Australian batsman Peter Handscomb celebrates his maiden century.
Australian batsman Peter Handscomb celebrates his maiden century. DAN PELED

Collapse leaves tourist in trouble at the Gabba

AUSTRALIA'S three-pronged pace attack of Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood and Jackson Bird sparked a Pakistan batting collapse to leave the home side right on top at the end of day two of the day-night Test in Brisbane.

Starc took 3-45, Hazlewood 3-19 and Bird 2-7 from nine overs as Pakistan lost at one stage 7-24 before finishing on 8-97.

The tourists had looked in little trouble at 1-43 before Hazlewood grabbed two wickets in two balls to spark the tumble of wickets.

Babar Azam was caught at second slip by skipper Steve Smith slashing wide of off stump and next ball Younus Khan edged to Matthew Wade.

Bird and Starc, who had Azhar Ali brilliantly caught by Usman Khawaja for five to take the first wicket, got in on the act to turn the screws.

Wade missed a stumping to get rid of Sarfraz Ahmed in the penultimate over off Nathan Lyon and the Pakistanis survived the final with Ahmed unbeaten on 31 and Mohammad Amir not out eight as the visitors finally showed some fight.

Earlier a maiden Test century to Peter Handscomb and some entertaining late-order hitting took the Aussies to a first-innings total of 429.

Handscomb was the mainstay of the home side's innings as Pakistan fought back well, at one point taking 6-67.

The Victorian, in only his second Test, showed patience while wickets were falling around him and batted beautifully with the tail before hitting a couple of boundaries to race through the nervous 90s and reach a much-deserved ton.

He was eventually out for 105, playing on to Wahab Riaz for 105.

It was Riaz's second wicket of the day after he earlier dismissed Aussie skipper Steve Smith for 130.

Amir also grabbed two wickets but Pakistan lost its way when Lyon and Bird, who was ironically left out of the Test match in Hobart against South Africa because then-selector Rod Marsh felt he his batting wasn't good enough, put on 49 for the 10th wicket.

The partnership was close to a record - they fell three runs short of the best between batsmen 10 and 11 at the Gabba for Australia.

Australia's total appeared to be above par, especially as the clouds rolled in at the Brisbane venue.

It could have been better for the tourists but for some sloppy fielding that continued on day two.

Smith was dropped on 53 and the Pakistanis failed to review a nick when the skipper was on 97 on the first day and he was put down again on the second afternoon.

He was on 129 when he found Amir in the deep, only for the left-armer to fumble the straightforward opportunity.

There was more misery for Nic Maddinson.

The New South Wales left-hander was out for a duck on Test debut in Adelaide and he was dropped at short leg in this innings at short leg by Azhar Ali.

Maddinson failed to capitalise, however, edging Wahab for one.



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