London: Pakistan took the honours on a hard-fought opening day in the first Test against Australia at Lord`s on Tuesday played in typical English conditions.
Under an overcast sky offering plenty of assistance to the pace bowlers, Australia struggled to 229 for nine in the first Test between two overseas teams on English soil since the 1912 Triangular series.
The Australians appeared to have weathered the early storm, reaching 171 for two after being asked to bat by Shahid Afridi following the loss of 90 minutes play because of overnight rain.
Shane Watson (4) and captain Ricky Ponting (26) had been dismissed either side of the lunch interval by left-arm paceman Mohammad Aamer with Ponting moving past Brian Lara to take second place behind Sachin Tendulkar in the all-time Test run scoring list.
Simon Katich and Michael Clarke then added 120 at better than a run a minute before Mohammad Asif, bending the ball late with his pronounced wrist action off a full length, dismissed Clarke lbw for 47 with the final delivery before tea.
Asif accounted for the obdurate Katich (80) caught behind with his third ball after the break and bowled Marcus North for a third-ball duck to give him three wickets in seven deliveries.
Wicketkeeper Tim Paine (7) and Steven Smith (1) made inauspicious Test debuts with the bat, the former caught behind off Umar Gul and the latter falling lbw to fellow leg-spinner Danish Kaneria.
Kaneria beat Mitchell Johnson comprehensively with a googly and bowled the left-hander next ball for three. The players left the field for bad light with Michael Hussey unbeaten on 39.
Katich could make little of the conditions or the bowling in the morning session. He was almost bowled off his pads by Aamer and survived a ferocious lbw appeal from a delivery which may have brushed his bat.
The compact left-hander looked increasingly at ease after the interval, squeezing the ball through the field with his restricted bat lift while Clarke unfurled some delightful drives.
Katich`s 23rd Test half-century was his ninth since the fourth Ashes Test at Headingley last year.
Australia: Shane Watson, Simon Katich, Ricky Ponting (captain), Michael Clarke, Michael Hussey, Marcus North, Tim Paine, Steven Smith, Mitchell Johnson, Ben Hilfenhaus, Doug Bollinger.
Pakistan: Imran Farhat, Salman Butt, Azhar Ali, Umar Amin, Umar Akmal, Shahid Afridi (captain), Kamran Akmal, Mohammad Aamer, Umar Gul, Danish Kaneria, Mohammad Asif.