Shafiq and Haris blunt disciplined Australia

Lunch Pakistan 329 for 4 (Hafeez 126, Imam 76, Siddle 2-28) v Australia

Asad Shafiq watches the movement of the ball Getty Images

This session may not be on the postcard, but you will find it in the manual. On a morning that typified the recipe for success, Pakistan repeated itself again and again in the UAE, excitement may have been scarce, but determination and patience were not. After the oscillations in the final session of the first day, Haris Sohail and Asad Shafiq dug in their heels while Pakistan progressed little by little and then beyond the 300, with the loss of their night watchman Mohammad Abbas, restoring his dominant position. The Test.

It was a soporific view at times, in all honesty. The first hour I would have left you for an extra cup of coffee; Adrenaline was not going to be the stimulant here. Once Peter Siddle cleaned Abbas from the start, Pakistan gritted his teeth and kept moving forward, determined to take the momentum out of the momentum that Australia had acquired since the first day's session on the night. They did that magnificently, even if Pakistan did not advance much in the races, only seven races were scored in the first 11 attempts of the day, and the Shafiq 21 needed balls to get out of the mark.

The urgency However, he would have felt more in the Australian camp. These are difficult conditions to be in the field, roll the batters whose reserves of patience still do not seem to run out. Mitchell Starc defeated 21 shots yesterday and seemed to have a problem in the end, and was not as effective in the five shots he gave today.

Siddle's median pace was sent to relieve the fast bowler's workload, while Mitchell Marsh was expensive and looked rusty when he was called. In the last half hour, Pakistan took advantage of Australia's fatigue and punished them when their long failed. More than half of the races in which Pakistan scored this session (41) occurred in the last nine passes.

It was strange to see Australia persist with the old ball throughout the session, even though it was obvious that he had lost a lot of the time. reverse swing that took the previous day. On these hard surfaces like stones, it is hard enough to hold balls of up to 80 movements; for 120 here, it was unrecognizable as a cricket ball. The seam had worn almost completely, even with the shiny side more torn than the striped side of the ball. It could have to do with Tim Paine's reluctance for someone, except Starc, to take the new one and, in turn, Starc's reluctance for another spell.

Pakistan has already strived to reach an almost impregnable situation here, with Babar Azam and Sarfraz Ahmed still to come after these two. At the end of the next session, they will seek to turn that position into an invincible one.


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