Twitter Reactions: Fakhar Zaman and Sarfraz Ahmed's half-centuries help Pakistan post 282

Twitter Reactions: Fakhar Zaman and Sarfraz Ahmed’s half-centuries help Pakistan post 282

Australia ended the day at 20/2 trailing by 262 runs in the first innings.

Fakhar Zaman
Fakhar Zaman plays a shot. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The first day of the second and deciding Test match between Pakistan and Australia ebbed and flowed with excitement. If the visitors handed over a debut to three players in the series opener, Pakistan weren’t behind either as Fakhar Zaman and Mir Hamza became the 234th and 235th player for the country in the whites.

After winning the toss, the hosts found themselves in the dire straits at 57/5 thanks to Nathan Lyon’s superb bowling coupled with some strange shot selection from the batsmen. Mohammad Hafeez was the first casualty who was extremely unlucky to be caught at short leg as Marnus Labuschagne was assisted by his whole body to grab hold of the ball. Azhar Ali ran down the track unnecessarily to Lyon and could only spoon the catch back to the bowler.

Then followed an amazing collapse as Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq and Babar Azam were sent back for a duck. From being 57/1, Pakistan had imploded to 57/5 in no time. Meanwhile, the debutant Fakhar was dropped by Labuschagne off Jon Holland else things would’ve been worse for them.

Sarfraz and Fakhar rebuild

However, Sarfraz Ahmed decided to counterattack in the post-lunch session and the move worked for him and Pakistan. He didn’t let any spinner settle even as Fakhar looked solid at the other end and didn’t play any false shot after being dropped. Both of them denied any wicket to the Aussies for almost 37 overs and went on to add 147 runs. Just when everyone thought that the talented opener will reach his first three-figure mark, Labuschagne came to the fore and pinned him in front of the stumps on 94.

Even Sarfraz was dismissed on 94 to the same bowler and Pakistan’s innings unravelled quickly. Some key lower-order contributions helped them reach the total of 282 which looked unlikely after a stunning collapse in the first session.

Australia lose two in response

Australia had to survive tricky seven overs then as the openers Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja. But the latter, the second innings centurion in Dubai, was sent back by ever so wily Mohammad Abbas. It was a harmless delivery from the bowler which Khawaja edged and Sarfraz took an exceptional catch diving to his right. The night-watchman Peter Siddle then came out to defy the hosts any late glory.

He played out nine deliveries patiently but missed Abbas’ last delivery of the day and a huge lbw shout was upheld on review as Pakistan ended the day on a high. Australia are now 20/2 and still trail by 262 runs in the first innings. They will have to post a mammoth total as the pitch is already turning a lot and batting fourth isn’t going to be easy at all.

Here’s how Twitter reacted during the day:

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