Pakistan batsman Mohammad Hafeez hits ton as Australia toil in Dubai


Hosts Pakistan handed a debut to offspinner Bilal Asif, with 26-test seamer Wahab Riaz selected ahead of rookie Mir Hamza.

Pakistan are still in control of the game, mostly because of the bowlers' efforts, with a tall 325-run lead on the board.

Aaron Finch started off the day with a crisp drive that fetched him three runs and then two overs later, Pakistan missed an opportunity to strike early.

Leg-spinner Yasir was unlucky not to be amongst wickets, having dropped Mitchell Marsh off his own bowling for two and wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed missing a stump in the first session with Khawaja on 17. Khawaja was once again lucky a few overs later when Pakistan failed to review the umpire's decision to rule the batsman not out when he had inside-edged it to short leg.

Sohail and Shafiq are unbeaten at 46 and 43 runs respectively. Finch fell prey to Pakistan's plan and hit one straight to short mid on and that was followed by Shaun Marsh edging one to slip.

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Will Usman Khawaja top the batting for Australia? The first over after the interval brought the visitors even more joy with Babar Azam run out for 4.

Veteran all-rounder Hafeez, playing in his first test since 2016 and his 51st overall, frustrated Australia en route to his 10th century before being trapped in front of the wicket for 126 by pace bowler Peter Siddle in the final session.

Asad Shafiq missed out on a century but scored a fluent 80, adding 150 runs for the fifth-wicket stand with Sohail as Australia's bowlers toiled for almost two days under hot and humid conditions on a flat wicket.

Australia reduced Pakistan to 45-3 by stumps, with nightwatchman Bilal falling to Lyon for a duck and Jon Holland accounting for first-innings centurion Mohammad Hafeez (17) as well as Azhar Ali (4).

Australia's most prolific offspinner continued to ask questions of the Pakistani openers but Holland made a nervous start to his Test return, going for eight off his first over and conceding an Imam six over midwicket in his fourth over.