Home / Cricket / Azhar Ali and Younis Khan lead Pakistan after Australia post 8/538 decl

Azhar Ali and Younis Khan lead Pakistan after Australia post 8/538 decl

Australia strode steadily towards an enormous first-innings tally against bowling that improved somewhat on the first day's effort, though Pakistan were not helped by more indifferent fielding from the captain Misbah-ul-Haq down. Matt Renshaw's 184, which seems to have set him up for a long and fruitful Test career, was the highest by an opening batsman under the age of 21, and was only ended by a fine over from Imran Khan, who moved the ball to the left-hander across the crease before prompting him to drag onto the stumps. Handscomb, meanwhile, did not allow himself to be frustrated by periods of slow scoring, utilising the sweep in particular to excellent effect - a good sign ahead of the tour of India. He survived a nervous period in the 90s to pass three figures on the same ground where he made a double century in the Sheffield Shield earlier this season to earn his Test spot. Hilton Cartwright also showed patience, and showcased an organised technique with the exception of a couple of chances: a Yasir Shah leg break that beat him but also the wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed, and an edge off Azhar's part-timers that eluded Younis at first slip. After lunch, Handscomb reached his hundred before Cartwright was bowled by Imran. Handscomb dismissal was bit of anti climax, with his bat clipping the leg bail, as he used the width of the crease to cut Wahab. Then, some quick scoring by Matthew Wade and Mitchell Starc drew Steven Smith's declaration. In the 15 minutes to the tea interval, Hazlewood had an impact, though debutant Sharjeel Khan's technique was questionable to say the least, as he waved his bat at Hazlewood to be taken at slip. Babar Azam, who fell in the same over, should also have been expected to keep out a ball that was full and straight but not really moving through the air or off the seam, evidence that the time in the field had left the visitors with heavy legs. There was time for one over of spin - from the recalled Steve O'Keefe - before the tea break. The comfort with which Azhar stroked a boundary in the final over of the day suggested that plenty of runs remain in the surface, provided the tourists put their minds to it. Azhar maintained his fine touch and found support from Younis, who was in need of a score after a barren tour. If the rain stays away, we should have a good day third day at SCG, with a big score long overdue from Misbah.

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