Australia close on victory despite Babar’s resistance for Pakistan

Australia close on victory despite Babar's resistance for Pakistan

BRISBANE: Australia beat Pakistan by an innings and five runs in the first Test in Brisbane to go 1-0 up in the two match series on Sunday, despite Babar Azam’s ton and Mohammad Rizwan’s heroics.
After trailing the hosts by 340 runs on the first innings, Pakistan were bowled out for 335 late on the fourth day.
Azam made 104 and Rizwan 95 for the visitors, while Josh Hazlewood took 4-63 to be the pick of the Australian bowlers.
At tea on the fourth day Pakistan were 268 for six in their second innings, needing 72 runs to make Australia bat again with wicketkeeper Rizwan 77 not out and Yasir Shah on 17.
Earlier, Azam reached his second Test century and his first in Australia with an impressive knock.
The elegant right-hander had been in excellent form in the lead-up games but was out to a disappointing shot in the first innings for just one.
However, he was a different player in the second innings and never looked in any trouble until he edged Nathan Lyon to Tim Paine to fall for 104.
It was Azam’s second century in 22 Tests following hie maiden ton against New Zealand in Dubai in November last year.
He shared partnerships of 68 with Shan Masood and 132 with Rizwan as Pakistan battled hard throughout the first two sessions.
Rizwan, playing just his second Test, brought up his first Test half-century off 86 balls with nine boundaries.
His 42-run partnership with Yasir came in quick time off only 48 balls as they looked to put the pressure back onto the Australians.
After resuming their second innings at 64 for three at the start of day four, Masood and Azam showed great commitment to frustrate the Australian attack.
The Pakistan pair looked comfortable from the beginning and brought up their 50-run partnership midway through the first hour’s play.
But on 42 Masood tried to hook a Pat Cummins short ball and got a thin edge to Australian wicketkeeper Paine to leave the visitors 93 for four.
One run later Paine was in the action again when new batsman Iftikhar Ahmed was squared up by a beautiful ball from Josh Hazlewood and could only manage to edge it through to the Australian captain.
The second Test begins in Adelaide on November 29.

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