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Fakhar and Sarfraz lead Pakistan recovery after Lyon blitz

By Opta
SarfrazAhmed - cropped

Abu Dhabi, October 16: Fakhar Zaman and Sarfraz Ahmed came to Pakistan's rescue after a blistering spell of Nathan Lyon bowling had handed Australia early control of the second Test on day one in Abu Dhabi.

Pakistan were reeling on 57-5 part way through the morning session, their top order decimated by Lyon (4-78) in the space of six deliveries as he took four wickets for no runs.

That devastating burst took the him up to fourth in his country's all-time Test wickets list, above Mitchell Johnson, but his side's momentum was soon slowed.

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Opener Zaman (94) and captain Sarfraz (94) combined for a sixth-wicket stand of 147, carrying Pakistan towards their total of 282 all out, although the wickets fell with some regularity again following that effective partnership.

The efforts of the batsmen were rewarded as Australia made a poor start of their own at the crease, Mohammad Abbas (2-9) taking two early wickets to leave Tim Paine's side on 20-2, trailing by 262.

An unorthodox early Marnus Labuschagne catch accounted for Mohammad Hafeez (4), but Pakistan were progressing steadily before Lyon intervened with an astonishing flurry.

The spinner first caught and bowled Azhar Ali (15) and then tempted Haris Sohail to jab at Travis Head from the following delivery, ending the 20th over on a hat-trick.

Lyon fell short of the treble, but his next over – following Jon Holland's maiden – was just as rewarding, with Labuschagne catching from Asad Shafiq before Babar Azam's stumps were ripped out.

Test debutant Fakhar managed to stand firm, however, and he and Sarfraz gradually turned the tide, plundering boundaries before the end of the first session and then ploughing on towards tea.

Australia looked to be in trouble as the duo raced towards centuries, losing both reviews in a desperate attempt to undo Pakistan, but Labuschagne (3-45) made his lbw breakthrough to stop Fakhar six runs short of a ton.

Sarfraz returned after tea but new partner Bilal Asif (12) did not survive long before edging to Tim Paine, with the skipper finally following as he sliced a tired shot to cover.

The big-hitting Yasir Shah (28) had his leg stump removed by Mitchell Marsh and the innings ended with Mitchell Starc rattling through Abbas (10).

But Abbas ensured Pakistan ended the day on top as he took out Usman Khawaja (3) and Peter Siddle (4), checking Australia's hopes of a straightforward follow-up to the epic draw of the first Test.

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    Story first published: Tuesday, October 16, 2018, 19:50 [IST]
    Other articles published on Oct 16, 2018
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