Dubai Test: Debutant Bilal Asif’s 6-wicket haul puts Pakistan in driver’s seat

first_imgDebutant Bilal Asif ran through Australia’s batting line-up to put Pakistan in a commanding position on the third day of the first Test in Dubai on Tuesday.Resuming on overnight score of 30/0, Australia’s openers started strongly with Usman Khawaja (85) and debutant Aaron Finch (62) adding 142 for the first wicket.Finch’s wicket opened the floodgates and Khawaja too fell soon. No other Australian batsman was able to put up a fight and the visitors were bowled out for 202 after tea. Off-spinner Asif grabbed 6/36 as Australia lost 10 wickets for just 60 runs.Pakistan earned a big lead of 280 runs but didn’t enforce the follow-on.Dubai Test: Day 3 Highlights | ScorecardIn their second innings, Pakistan were reduced to 45/3 at the close of play on Day 3 as they stretched their overall lead to 325.First innings centurion Mohammad Hafeez (17), nightwatchman Bilal Asif (0) and Azhar Ali (4) were all back to pavilion as Jon Holland bagged two wickets while Nathan Lyon got one.Asif dismissed the inexperienced Australia top order, and fast bowler Mohammad Abbas chipped in with 4-29 as the batsmen couldn’t cope with seam or spin on a pitch where Pakistan compiled 482 in their first innings.Khawaja and Finch defied Pakistan in the first session and carried their team from 30 without loss overnight to 137 without loss by lunch.But once Finch drove casually and was caught at short mid-on after lunch, the top order crumbled against Asif’s spin.Finch, who played 93 one-day internationals before earning his first Test cap, showed patience and restraint in accumulating 62 from 161 balls, including five boundaries and a six.advertisementShaun Marsh was next when he drove at Asif and was caught in the slips.Asif then induced a top edge to remove Khawaja, who hit eight fours in his 175-ball innings.Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne, both playing their first Test, fell for ducks against Asif’s brilliance.Abbas then grabbed the wickets of Mitchell Marsh, Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle after tea while Asif wrapped up the innings by claiming No. 10 batsman Nathan Lyon.(With inputs from AP)last_img read more