Peter handscomb
Handscomb scored his maiden ton in only his 2nd Test Getty Images

First over of Day Two. Steven Smith was unbeaten on 110. The day before, Mohammad Aamer had nearly got his wicket. The first five deliveries produced no run. Most of them were angled across. Smith left them. Aamer pitched up the last delivery. This time Smith was in a better position. He leaned forward and eased it through covers for boundary. Peter Handscomb, at the other end, made sure he plays with a dead bat, slip cordon waiting for a false stroke. He stood deep inside his crease to counterattack the late movement. It worked for him. He judged Aamer s line and scythed one past the slips.

Australia continued what they did on Day One of the first Test at The Gabba, Brisbane. They kept churning out runs at a brisk rate. The pink ball wasn t helping Pakistan s pace battery. And Australia weren t the ones to take a wrong step. They had all the time, but they made sure they put a price on their wickets. Smith and Handscomb did exactly the same. They added a long partnership, exhausting Pakistan in the process. Misbah-ul-Haq was desperately looking for a wicket. He introduced his go-to man Yasir Shah Yasir Shah, the leg-spinner.

Full cricket scorecard: Australia vs Pakistan, 1st Test, Brisbane Cricket Ground

Smith shimmied down the track off the very first ball, trying to clear mid-off. He didn t connect it, though, only to Aamer run behind and eventually drop it. Misbah had done his job. He made a bowling change at the right time. But Aamer could not hold onto it, giving a Smith second chance in this innings.

However, Wahab Riaz did not take long to make amends for his fellow pacer. He dismissed Smith for 130. Judging by the standards of this very innings, it was an uncharacteristic stroke, for the ball was pitched well outside off. Smith, who left such deliveries, edged it behind the wickets. That ended 172-run partnership between Smith and Handscomb.

Pakistan then dropped Nic Maddinson, their third drop of the innings. But Wahab was at it again. He yet again did the damage-control for his team, getting the better of Maddinson for a mere 1.

Pakistan then did just what the doctor ordered. They dismissed Matthew Wade and Mitchell Starc. Aamer was in the thick of things. He ran in hard despite the knee injury he had suffered on Day One.

Meanwhile, Handscomb scored a six and a four in 90s, nervous 90s: one off Yasir and the other off Aamer. He scored his maiden hundred in only his second Test.

He punched in the air, took his helmet off, showed off his bat to acknowledge the crowd.

Mind you, 54 runs he scored came behind the wicket. He loves to play late. He is very watchful. He uses the depth of the crease. However, he uses his feet against the spinners.

Australia went into tea at 377 for 7.

Brief scorecard:

Australia 377 for 7 (Matt Renshaw 71, Steven Smith 130, Peter Handscomb 103*; Wahab Riaz 3 for 66, Mohammad Aamer 3 for 78) vs Pakistan

(Kaustubh S. Mayekar, a reporter at CricketCountry, played cricket at U-16 level. Like his idol Rahul Dravid, he often shadow-practises cricket shots. His Twitter handle is @kaumedy_)