on he is a better bowler so he will be their main bowler and a challenge for us", said Sarfraz of Lyon, who grabbed 41 wickets in six matches in India and Bangladesh last year. "I'm really happy to have done something good for the team".

Hafeez was dropped from the Test side after faring poorly in the first three matches of Pakistan's series in England two years ago.

Pakistan lost nightwatchman Mohammad Abbas in the fifth over of the day, bowled by fast bowler Peter Siddle for one in the fifth over of the day.

Left-arm spinner Jon Holland trapped Azhar Ali (four) lbw with the final ball of Tuesday's (Wednesday NZ Time) play after earlier dismissing first-innings centurion Mohammad Hafeez (17) courtesy of a sharp catch by Marnus Labuschagne at silly point.

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