Pakistan’s Test tour of Australia began on Wednesday at Canberra’s Manuka Oval against Australia’s PM XI.
On the first day of the match, Pakistan won the toss and elected to bat first, facing some early challenges but managing to post a respectable total on the board.
The opening session, was characterized by disciplined bowling from the PM XI. Opening batsman Imam-ul-Haq was seen struggling on the crease. In one particular over bowled by Jordan Buckingham, Imam not only failed to score but also lost his wicket, managing just 9 runs from 24 deliveries before being dismissed.
Pakistan were 28/1 in 14 overs, with Abdullah Shafique contributing 15 runs and Shan Masood on 3. However, the team gradually gained momentum, reaching the 50-run mark in 18.4 overs thanks to 112 balls , with an extra run.
At lunch, Pakistan were 91/2 in 28 overs with Shan holding the fort on 39 while Babar Azam contributed 2 runs. The team continued to build their innings, reaching the 100-run mark in 32.1 overs (193 balls, with 3 overs).
Shan led from the front as Test skipper, reaching a well-deserved half-century, scoring 50 off 79 balls, including 5 boundaries and 1 six. Moreover, Babar’s first boundary on the Australian tour came from a wonderful square.
The second session showed resilience from the Pakistan batsmen as the team reached 130/2 in 43 overs at the drinks break, with Shan Masood on 62 and Babar Azam on 18. The innings progressed steadily and Pakistan crossed the 150 runs in 47.3 overs (285 balls, 3 overs).
At the tea break, Pakistan were 181/3 in 56 overs, with Shan Masood on 81 and Saud Shakeel on 8. The 200-run mark came for Pakistan in the 63rd over with 378 balls faced. The extras contributed five valuable runs to the team total.
The standout performance of the day belonged to Shan Masood who showed his class with a superb century. He reached his ton in 169 balls, hitting seven boundaries and a six. Shan’s innings anchored Pakistan’s innings and set a solid platform for a competitive set.
However, the momentum changed when Saud Shakeel fell victim to a brilliant delivery from Todd Murphy, being clean bowled on 13.
As the day progressed, the drinks break saw Pakistan at 247/4 in 74.0 overs, with Shan still standing tall on 121 runs. Sarfaraz Ahmed, the new batsman at the crease, provided valuable support, scoring 17 runs. The duo aimed to further consolidate the innings.
The final session of the day witnessed a dramatic turn as Sarfaraz, after contributing a quick 41 off 46 balls, was dismissed by Jordan Buckingham.
The day ended with Pakistan on 324/6 with Shan on 156 off 235 balls. Unfortunately, Faheem Ashraf was dismissed on the last ball of the day after scoring 17 runs. However, Pakistan produced a balanced performance, overcoming early setbacks and setting the stage for an interesting second day.
Pakistan will be looking to consolidate their position and add more to their impressive first innings tally. The team will aim to build on the strong foundations laid on day one. Meanwhile, the opposition will try to make gains and restrict Pakistan from posting a big score.
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