2nd Test, Abu Dhabi: Australia sink further after Mohammad Abbas’ burst
Mohammad Abbas got Shaun Mash edging to first slip. @Getty

The telling movement of Mohammad Abbas proved a further irritant for Australia on the second morning of the second Test in Abu Dhabi, accounting for the wickets of Shaun Marsh and Travis Head to stem the visitors’ first innings on Wednesday. Bilal Asif’s double-strike late in the session then left Australia reeling at 91/7.

Abbas had taken two wickets in a pacy burst on the first evening to leave Australia 20/2 at stumps, in the processing becoming the joint-fastest Pakistan pace bowler to 50 Test wickets, and on the second morning his strikes left them at 56/4. Aaron Finch continued to impress as a Test opener, battling his way to 39 until he fell in Asif’s first over, less than 15 minutes before lunch. Asif then had Tim Paine (3) trapped in front in his third over of the day, which proved to be the final action of the first session.

A boundary to Finch in each of the first three overs of the day hinted at an Australian revival, but in the fourth over Abbas had Shaun Marsh edging to first slip to peg them back. In his tenth over, Abbas produced a lovely delivery that had Head nicking to second slip. Abbas bowled out with a spell of 11-4-29-4.

These strikes put a break on the scoring rate, and the situation turned dire when Yasir Shah had Mitchell Marsh caught at first slip on 13. The offspinner Asif bowled the 31st over and had Finch caught by a diving Fakhar Zaman at short leg, one-handed, followed by the Australia skipper’s wicket.

Marnus Labuschagne is now tasked with trying to get Australia past the follow-on mark with the tail.

Lunch: Australia 91/7 (Aaron Finch 39; Mohammad Abbas 4/29; Bilal Asif 2/7) trail Pakistan 282 by 191 runs