Twitter Reactions: Mohammad Hafeez’s 10th Test century leads the way for Pakistan
Australia came back well in the last session to restore some sort of parity.
Published - Oct 7, 2018 6:56 pm | Updated - Oct 7, 2018 6:59 pm
The two-match series between Australia and Pakistan got underway in Dubai today and the fans were treated with an attritional Test cricket. The visitors, after looking lost in the first couple of sessions, came back stunningly in the final session and scalped three wickets while giving only 56 runs in 29 overs. However, the day was highlighted by Mohammad Hafeez who slammed his 10th Test century in his comeback Test match and helped his team gain the honours of the opening day.
Pakistan opted to bat first after winning the toss and their openers made full use of the featherbed of the pitch. Imam-ul-Haq and Hafeez started off cautiously only to unfurl their trademark strokes as the innings progressed. The latter looked comfortable from the word go when many thought he will be under extreme pressure after donning the jersey for the first time in two years.
Both of them played sensible cricket and concentrated on the strike rotation. To their credit, the Aussies bowlers bowled really well without much luck. After a wicketless first session, they came with a different plan to control the run flow and Mitchell Starc almost had Hafeez on multiple occasions only for the edge to fall in the no man’s land. The openers got to their half-centuries as the session wore on and until Tea, the veteran Hafeez had also reached the three-figure mark.
He was the late addition to the squad and straight away made the difference for his team opening the innings. At Tea, Pakistan were sitting pretty at 199/0 after 61 overs and it looked like they will boss the game throughout.
Stunning Aussie comeback
However, the visitors had different ideas and they were fired up in the last session. Imam, on 76, tried to cut a very close ball from Nathan Lyon and edged it to the wicketkeeper, Tim Paine. The wicket gave an opening to Australia as the run-scoring stopped suddenly. Double-nelson (222) got rid of Hafeez as Peter Siddle bowled a wonderful delivery which reversed and pinned the batsman in front of the stumps.
The experienced batsman scored 126 off 218 balls and hit 15 delightful boundaries during his stay in the middle. Meanwhile, two quick wickets had brought the tourists back in the game and surprisingly, the hosts went into the shell. The duo of Haris Sohail and Azhar Ali concentrated only on survival for more than an hour which was baffling, to say the least. Probably, the reversing ball may have caught them off guard and Australians made perfect use of the conditions.
The defensive approach cost them Ali’s wicket in the dying stages of the game and somehow the day ended with parity. Pakistan had managed to score 255 runs for the loss of three wickets after 90 overs with Sohail and Mohammad Abbas in the middle.
Australia will fancy their chances on the second morning and will be looking to restrict the hosts under 350. Pakistan, on the other hand, would be keen on gaining an upper hand by posting a mammoth total on the board.
Here’s how Twitter reacted during the course of the day:
Just a reminder Stephen Okeefe was thrown to the wolves after he took 4-200.. on debut! Same conditions
— Dean Jones (@ProfDeano) October 7, 2018
— Tom Moody (@TomMoodyCricket) October 7, 2018
— zainab abbas (@ZAbbasOfficial) October 7, 2018
Dont know why criticism on Dubai Test Wicket? Policy either should be same or every one have right to produce wickets of their choices, Australia uncomfortable here but Pakistan also never enjoy extra bounce in Australia 🤣#PAKvAUS
— Abdul Ghaffar (@GhaffarDawnNews) October 7, 2018
— Sawera Pasha (@sawerapasha) October 7, 2018
Thousands and thousands of empty seats – why Test cricket needs to return to Lahore, Karachi, Multan, Rawalpindi, Peshawar and other Pakistani cities as soon as possible #PAKvAUS #Cricket pic.twitter.com/0rzv1rlZYt
— Saj Sadiq (@Saj_PakPassion) October 7, 2018
— Israr Ahmed Hashmi (@IamIsrarHashmi) October 7, 2018
— Paul Montgomery (@m0nty) October 7, 2018
And that is end of day 1 Pakistan dominated first two sessions. Australia got back into it. But alot of batting to come for Pakistan. 3-225 looking at 400 plus. The pitch will get worst especially batting last. Pakistan on top going into day 2 #PAKvAUS
— Lùcàs🇪🇸 ⚽️🏀🎾🏏 (@3PTSpanishKING) October 7, 2018
— Tehreem Zahra💫🇵🇰 (@tayhreem) October 7, 2018
I expect better from Azhar. #PAKvAUS
— Affan 🏴 (@mufc_affanf9) October 7, 2018
Azhars stance is unpleasing on the eyes, never seems comfortable on the crease, lacks the ability to push for singles & got very limited shots in the bank. But still the best test batsman of Pakistan rn just because of temperament & thats what cost his wicket today.#PAKvAUS
— Yasir Khalil (@mryasirkhalil) October 7, 2018
— ROHIT SHARMA (HITMAN) (@iTheRider1) October 7, 2018
This has been a great little fightback and all but I think we may have broken Mitchell Starc #PAKvAUS
— Nick Rance (@NickRance11) October 7, 2018
Azhar Ali Is A Real Test Cricketer 😂🔥
18 Runs In Just 80 Balls.😂#PAKvAUS
— Talha Malik 👑 (@GreatTalhaMalik) October 7, 2018
Test cricket has become redundant. I don't remember when did I last watch any test match.#PAKvAUS
— Dr Nauman (@naumanulhaqkhan) October 7, 2018
56 for 3 in the final session and Australia have made a mini comeback in Dubai. Pakistan end Day 1 at 255/3 #PAKvAUS
— Raghava (@Raghava4mahesh) October 7, 2018