Pakistan in control despite Warner hundred

  • Reuters, Dubai
  • Updated: Oct 24, 2014 21:22 IST

David Warner's third consecutive test century could not stop Pakistan from taking control of the first test against Australia on Friday after the tourists squandered a strong start and were all out for 303 in their first innings.

From 128 for no loss, Australia lost four wickets in the extended morning session and as many in the next before collapsing in the final session, 151 runs short of Pakistan's first innings total.

An inexperienced Pakistan attack, led by debutant leg-spinner Yasir Shah (3-66), made excellent use of the slow and turning track at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, something their Australian counterparts could not exploit.

Warner made a 174-ball 133, which included 11 boundaries, but he got little support from his team mates and it was Mitchell Johnson's defiant 37 down the order that helped Australia edge past the 300-mark.

Pakistan were 38 without loss at stumps in their second innings, an overall lead of 189 runs, when bad light stopped play with Ahmed Shehzad (22) and Azhar Ali (16) in the middle.

It was a poor batting display by Australia, especially their middle order, who all failed to build on their good starts.

After Pakistan had lost both their openers cheaply on Wednesday, the next five batsmen contributed two centuries and three half-centuries to power them to a strong total of 454.

For Australia, Steve Smith (22), Mitchell Marsh (27) and Brad Haddin (22) all fell just as they looked like settling in, while skipper Michael Clarke's return from a hamstring injury proved disappointing.

The ball did turn and reverse, but there was no sign of Australia's impending collapse until Chris Rogers (38) dragged a Rahat Ali delivery onto his stumps.

The bowler was involved in the next dismissal as well when he ran out Alex Doolan (five) with a direct hit from mid-on.

Clarke's stay was even shorter, tentatively offering a bat-pad catch to Azhar Ali at short leg off left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar after making two runs.

Warner brought up his ninth test hundred with a cover driven boundary off Imran Khan, before leaping for joy to celebrate.

He added 48 runs with Smith, who fell an over before the lunch break, which was delayed due to Friday prayers.

Smith looked solid, but failed to keep his cut shot down to and gave Shah his first test wicket.

Australia's two specialist spinners, Nathan Lyon and Steve O'Keefe, who bled 255 runs for four first innings wickets between them, will have to put up an improved performance on Saturday if Australia are to fight back in the contest.

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