Dubai Test: Finch, Khawaja dominate Pakistan with half centuries

Safraz Ahmed Tim Paine

Aaron Finch posted a half-century on his test debut and shared an unbroken 137-run opening partnership with Usman Khawaja to help Australia reduce Pakistan's first-innings lead to 345 by lunch on day three of the series-opening match. But Yasir will now be the lone experienced bowler after Babar faded a year ago.

"I used the crease to bring the ball in and got wickets from those deliveries", he said.

"But similarly we will not put extra pressure on him and will not want him to go in a defensive mode so other bowlers will have to support him".

That was enough for Langer to confirm one-day specialist Finch and South Australia skipper Head would play their first tests.

Asif's chance finally came as Pakistan deemed him useful against Australia's three left-handers in the top order in the Dubai Test. With their bowling under scanner, seamer Mohammad Amir has been dropped from the 17-man squad and wrist-spinner Shadab Khan will miss the first Test due to injury. Hafeez's action was cleared as legal in May this year and could prove risky for Australian left-handers.

Off-spinner Nathan Lyon was quick to make an impact with the new ball but was denied the wicket of Sohail by the DRS. Hafeez registered a century as he and his opening partner Imam-ul Haq (76) shared a 201-run partnership for the first wicket.

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He was finally dismissed by Nathan Lyon, caught behind as he tried to cut the off-spinner, having easily surpassed his previous best of 76 made against Sri Lanka in Abu Dhabi past year.

"I was getting out on 30-40 runs on the tour of England (in May-June this year)", said Sohail.

Sarfraz said Australia's challenge would to improve their performance in Asia.

Austlian captain Tim Paine admitted Yasir will pose challenge for his team. "We're going to have to take everything we've been working on", said Paine. This one was smaller but no less significant with Finch, Shaun Marsh and Mitch Marsh all dismissed without Australia adding to their score.

But Labuschagne, who spoke Afrikaans in his native country and did not learn English until he arrived in Australia as a 10-year-old, was delighted to have provided his teammates with a spark.

"In the past, perhaps that Test match I played here last time (in Abu Dhabi), I was stuck in that Australian mindset of attack, attack, attack".

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