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David Warner’s 164 powers Australia to 346/5 against Pakistan

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PERTH: Experienced opener David Warner played a sensational 164-run knock and powered Australia to finish at 346/5 on the opening day of the first Test of the three-match series against Pakistan.

At the conclusion of the first day of the Perth Test, Australia were comfortably sitting at 346/5 with Alex Carey (14) and Mitchell Marsh (14) unbeaten.

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.

Warner, who played a pivotal role in Australia’s dominance, finally walked back to the dugout after scoring 164. He conceded 211 deliveries, laced with 16 boundaries and four sixes.

Steve Smith (31) and Travis Head (40) were the other two batters to fall in the final session.

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

At the stroke of Tea, Australia were 210/2 with David Warner and Steve Smith on strike.

Warner converted his quickfire knock into his 26th Test century and was unbeaten on 111 off 149 deliveries, laced up with 15 fours and a six. Smith, on the other hand, was not out on 21 runs.

Pakistan, who failed to find a breakthrough in the opening session, offered some fightback as they struck twice in the second session.

Ace pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi broke the shackles for the visitors when he got Usman Khawaja caught behind in the 30th over with the scoreboard reading 129.

Khawaja fell just shy of his half-century, scoring 41 off 98 deliveries with the help of six boundaries.

Fast bowling all-rounder Faheem Ashraf provided the second breakthrough to Pakistan when he trapped Marnus Labuschagne lbw.

The right-handed batter could score a mere 16 in 25 balls and hit one boundary.

Earlier, Australian openers justified their captain Pat Cummins’ decision to bat first as they took the Pakistan bowlers to the cleaners to put the home side in a commanding position in the very first session.

David Warner, who is playing his potential last Test series, was the core aggressor of the unbeaten stand, smashing a brisk 72 not out in just 67 balls with the help of 11 fours and a six when the players headed out for the break.

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While Warner was decimating the touring side’s bowlers, Usman Khawaja made sure to firmly hold the other end and rotated the strike.

At the stroke of Lunch, Khawaja had scored an unbeaten 37 with the help of five boundaries.

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

READ: Complete squads of all six teams after PSL 9 Players Draft

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