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Pakistan takes control of the first Test

Dubai, October 24, 2014 (PPI-OT): Pakistani spinners put their team in the driving seat on the third day of the first Test against Australia despite a brilliant hundred by David Warner on Friday. Debutant leg-spinner Yasir Shah (3-66) led the spin attack while left-armer Zulfiqar Babar (2-81) and Mohammad Hafeez (1-54) also chipped in as, apart from Warner’s 133, none of the other Australian batsmen made big scores.

Warner smashed his ninth Test century and his third in as many innings to match the indomitable Donald Bradman. But Pakistan hit back to dismiss Australia for 303 in their first innings, gaining a lead of 151 runs.

At stumps, Pakistan had made 38/0 in their second innings with Ahmed Shehzad (22) and Azhar Ali (16) at the crease, stretching their lead to 189 — a position from where they can press for a 1-0 lead in the two-Test series.

Michael Clarke failed with a 13-ball two and so did Alex Doolan (five). It was Warner who anchored the innings, becoming the seventh Australian batsman to score three consecutive hundreds, a feat last achieved by Adam Gilchrist (2005) and Bradman (1948).

But with his third ball after lunch, Shah spun sharply to bowl Warner, who had hit 11 fours and two sixes during his 174-ball knock. His fall saw Australia slump against spinners. Warner showed disappointment over his team’s batting capitulation.

“The way we batted is disappointing,” said Warner. “The conditions are quite tough but look at the run out (Doolan). You shouldn’t be giving run out chances in Test match cricket.” Warner said he was delighted to be bracketed with Bradman.

“You have to keep riding that rollercoaster of being in form. It’s how you play. You’re going to have some luck but it’s great.” Shah said he was happy to be amongst wickets. “It’s a good feeling and if we manage to take this lead to 400 or 450, then we can win this Test as the pitch is not easy,” said Shah.

Mitchell Marsh (27) and Brad Haddin (22) took Australia to 248/5 during their 42-run stand for the sixth wicket but Pakistan broke through with the new ball, taken as soon as it was due after 80 overs. Paceman Imran Khan (1-54) had Haddin bowled off an inside edge while Babar had Marsh lbw.

Warner saw Australia lose Chris Rogers (38), Doolan and Clarke in the space of just 30 runs before he and Steven Smith (22) added 48 for the fourth wicket. Warner drove Khan to cover boundary for his eighth four to complete his hundred off just 128 balls.

The left-hander had hit a century in each innings against South Africa at Cape Town in Australia’s last Test in March this year. Australia, resuming on a strong position at 113/0, lost Rogers when he played on to seamer Rahat Ali who finished with 2-55.

Rahat was again involved when his direct throw from mid-on found Doolan short of his crease as he attempted a sharp single. Clarke, short on match-practice after failing in the warm-up game, survived just 13 balls before giving a bat-and-pad catch to short-leg off Babar, who had figures of 2-77.

Smith helped Warner to take the score to 206 before he fell in the penultimate over before lunch, playing straight into the hands of point to give Shah his first wicket. Pakistan took another four wickets in the post-lunch session and despite Mitchell Johnson (37) and Steve O’Keefe (six) adding 32 for the ninth wicket, wrapped up the innings with 15 overs remaining in the day.

The second and final Test will be played in Abu Dhabi from October 30.

For more information, contact:
Nadeem Sarwar
Media Manager
Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB)
Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore 54600, Pakistan
Tel: +9242 571 7231 -4
Fax: +9242 571 1860

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