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Australia fight back after Asif’s six wicket haul

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PAK/AUS Ist Test Day 3

Dubai : At the end of the third day Pakistan were three down, but they’re still in control of the first Test against Australia being played in Dubai.

The Green Shirts managed to score 45 runs in the 16.2 overs of the second inning that they played. Opener Imamul Haq is still at the crease with 23 runs to his name after his partner Muhammad Hafeez (17) lost his wicket to Holland in the 12th over.

Bilal Asif, star bowler of the day, who was sent out as a night watchman returned to the pavilion after facing just 5 balls and not scoring any runs. Azhar Ali met the same fate after managing to put just four runs on the board.

Pakistan are still in control of the game, mostly because of the bowlers’ efforts, with a tall 325-run lead on the board.

Australia were bowled out with just 202 runs in hand in the first inning. The team from down under left behind a 280-run first inning lead for Pakistan to build on.

Pakistan’s debutant Bilal Asif has become the the oldest Pakistan player to take a five-for on Test debut as Australia struggle to chase Pakistan’s 482-run total

All seemed to be well for the Australians at lunch with openers Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja batting solidly against Pakistan’s spinners to take their team to 137 without loss at lunch.

But the second session belonged to Asif, who dismissed Usman Khawaja (85), Shaun Marsh (7), Travis Head (0) and Marnus Labuschagne (0) in the space of 29 runs. His last victims were Tim Paine (7) and Nathon Lyon (6) who fell in the post-tea session.

Asif finished the day with 6 wickets and an economy of 1.67. The debutant only gave away 36 runs during the inning and bowled an impressive 7 maiden overs.

Pakistan, though, were put on track by seamer Mohammad Abbas who forced Finch to drive straight into the hands of Asad Shafiq at short mid-on after scoring 62. Abbas also took the wickets of Mitchell Marsh (12) and Mitchell Starc (0).

His stats — just as impressive as Asif’s — show that he conceded only 29 runs, took four wickets with an economy rate of 1.53 runs. Out of the 19 overs he bowled, 9 were maiden.

Khawaja hit eight fours before miscuing a premeditated sweep and was caught at short leg while Finch had five boundaries and a six in his knock.

Leg-spinner Yasir Shah was unlucky not to be amongst wickets, having dropped Mitchell Marsh off his own bowling for two and wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed missing a stump in the first session with Khawaja on 17.

Earlier in the day Finch was more confident as he punched two boundaries and a six off Yasir before sweeping Asif for a boundary to reach his half-century.

Khawaja, the Pakistan-born batsman, improved upon his previous best score in Asia of 26, made against Sri Lanka at Galle in 2011, by reaching his 13th Test half-century.

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