Journal De Bruxelles - Pakistan lose Shafique after solid start in first Test

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Pakistan lose Shafique after solid start in first Test
Pakistan lose Shafique after solid start in first Test

Pakistan lose Shafique after solid start in first Test

Pakistan lost opener Abdullah Shafique after a solid start before reaching 105-1 at lunch Friday on the opening day of the first Test against Australia in Rawalpindi.

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Shafique miscued a lofted shot off spinner Nathan Lyon and was caught by Pat Cummins for 44 in the penultimate over of the two-and-a-half hour session, extended because of Friday prayers.

At the break, Imam-ul-Haq was unbeaten on 57 while Azhar Ali had yet to score after Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat on a dry and flat Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium pitch.

Australia seemed to have erred in their selection as they went into the Test -- their first in Pakistan in 24 years -- with three pacers, a fast-bowling allrounder and a lone spinner in Lyon.

In contrast, Pakistan included two spinners, a part-time slow bowler and two frontline pacers. Australia's pace bowlers did not take a wicket in the first session, and Lyon was brought into bowl in the eighth over.

Lyon, who so far has figures of 1-36, turned his first ball sharply and beat the bat for an unsuccessful caught behind appeal off the fourth.

Shafique hit a six in the spinner's third over, but the very next ball Lyon induced an edge to leg-slip -- only to see Travis Head drop a sharp chance with the batsman on 21.

Haq, playing his first Test since December 2019, was solid as he hooked Cummins for his eighth boundary to complete his third 50 in 12 Tests.

R.Vercruysse--JdB