Pakistan pacers struggling, Australia 195-0 at tea on day 2
BRISBANE, Australia (AP) — A wicket went begging, and a difficult lesson learned during a tough initiation for 16-year-old Naseem Shah as Australian openers David Warner and Joe Burns punished an inexperienced Pakistan pace attack on day two of the first test.
Naseem thought he had Warner out for 56, nicking behind, to claim his first test wicket, but a review by the TV umpire showed the young fast bowler had overstepped the crease and that gave the veteran Australian opener a reprieve.
Warner went on to reach 99, one short of first test century since December 2017, and share an unbroken stand with Joe Burns as Australia reached 195 without loss at tea Friday at the Gabba, cutting Pakistan’s lead to 45. Naseem finished his second session as a test bowler with figures of 0-47 from 12 overs.
He had Burns hopping around with some fast, short balls and maintained his pace above 140 kph (87 mph) but didn’t get the breakthrough he desperately seeks.
Warner has now scored more runs in an innings than he did in the entire Ashes series, when he tallied only 95 in five tests. Burns was unbeaten on 88 at the interval.
Warner had a close call on a run-out on 93, but replays showed he just made it back at the non-striker's end.
The inexperienced Pakistan pace bowlers struggled to get their lengths right on the bouncy Gabba pitch and, despite some ducking, weaving and swaying under short balls, the Australian batsmen were easily able to exploit it.
Naseem is the youngest player to make his test debut in Australia, and he got his first taste at the elite level on day one when he had to survive a hat-trick ball from Mitchell Starc. He managed to do that, squeezing an inside edge away to leg-side, but was the last man out for seven.
With the ball in hand, what he was selected for, he showed plenty of pace in his opening spell after entering the attack in the seventh over, reaching speeds of 148 kph (92 mph) but not forcing any false strokes.
The Australian openers were scoring at 3.8 an over, a stark contrast to Pakistan’s struggle on day when the visitors scored 57 in the first session and were eventually dismissed for 240 after winning the toss and electing to bat.
Making things more difficult for the Pakistan bowling attack is Australia’s record at the Gabba, where they haven’t lost a test match since 1988.