Abbas on a roll, Aussies in mess
Abu Dhabi, October 17
Medium-pacer Mohammad Abbas registered a five-wicket haul to steer Pakistan into a dominating position in the second Test against Australia here today. Abbas finished with 5/33 as Australia were bowled out for a paltry 145, giving Pakistan a 137-run lead in the first innings. Pakistan stretched that lead to 281 as they were 144/2 at close, with Azhar Ali not out on 54, his first half-century in the series, and Haris Sohail unbeaten on 17. With eight wickets in hand, Pakistan are in a great position to win the Test and the two-match series. The first Test had ended in a thrilling draw in Dubai last week.
Azhar, who had a disappointing scores of 18, four and 15 in the last three innings, batted with resolve. But it was once again debutant Fakhar Zaman who lifted Pakistan with a brilliant 66 before giving a return catch to Nathan Lyon. Mohammad Hafeez, who scored a hundred in the drawn first Test, fell to a lazy shot off pacer Mitchell Starc, caught at short mid-off for six. Earlier, Abbas and spinner Bilal Asif (3/23) wrecked Australia. Abbas had Shaun Marsh, in the fourth over of the day, for three and Travis Head for 14 before wrapping up the innings by trapping Starc leg-before for 34. This is Abbas’s third five-wicket haul in a burgeoning career of ten Tests.