Although Australia will take a bit of heart from the three quick wickets including Azhar Ali's scalp on the last ball of the day, they would know that they are miles behind in the match.
Pakistan v Australia 1st Test - Dubai
Pakistan 482 (Mohammad Hafeez 126, Imam ul-Haq 76) and 45-3
Australia 202 (Aaron Finch 62, Usman Khawaja 85)
At the Close - Pakistan lead Australia by 325 runs with 7 wickets remaining
A day that started with a lot of hope for Australia with them building a 142-run opening stand could not bear the probing spells of Bilal Asif and Muhammad Abbas in the middle period. The Aussies lost 10 wickets for just 60 runs.
However, Pakistan did not enforce a follow-on and decided to bat themselves. Despite losing three quick wickets, they are placed comfortably in the match with a lead of 325 runs.
The Dubai pitch is no longer a belter as it was on day one. There is sufficient rough on the pitch for the spinners to exploit. Even if Australia bowl out Pakistan within hundred more runs, they would need more than 400 runs which would be next to impossible to chase on a breaking Dubai surface.
Then there is the scoreboard pressure which will take its own toll on the inexperienced Australian batting line up. This was always feared to be the problem for Australia. Apart from the openers Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja, the middle order is for too inexperienced for their liking. Collapses like these do not come as a surprise. What won't be a surprise either is if the match folds up on day four and Pakistan come out with an emphatic victory.
Let's have a look at the playing XI of both teams.
Pakistan- Mohammad Hafeez, Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed, Yasir Shah, Bilal Asif, Wahab Riaz, Mohammad Abbas
Australia- Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Tim Paine, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Peter Siddle, Jon Holland
Cricket Betting Tips and Match Predictions*
Who will win? – Pakistan
Head to Head – Tests 62, Australia 31, Pakistan 14, Draw 17
Top Batsman (Runs Scored) –Haris Sohail (Pakistan), Usman Khawaja (Australia)
Top Bowler (Wickets taken) – Bilal Asif (Pakistan), Jon Holland (Australia)
Most Fours – Haris Sohail (Pakistan), Aaron Finch (Australia)
Team Scores Batting First at the end of Day 4 – Pakistan 200+, Australia 150+ for 7
*NB these predictions may be changed nearer the start of the match once the final starting teams have been announced and we will be running ‘In–Play’ features soon, so stay tuned.
©Cricket World 2018