Pakistan 45 for 3 (Imam 23 *, Netherlands 2-9) and 482 all off-track Australia 202 all (Khawaja 85, Finch 62, Asif 6-36, Abbas 4 – 29) for 325 runs
The model remains the same, only the details vary. This test match, like most in the UAE, is beginning to take shape around a resounding victory for Pakistan.
On a day when they were as dominant as anyone in the unfortunate 2014 series between these two, Pakistan crossed Australia with consummate ease once the initial association of 142 was broken, thanks to intelligent placement in the field and A magnificent low catch in the middle of Asad Shafiq, Pakistan was throughout Australia.
Usman Khawaja and newcomer Aaron Finch helped themselves half a century after passing a test opening. The debutante Bilal Asif did a large part of the damage to collect six windows in a magnificent spinning spell on a surface that has just begun to awaken. It exploded early in the day. Then, the familiar collapse of the Australian subcontinent occurred when they lost 10 by 60, making it the seventh time since July 2016 that they lost the 10 windows for less than 100. Asif took six and was superbly supported by the fast bowler Mohammad Abbas, who played with the feature. discipline to choose four windows.
There was never a question of imposing follow-up in this climate with the tone that was beginning to take a sharp turn. It meant that Pakistan had to hit 17 shots to see the day, but in the end, it lost three of its own, including those of lynchers Mohammad Hafeez and Azhar Ali. Between those two, they also had to watch Asif leave after being sent as night watchmen with 30 minutes remaining. Pakistan finished with 45 by 3, leading by 325 in general, not even the late collapse is a reason for them to worry yet.
The crucial advance at the beginning of the day was the land of Khawaja. The movement of his foot was impressive against the pace and the turn, and he looked comfortable with most of the shots he played. The first signs suggest that the positive mental space you mentioned to occupy is already paying dividends.
While Finch had fallen into the consistency of Abbas and the brilliance of Shafiq, Khawaja continued his assured progress towards what seemed an inevitable first hundred in Asia. . He had been playing the sweeping shots – paddling and retreating – without incident all day, but on the 62nd time, he was punished for bad judgment. He tried to beat a delivery of Bilal that was too short to sweep, and could only get the leading edge. It became a short leg, and a discouraged Khawaja found himself walking 15 steps below one hundred.
That exposed the middle order in a window in which it seemed difficult to start, and a confident Bilal was in sight. . After a troubling debutant, Travis Head, during much of the left-hander's crippled nine-ball lay-up in the crease, found his outer edge while Head attempted to drive with the turn, only managing to guide the ball to the second slide. Two balls later, another debutant, Marnus Labuschagne, walked back without scoring, having tilted a straighter one over his pad to a short leg.
There was a negligible resistance after tea, the lower half folded for 19 races in less than 11 races. . As in the previous session, Asif and Abbas were the only ones among the shutters, Yasir Shah went merciless for the first time in his career in the United Arab Emirates.
Before lunch, Finch and Khawaja looked positive and relentless, and assured Pakistan It started the day with a session without fuses. They took the attack on any bowler, regardless of their reputation, both scoring a half-century unbeaten for lunch. Where Pakistan's execution rate stayed below three at all entries, the Australians were much more positive, adding 107 to their nighttime score at lunch after chipping 137 races out of the colossal 482.
Pakistan would have many reasons to trust this morning with a Test debutant in the fold with a player averaging less than 15 in Asia. But Finch and Khawaja played like men to whom those descriptions were not applied.
Finch made a point to constantly approach Yasir Shah, never allowing the bowler to settle on a length. The blow of the morning was the blow of the morning, which evoked the player who has established such a fearsome reputation in the limited game. On his debut half a century with a sweeping commanded by Bilal.
It seemed so promising for Australia then, but Pakistan proved, just as it had done with the bat, that they were willing to be patient. As they move inexorably to take a 1-0 lead here, Australia will be left wondering what else they have to do to contain the catalog of collapses that have ruined their performance in the Test in recent years.