Imam-ul-Haq slid into the nineties smoothly and was only eight runs away from scoring his debut Test century. Pakistan continued to call the shots against the visitors in a tension-free second session at Rawalpindi. The hosts pushed their score to 171 for 1 at Tea with Azhar Ali partnering with Imam to add an undefeated 66-run stand for the second wicket after the openers scored 105.
Imam – A nightmare for Australian bowlers
The Pakistan team milked the bowling side of the visitors. Australian bowlers only conceded 10 runs in the first eight overs post Lunch before Imam stepped out to hit Nathan Lyon with a sweep shot. The sweep then followed to a controlled pull-off Green for a boundary. At the end of the 50th over, Josh Hazlewood bowled a reverse swing but not enough to cause any harm to the hosts.
Babar Azam won the toss earlier in the day and named three spinners in his squad and elected to bat. Australia went with their common combination of 4-1 and found out that the pitch did not have much to contribute to the pacers.
Lyon was introduced into the attack as early as the eighth over before even Cummins could bowl. Opener Abdullah Shafique was nearly caught by the leg slip but did not survive the other catch that held its line.
Imam’s smooth journey to the nineties
Apart from those moments, the openers Imam-ul-Haq, as well as Shafique, had no problem in scoring ahead. The start was pretty slow, scoring only 7 off Imam’s first 41 balls. However, Imam was able to gear up smoothly and move ahead. He scored 43 off the next balls to arrive at the half-century mark on his Test return.
Pakistan’s pavilion was shaken only when Shafique got out while trying to hit Lyon out of the ground minutes before the Lunch Interval.
Brief Score Card : Pakistan 245/1 (Imam-ul-Haq132*, Azhar Ali 64*; Nathan Lyon 1-87) vs Australia