Pakistan 57-0 after series-opening session vs Australia

BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — Azhar Ali won the toss and survived the series-opening session in an unbroken partnership with Shan Masood, guiding Pakistan to 57 without loss at lunch Thursday in the first cricket test against Australia.

The Pakistan openers navigated the opening spells of Australia’s pace bowling trio of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Pat Cummins without getting into any trouble and established their partnership in warm conditions perfectly suited to batting.

Azhar faced 85 balls for his 28 and Masood scored 21 from 78 deliveries. Cummins was the tightest of the quicks with 0-5 from six overs, while spinner Nathan Lyon bowled four overs and conceded seven runs.

The highlight of the morning session was Naseem Shah’s inclusion in the starting XI, making the 16-year-old Pakistan fast bowler the youngest player to make his test debut in Australia.

Naseem earned his place in the team after taking 1-21 in eight overs in a tour match last week in Perth, a day after his mother died in Pakistan.

“It was very emotional this morning when he got his cap,” Azhar said of the selection. “We’re really excited to see Naseem play.”

Pakistan stuck with the same XI that drew the tour match against Australia A in Perth, with veteran Mohammad Abbas missing out in favor of the younger pacers.

Australia hasn’t lost a test match at the Gabba since 1988. Pakistan has not won a test match in Australia since 1995.


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