Bilal Asif was the pick of the bowlers for Pakistan as his 6-36 on Test debut helped his team secure a 280-run first-innings lead after dismissing Australia for 202 runs.
The Pakistani’s placed themselves in a commanding position against Australia thanks to the brilliant right-hand off-spin of debutant Asif which lead to a 280 run lead. Asif ripped through the Aussie batting order, dismissing six of their batsmen in a tame response to Pakistan’s 482-run total in their first innings.
Asif got rid of the dangerous Usman Khawaja (85 off 175 balls, eight fours) at the top of the innings with the batsman mistiming a premeditated sweep shot that Imam-ul-Haq promptly gobbled up at short leg. He didn’t stop there as he proved to be the bane of the Aussie debutants Tim Head and Marnus Labuschagne, dismissing both batsmen for a duck as the visiting middle-order collapsed.
He secured his five-for with the wicket of Australian captain Tim Paine thanks to the safe hands of Imam who grabbed another catch at short leg, finishing with three catches in the innings after the wicketkeeper-batsman couldn’t reverse the decision with an unsuccessful review.
Asif then quickly wrapped up the Baggy Greens’ calamitous innings by getting rid of No 10 Nathan Lyon as the tail-ender turned to his go-to sweep shot one-too-many times, sweeping hard and fast straight to the man placed at forward square leg specifically for that shot.
Pakistan are currently on 45-3 in the second innings and will resume on Wednesday with Imam (23 not out) at the crease – alongside his new partner – looking to add to the home team’s 325-run lead.
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