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Australia pick two wickets after tea to leave Pakistan reeling at 132-2

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PERTH: Australia pacer Mitchell Starc removed Pakistan captain Shan Masood in the final hour to leave the Green shirts struggling at 132-2 at stumps on the second day of the first Test of the three-match series.

At the conclusion of the first day, Pakistan were left reeling at 132-2 with Imam-ul-Haq (38) and Khurram Shahzad (7) unbeaten.

Pakistan started their innings with a steady opening stand of 74 runs between Abdullah Shafique and Imam-ul-Haq before Nathan Lyon dismissed the former after tea break.

Shafique scored 42 runs from 121 balls with the help of six boundaries.

Shan Masood then joined Imam-ul-Haq and played a counter-attacking innings while his partner played steadily from the other end.

They added 49 runs for the second wicket but Starc got Masood caught behind on DRS after the umpire turned down the appeal initially.

Masood scored 30 runs from 49 balls, featuring five boundaries.

Debutant Khurram Shahzad was sent in as nightwatchman to see off the remaining few overs.

He and Imam-ul-Haq remained firm against Australian bowling until the stumps were called.

Earlier in the day, debutant Aamer Jamal claimed six wickets to help Pakistan bowl Australia out for 487 after Mitchell Marsh played a 90-run knock.

Marsh and Alex Carey knitted a partnership of 90 runs for the sixth wicket to keep Australia in a commanding position in the first session.

However, Jamal castled Carey at a total of 411 after the wicketkeeper scored 34 runs.

Marsh held on to his end firmly and kept stealing runs while Pakistan bowlers kept challenging the other end.

He had two brief partnerships of 38 and 27 runs with Mitchell Starc and Pat Cummins before another debutant Khurram Shahzad bowled him with scoreboard reading 476-8.

Marsh played a brilliant innings of 90 runs from 107 balls, laced with 15 boundaries and one six.

Jamal then claimed the last two wickets of Cummins and Nathan Lyon to bring the curtain down on the Australian innings at 487.

He returned with the bowling figures of 6-111, while Shahzad picked two wickets.

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Prior to that, Australia were comfortably sitting at 346/5 with Alex Carey (14) and Mitchell Marsh (14) unbeaten at the end of the first day.

Both Pakistan and Australia had a productive final session, the touring side picked up three wickets while the hosts added 136 runs to their total but their dominating outing in the first two sessions gave them an edge.

David Warner, played a pivotal role in Australia’s dominance, with a sensational innings of 164. He conceded 211 deliveries, laced with 16 boundaries and four sixes.

Aamir Jamal led the bowling charge for Pakistan with two wickets while Khurram Shahzad, Faheem Ashraf and Shaheen Shah Afridi made one scalp each.

Earlier, Australia’s skipper Cummins opted to bat first on a bouncy surface of the Optus Stadium when the coin flipped in his favour.

The Perth Test marked the first match for Shan Masood as the Pakistan captain while Khurram Shahzad and Aamir Jamal made their Test debut.

It would be a major challenge for Shan Masood as the Test captain as Pakistan sport a dismal record against Australia in Tests at the latter’s backyard.

Pakistan last triumphed against Australia in their home ground back in 1995.

Playings XIs

Australia: David Warner, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Steven Smith, Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Alex Carey (wk), Mitchell Starc, Pat Cummins (c), Nathan Lyon, Josh Hazlewood

Pakistan: Abdullah Shafique, Imam-ul-Haq, Shan Masood (c), Babar Azam, Saud Shakeel, Sarfaraz Ahmed (wk), Salman Ali Agha, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Aamer Jamal, Khurram Shahzad

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