Pakistan wickets tumble as Australia seize control


Pakistan collapsed to 97-8 as Australia seized the initiative in the first Test in Brisbane, with Peter Handscomb scoring a maiden century.

Having resumed on 288-3, the hosts posted 429, anchored by Steve Smith (130) and Handscomb (105), in addition to some valuable lower-order resistance from Nathan Lyon (29) and Jackson Bird (19 not out).

Australia's bowling unit then took centre stage, with Josh Hazlewood (3-19), Mitchell Starc (3-45) and Bird (2-7) leaving Pakistan's response in tatters.

The only visiting batsman to emerge from Friday's play with any credit was Sarfraz Ahmed, whose unbeaten 31 from as many deliveries stood in stark contrast to the rest of his side's scorecard.

Smith added another 20 runs to his overnight total before he was sent packing by Wahab Riaz (4-89), edging through to Sarfraz.

With that 172-run partnership broken, the wickets of Nic Maddinson (1), Matthew Wade (7), Starc (10) and Hazlewood (8) fell in short order.

But Handscomb continued to patiently compile his first Test ton from 227 balls, before chopping on to Wahab.

Lyon put on a show with six boundaries in his brisk knock, steering Australia past 400, though he was the only one of the bowlers not to make a dent in Pakistan's fragile line-up.

The tone was set early on, with Azhar Ali (5) playing a loose shot to Starc and Usman Khawaja taking a fine catch at third slip.

Babar Azam (19) and Younis Khan (0) fell to successive Hazlewood deliveries in the 20th over, with Misbah-ul-Haq (4) and Asad Shafiq (2) following their lead in edging behind.

Opener Sami Aslam faced 100 deliveries for his unremarkable 22, highlighting how well Sarfraz played to at least help push Pakistan towards triple figures.

He was left fast running out of partners, though, with Wahab and Yasir Shah out for one apiece, leaving Mohammad Amir (8) as the other not-out batsman at the end of an eventful and potentially decisive day.