BRISBANE: Pakistan batting line once again put a disappointed show and it collapsed after a solid start by openers Azhar Ali and Shan Masood on the opening day of the first Test match against Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane.
Pakistan bowled out for 240 runs in 86.2 overs. The visitors – who at one stage were 75 without loss – collapsed to 94/5 and lost four wickets for three runs at one point. Asad Shafiq remained the top-scorer with 76 runs which included seven boundaries.
Skipper Azhar Ali (39), Mohammad Rizwan (37), Shan Masood (27) and Yasir Shah (26) were the other batsmen to have entered double-figures. Australia will start their batting innings on Friday (tomorrow) as stumps was called on day one.
Earlier, Azhar Ali and Shan Masood reached 57 without loss in the opening session. The visitors were 125/5 at tea.
Pakistan had won the toss and chose to bat on a hot and humid morning in Brisbane, but Azhar Ali saw no demons in the notoriously lively Gabba wicket.
Pakistan had caused a major surprise when they left out experienced seamer Mohammad Abbas, opting instead for pacemen Shaheen Afridi, Imran Khan and 16-year-old Naseem Shah, who were impressive in their lead-up game against Australia A.
“It was difficult to leave out Mohammad Abbas,” Azhar said at the toss.
“But sometimes form can take over and we know he’s very good and our number one bowler, but at the moment these three pacers are doing the job and we picked them.”
As expected, Australia brought in Joe Burns to open alongside David Warner and recalled Travis Head in the middle order.
Pakistan: Shan Masood, Azhar Ali (captain), Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Iftikhar Ahmed, Mohammad Rizwan, Naseem Shah, Yasir Shah, Shaheen Afridi, Imran Khan.
Australia: David Warner, Joe Burns, Marnus Labuschagne, Steve Smith, Travis Head, Matthew Wade, Tim Paine, Nathan Lyon, Pat Cummins, Josh Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc