ABU DHABI Mohammad Abbas and Bilal Asif ripped through Australian batting before Fakhar Zaman and Asif Ali hit half-centuries as Pakistan ended Day 2 of the second Test in complete control in Abu Dhabi. Pakistan had reached 144/2 with a commanding lead of 281 at stumps.
Ali remained unbeaten on 54 with Harris Sohail (17) batting at the other end. Zaman (66) and Ali had put on a 91-run stand to put Pakistan in charge before Nathan Lyon took a stunning return catch to send back the Pakistan opener for 66. Mitchell Starc had removed Mohammad Hafeez early for 13.
Earlier, it was Abbas who continued to wreak havoc with the ball, picking 5/33 as Australia continued to struggle against the right-arm pacer.
Abbas removed Shaun Marsh (3) in the fourth over of the day before dismissing Travis Head (14). Then, it was the spinners led by Asif (3/23) and supported by Yasir Shah (1/59) who got into the action for Pakistan.
Shah got the wicket of Mitchell Marsh, caught close to the wicket for 13. Asif removed Aaron Finch (39) – the only batsman who looked like putting up a fight and then also got the better of the Australian captain Tim Paine (3) in the last over before lunch.
Australia were then left struggling at 91-7 after the 1st session. After that, it was all about providing some respectability to the total and Marnus Labuschagne along with Mitchell Starc did exactly that, stitching together a 37-run stand before a freakish run-out ended Labuschagne’s stay at the crease,
He backed up too far and a straight drive from Starc was deflected to the stumps by Shah which caught the Australian out of his crease. Abbas then ended Starc’s fight, removing him for 34 as Australia were dismissed for a paltry 145, giving Pakistan a healthy lead of 137.
Zaman’s fine form continued and Ali’s half-century meant Australia will need nothing less than a miracle to save this game with three full days still left.
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