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Australia Demolish Pakistan on Home Soil by 39 Runs to Take Lead in Test Series

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Australia Demolish Pakistan on Home Soil by 39 Runs to Take Lead in Test Series

December 19
15:01 2016

asadNew Delhi, Monday, December 19 – In the opening match at the Gabba in Brisbaneon on December 15, Australia and Pakistan were all set for the mega face-off given the fact that two teams being talented enough to break records and set new ones. The first game of 3-match Test series has been won by the home squad led by Steven Smith. The team included David Warner, Nic Maddinson, Peter Handscomb, Matt Renshaw, Usman Khawaja, Josh Hazlewood, Nathan Lyon, Jackson Bird , Matthew Wade and Mitchell Starc. Chadd Sayers was the players to sit on bench.

The Australian squad looked confident perhaps due to playing in home conditions. Pakistan camp for the Test that ended recently comprised Babar Azam, Azhar Ali, Younis Khan, Sami Aslam, Misbah-ul-Haq – the skipper, Sarfraz Ahmed, Yasir Shah, Mohammad Amir, Rahat Ali, Asad Shafiq and Wahab Riaz. On the other hand, Sharjeel Khan, Mohammad Nawaz, Sohail Khan, Imran Khan, Mohammad Asghar and Mohammad Rizwan were the players in extra. Post taking into account the outcome of the match, they must be thinking of excelling if selected in the Playing XI in the next game. Australian skipper Smith won the toss and decided to bat first.

Pakistan cricketers did not succeed to restrict Australia on an impressive total. Matt Renshaw grabbed the eyeballs scoring 71 runs in 125 balls, along with nine boundaries. The young left-handed opener kept his calm and showed his natural play after David Warner lost his wicket to M Amir over post contributing 32 runs in 70 deliveries. Yasir Shah dismissed Usman Khawaja at a score of 4, increasing the hope that they will now have chance of gaining grip. Renshaw dismissal at 71 runs boosted the thought. However, Australia’s descent start was taken at a new height by Steven Smith, who scored 130 runs before losing wicket to Riaz. Peter Handscomb also did his bit by playing an innings of 105 runs off 240 balls, together with 10 4s and a six.  But after Smith’s wicket, Australian batting collapsed since Nic Maddinson was sent back to the dressing room after scoring 1 run, Matthew Wade at 7 runs, while Mitchell Starc at 10 runs (4 x 1) and Josh Hazlewood at 8 runs. Riaz also got wicket of Handscomb.

Australian 1st innings came to an end when Nathan Lyon was dismissed by Yasir Shah at 29 runs. His innings was small but spellbinding since he sent the ball towards the fences for six times. Jackson Bird was not out at 19 runs. His innings comprised a six as well. Australia totalled 429 runs for the loss of 10 wickets in 130.1 overs. Both Riaz and Amir got two wickets each, while Shah got two wickets. Rahat and Azhar did not get any wicket. As a matter of fact, Pakistan weren’t too sharp after receiving invitation to bowl first. In fact, it was a big success for the Aussies to stop traveling side at a mere total of 142 runs. The Australians pressurized the guests in all possible sense. Smith believed in abilities of Starc, Hazlewood, Bird and Lyon. The first three bowlers got three wickets each. Lyon did not get any wicket, on the other hand. Sarfaraz Ahmed scored 59 runs – the highest in Pakistan innings.

In view of the fact that a fighting total wasn’t put on the scoreboard by Misbah-ul-Haq’s men, it was easy for Australia to make a decision and declare second innings at 202 runs that were attained post dismissals of five batsmen. This time David Warner scored 12 runs, Matt Renshaw 6 runs, Usman Khawaja 74 runs, Steven Smith 63 runs, Peter Handscomb 35 runs, Nic Maddinson 4 runs and Matthew Wade 1 run. The contest took an interesting turn when Pakistan came to chase the target and batted unexpectedly far better than before. In fact, they made Australian fans believe that declaring innings is going to prove one of the biggest mistakes by them. Nothing is impossible in cricket especially when cricketers are used to achieve bigger scores. Somewhere its credit goes to exposure to 20-20 over games. Despite losing Sami Aslam early at 15 runs, which included a couple of fours, and Babar Azam at 14 runs (4 x 1), Pakistan bounced back in style.

A lot depended on the performance of Azhar Ali who scored 71 runs (4 x 9) before being dismissed by Starc and Younis Khan, who pocketed 65 runs prior losing wicket to Lyon. Only 5 runs from Misbah-ul-Haq put his team under the pump. But Asad Shafiq played big role in taking Pakistan close to the target. Starc took wicket of Sarfraz Ahmed who played an innings of 24 off 41 balls, which comprised a four. Mohammad Amir fell two runs short to get a fifty post failing to read the mood of a delivery by Bird. Amir struck five fours. Wahab Riaz added to the speed of pocketing runs, hitting two sixes and same number of fours. Bird was the man to end his stint at 30 runs. Pakistan were in game and just a few runs away from achieving the target. But story changed for them when Starc took Shafiq by surprise in 145th over. Shafiq had to depart at 137 runs. His impressive innings, which comprised 13 boundaries and a six, went into vain after Yasir Shah was run out by Smith at 33 runs. Rahat Ali was not out on a single.

Pakistan were all out at 450 runs, falling 39 runs short to start the tour with victory. Asad Shafiq was declared Man of the Match. Even though the home side won the match but this did not come easily to them. Good batting by Pakistan in second innings must have made them think twice before declaring innings in future regardless of the fact that the opponents did not have an ideal start. Quick changes in the game spellbound the supporters of Pakistan and Australia. Had the two wickets not been lost in speed by Pakistan, no wonder if Australia would have been on the losing side. They, though, have lost the match but look forward to winning the remaining two Tests, which are slated to take place at Melbourne Cricket Ground, Melbourne and Sydney Cricket Ground, Sydney from December 26 to December 30 and January 3 to January 7, respectively.

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