If Prabhat is any predictor of the day, then Pakistan should prepare for a crushing loss to Australia at the end of the first day of the first Test of the series in Perth. The first day was bad for Pakistan.
Pakistan is regretting the lackluster pace bowling and many catch misses, stumping misses at the end of the day, starting with captain Shan Masood’s misfielding in the third ball of the match. Such is the situation that when Pakistan’s Khurram Sajjad took an innocent catch of David Warner who was on 104 runs, former Australia batsman Mark Waugh in the commentary room drew comparisons to U-10 cricket.
At the end of such a day, Australia lost, because David Warner once again showed his ‘Pakistan love’ by getting Pakistan. After scoring 164 runs, Warner got out, burning Pakistan’s bowlers on the way. On one of Australia’s fastest pitches, Pakistan’s pacers found themselves at a disadvantage, at least in the opening half of the day.
In the end, Australia ended the day with 346 for 5. Apart from Warner, however, no one else got runs like that, Usman Khawaja made 41, Travis Head 40, Smith 31. The two batsmen who finished the day unbeaten were Mitchell Marsh (15) and Alex Carey (14).
Naseem Shah is injured, Haris Rauf is not playing in this series. Along with Shaheen Shah Afridi, Pakistan has come with two debutants Khurram Sajjad and Amer Jamal. But whether it is because of the pressure of playing continuously, Shaheen is tired. Shaheen, who gave away 14 runs in the first over, couldn’t return to the same rhythm throughout the day.
The two freshmen had a shaky start, but showed some flashes in the latter part of the day. However, because the bowling of all three was very poor, India’s cricket analyst and commentator Harsha Bhogle wrote on Twitter, ‘After a long time, I saw Pakistan play a Test without perfect pace.’
And Pakistan’s fielding was, Darajhat! Abdullah Shafiq caught by Usman Khawaja in the 16th over, easy catch. It was not happening in the bowling, the way Warner hit Shaheen Afridi on one knee in the 22nd over has already been recognized as the best shot of the series by Pakistan’s legendary fast bowler Wasim Akram. Warner’s fifty off 41 balls, Australia scored 117 runs without a wicket in the first session.
Khawaja and Labuchen returned in the second session but Warner continued to beat. The 125th ball four also became Warner’s 26th century in Tests. Australia are 210/2 at the tea break. But then again Pakistan’s ‘under-ten’ cricket fielding, I mean, what else was Wah saying! Warner wanted to hit Aga Salman’s ball, the timing was not right. Shahzad, standing at mid-on, just jumps and catches the catch. But Shahzad misjudged the timing of the jump, the ball went between his raised hands to the boundary! Seeing that, Waugh said, ‘That is a common catch in any level of cricket, be it park cricket or U-10. It seemed that he tried to take a catch for the first time in his life!
That Warner reached 150 runs off 196 balls. Moments later Australia’s 300 was in the 71st over. The day belongs to Warner. Of course, when Pakistan is the opponent, Warner being so devastating has become the norm. In the last six innings at home against Pakistan, Warner’s century is five, the rest of the innings is 55 runs. Have a triple century!
At the end of such a day, another record of Pakistan should have fallen by now. The name of the winning team in the last 14 Tests of Australia-Pakistan on Australian soil is the same – Australia!