Steven Smith was unbeaten on 31 © Getty Images
Steven Smith was unbeaten on 31 © Getty Images

Oct 26, 2014

Pakistan are only three wickets away from victory as Australia were in tatters at 117 for seven in the first Test at Dubai. Chris Rogers and Steven Smith had been resilient in their defence, but the Pakistani shoulders never seemed to drop. They got rid of Rogers and two other batsmen in quick succession.

The first wicket took more than 17 overs, and it eventually took a peach: Imran Khan, whose name evokes memories of the past, went into the aeroplane celebration when he hit off and middle to get Rogers with a yorker. Rogers, who had earlier erroneously stopped Michael Clarke from going for a referral, scored a 131-ball 43.

With two right-handers at the crease, Misbah-ul-Haq replaced Mohammad Hafeez with Zulfiqar Babar, who took out debutant Mitchell Marsh with his third ball. The vigilant, acrobatic Azhar Ali had been throwing himself all over the place in pursuit of a catch, and on that occasion he showed amazing reflex to pouch Marsh at silly point.

Australia suffered another blow when Brad Haddin played down the wrong line to a straight delivery from Babar. The ball skidded through to hit timber. Pakistan went into lunch with Steve Smith on 31 and Mitchell Johnson on seven, both looking shaky against Babar and Yasir Shah.

Brief scores:

Pakistan 454 (Younis Khan 106, Sarfaraz Ahmed 109; Mitchell Johsnon 3 for 39) & 286 for 2 decl. (Ahmed Shehzad 131, Younis Khan 103*; S O’Keefe 2 for 112) lead Australia 303 (David Warner 133, Chris Rogers 38; Yasir Shah 3 for 39) & 117 for 7 (David Warner 29, Chris Rogers 41, Steven Smith 31*; Zulfiqar Babar 4 for 38, Yasir Shah 2 for 21) by 321 runs.

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