Pakistan Suffer Significant Setback Against Australia In First Test


Pakistan suffer significant setback against Australia in first Test

Australia have defeated Pakistan by 360 runs in the opening Test match on Perth ground on Sunday.

PERTH: (UrduPoint/Pakistan Point News-Dec 17th, 2023) Pakistan suffered a significant setback against Australia, facing a defeat by 360 runs in the opening Test on Sunday.

The team, led by Shan Masood, struggled as they were dismissed for a mere 89 runs in 30.2 overs while chasing a challenging target of 450 for victory.

After being bowled out for 271 in response to Australia's 487, the hosts declared at 233-5 in their second innings on day four. Captain Pat Cummins made the decision following opener Usman Khawaja's departure for a resilient 90, concluding a 126-run partnership with Mitchell Marsh.

Despite a momentary spark of hope when Pakistan dismissed Steve Smith and Travis Head early in the day, their top-order collapsed on the challenging Optus Stadium surface. Australia aimed for a Test victory within four days.

Facing a daunting task after Australia declared, Pakistan succumbed to brilliant bowling from Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Pat Cummins. The deteriorating surface posed challenges for batters, with deliveries rearing and creeping low.

As anticipated, Pakistan struggled in the opening seven overs, slumping to 17 for 3. Opener Abdullah Shafique fell to Starc's delivery, while Captain Shan Masood was caught behind off Hazlewood after a loose drive.

Babar Azam, Pakistan's talisman, held the team's hopes but fell victim to a cracking Cummins delivery. Australia's full-strength attack, including returning offspinner Nathan Lyon, proved formidable. Lyon, approaching his 500th Test wicket, took three wickets in the first innings.

Debutants Shahzad and Jamal impressed, but Afridi, elevated as vice-captain, struggled with his pace and ended with match figures of 2 for 172. Australia's batting, challenging in the first session, saw Khawaja's brave innings and Marsh's aggressive play, leading to a declaration with a lead of 449 runs.

Despite Pakistan's efforts, reminiscent of their 2004 collapse in Perth, they faced the imminent prospect of another Test defeat in Australia.

Abdullah Hussain

Abdullah Hussain is a staff member who writes on politics, human rights, social issues and climate change.