Azhar: No hint of Smith edge


Pakistan had no idea Australia captain Steve Smith should have been out three runs short of his century on day one of the first Test at the Gabba, according to the tourists' Azhar Ali.

Smith had a second huge stroke of luck in Brisbane on Thursday when he edged Mohammad Amir through to wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed on 97, but there was no appeal from the tourists.

The Australia skipper had already been dropped by Sarfraz off Azhar with 53 runs to his name and went on to finish the opening day unbeaten on 110 as his side closed on 288-3 under the lights.

Azhar revealed Pakistan had "not even a sniff" that Smith, who told his team-mates in the dressing room that he "smashed it", ought to have been on his way after HotSpot and Snicko showed there was contact with the prolific number four's bat.

"It would have been a wonderful wicket for us, Steve Smith we all know is a very good batsman and he was quite well set," Azhar said.

"It could have changed, a little bit, the course of the game but these things happen and you just have to go on and look forward. He batted brilliantly today."

The all-rounder added: "Obviously we got information from outside that that [Smith edging Amir] had happened. No one really noticed anything, not even a sniff.

"None of our guys went up slightly, even. It was just one of those situations where no one realised what had happened.

"Sometimes it does happen. It has happened in the past also, that we don't get any noise or anything, any idea of having an edge. I think it's just a bit of luck for the batsman."

Opener Matt Renshaw (71) made his first Test half-century and Peter Handscomb (64 not out) scored his second in as many games for his country as Australia had the better of the opening day of the three-match series.

Amir was able to return to return to the field and resume bowling after the left-arm paceman had gone off with a knee injury.

Azhar said: "His knee went into the ground and we all feared it might be worse but, thank God, he recovered very quickly and came back and he's feeling much, much better.

"He came on and bowled with the second new ball, which is a very good sign."