Cricket: Australia storm back as Pakistan wickets clatter

AFP Brisbane, Australia Nov 21, 2019, 12.36 PM(IST)

Pakistan's Yasir Shah (R) plays a shot as Australia's wicketkeeper Tim Paine (L) looks on during day one of the first Test cricket match between Pakistan and Australia at the Gabba in Brisbane on November 21, 2019. Photograph:( AFP )

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At tea, Pakistan were 125 for five, with Asad Shafiq not out on 18 and wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan alongside him on 19.

Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins led an Australian fightback as Pakistan lost five wickets for just 19 runs after lunch on the opening day of the first cricket Test at the Gabba on Thursday.

At tea, Pakistan were 125 for five, with Asad Shafiq not out on 18 and wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan alongside him on 19.

The visitors had frustrated the Australian pace attack in the first session, going into lunch at 57-0 with openers Azhar Ali and Shan Masood unbeaten on 28 and 21 respectively.

The pair began to open up after the break with some sparkling attacking shots, but Hazlewood and fellow quick Cummins, at last, found their length and began to turn the screws.

The pressure began to tell and with the score on 75, Masood waved at a Cummins delivery outside off stump and got an edge to Steve Smith at second slip.

Azhar went the next ball when he edged Hazlewood to Joe Burns at first slip before Haris Sohail (1) and Babar Azam (1) fell in quick succession to poor shots as the visitors crashed to 78-4.

When Nathan Lyon had Iftikhar Ahmed caught at bat-pad for seven, Pakistan were reeling at 94 for five before Shafiq and Rizwan steadied the ship in the half-hour before tea.

Pakistan earlier won the toss and chose to bat on a hot and humid morning in Brisbane.

Azhar and Masood began cautiously against the Australian pace duo of Mitchell Starc (1-35) and Hazlewood (2-30), who bowled quickly but without ever really troubling the Pakistan openers.

The visitors crawled to 33 at the first drinks break and took almost two hours to reach 50, bringing up the half-century opening stand with a Masood boundary through the square leg in the penultimate over before lunch.

Pakistan had earlier caused a major surprise when they left out experienced seamer Mohammad Abbas, opting instead for pacemen Shaheen Afridi, Imran Khan and 16-year-old Naseem Shah, who were impressive in their lead-up game against Australia A.