Australia slip around Handscomb's maiden hundred

Tea Australia 7 for 377 (Handscomb 103*, Hazlewood 8*, Wahab 3-66, Amir 3-78) v Pakistan
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Pakistan dropped two catches but still managed four wickets in the first session © Getty Images

Brisbane’s pitch quickened up and so did Pakistan’s pace attack as Australia stumbled on the second afternoon of the day-night Test.

Despite a fine maiden century from Peter Handscomb in only his second Test, Mohammad Amir and Wahab Riaz bowled quality spells to the Australian middle order, finding pace, bounce and just enough movement to hit the outside edge several times.

They were unable to dislodge Handscomb, who bided his time nicely and trusted his way of batting before leaping from 91 to 101 with a powerful six off Yasir Shah and a delectable square drive against Amir.

While Handscomb pushed on stoically towards his hundred, no one at the other end was able to stick around in similar fashion. The captain Steven Smith went on to 130 before throwing his bat at a Wahab delivery going across him, and Nic Maddinson continued an unconvincing start to his Test career by hanging his bat out for a thin edge behind.

Pakistan’s resurgence was all the more notable for the fact the visitors turfed more chances. Smith skied Yasir and was dropped by Amir running back towards long off, before Maddinson bunted Yasir to short leg where Azahr Ali was unable to cling on. Yasir deserved better than figures of 1 for 126, even if he pursued a leg-stump line too often to the left-handers.

Smith and Handscomb had begun intent on a long occupation, but the captain appeared to decide it was time to go on the attack after the fourth-wicket stand went beyond 170 runs. First he tried to deposit Yasir into the Gabba stands only for Amir to drop the swirling chance, then flayed at Wahab to end an equal parts fine and fortunate innings.

Maddinson was not confronted by floodlights and a swinging ball, but the extra pace off the pitch did appear to trouble him against both spin and pace. Matthew Wade and Mitchell Starc both offered catches to the slips off the persistent Amir before Handscomb was able to reach three figures, drawing the biggest cheer of the day from another healthy crowd.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.


Source: ESPN Crickinfo

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