Younis Khan, Azhar Ali steady Pakistan in first Test

 Younis Khan and Azhar Ali scored patient half-centuries to steady Pakistan after they lost two early wickets in the first Test against Australia in Dubai on Wednesday.

AFP| Last Updated: Oct 22, 2014, 18:40 PM IST
Younis Khan, Azhar Ali steady Pakistan in first Test

Dubai: Younis Khan and Azhar Ali scored patient half-centuries to steady Pakistan after they lost two early wickets in the first Test against Australia in Dubai on Wednesday.

Younis was still holding the fort with a fighting 52 and Misbah-ul Haq was unbeaten on eight taking their team to 125-3 at the interval after Pakistan won the toss and decided to bat on a flat, grass-less Dubai stadium pitch.

Mitchell Johnson, who has figures of 2-18 in his hostile 15 overs, removed opener Mohammad Hafeez as early as the fifth ball of the match when he trapped him with a superb full pitched yorker before Siddle set up Ahmed Shehzad (three) to bowl him round his legs.

With two wickets down Ali and Younis were so cautious that Pakistan`s first boundary only came in the 13th over.

Michael Clarke introduced debutant left-arm spinner Steve O`Keefe in the sixth over, but Ali and Younis negotiated the spin better than pace.

Pakistan were 50-2 at lunch and continued to bat solidly as Ali was the first to reach his 16th half-century with a sweep boundary off spinner Nathan Lyon.

Younis reached his 29th half-century with a single off Lyon.

Johnson returned for his third spell to remove Ali whose uppish drive was well caught at short cover by Alex Doolan. Ali hit six boundaries during his 216-minute stay.

Both teams included two spinners in their squads, with Pakistan giving Test debut to leg-spinner Yasir Shah.

Paceman Imran Khan was also included for his first Test, leaving Pakistan`s frontline bowling attack new and inexperienced.

Australia had all-rounder Mitchell Marsh and O`Keefe playing their first Tests.

The second and final Test will start in Abu Dhabi on October 30.