SPORTS

Australia beat Pakistan to go 1-0 up in two-Test series

KARACHI – Australia recorded their 13th straight Test victory over Pakistan at home as they won the Brisbane Test by an innings and five runs to go 1-0 up in two-Test series.

In their defeat against Australia, that also inside four days, the silver lining for the tourists was Babar Azam’s stylish century.

Babar, who resumed his innings on 20 on day four, played scintillating shots all around the dial on his way to his second Test century.

The right-handed middle-order batsman, who continues to impress with his sumptuous strokeplay every time he takes the crease, cracked 104 runs from 173 balls and stitched a defiant 132-run stand for the sixth-wicket with wicketkeeper-batsman Mohammad Rizwan, who made an impression with a gutsy 95.

Babar hit 13 fours before he was caught behind off Nathan Lyon (one for 74).

Rizwan continued to show resistance from the other end and cracked a 79-run partnership for the seventh-wicket with leg-spinner Yasir Shah (42).

The wicketkeeper-batsman struck his first half-century in the format and looked well on his way to convert it into his maiden century. But, his slash on Josh Hazlewood’s short-pitched delivery found Lyon at third-man after which Pakistan’s tail crumbled.

Hazlewood picked up two more wickets to return four for 63.

Australia were expected to wrap things early on day four after Pakistan had lost three wickets on the previous day.

Starting with 64 runs on board, opener Shan Masood (42) and Babar saw off the earlier part of the morning session.

But Shan’s wicket, off Cummins, followed by the dismissal of Iftikhar Ahmed (0) opened up the possibilities of yet another collapse.

Pakistan, after electing to bat,  scored 240 all-out on day one. Australia replied with a mammoth 580 all-out, scored across six sessions, thanks to big hundreds from David Warner and Marnus Labuschagne.

Both of these centuries were special in their own way. Warner’s 154 was his first since his ban, while Labuschagne’s 185 was his maiden in the format. The latter, for his resilient 279-ball stay at the crease, in which he hit 20 boundaries, was awarded player of the match.  

With the match finishing inside four days, Pakistan will go back to the drawing back to work out their strategy for the final Test at Adelaide, a day-night affair which begins on 29 November.

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