PAK vs AUS, 2nd Test - Usman Khawaja's century and Steve Smith's 72 put Australia in strong position at end of Day 1
Brief Scores: Australia 251 for 3 (Khawaja 127*, Smith 72, Hasan Ali 31/1) at Stumps on Day One
After the first Test between hosts Pakistan and Australia ended in a tame draw in Rawalpindi on a pitch which attracted widespread criticism for being lifeless, the two teams were at loggerheads at National Stadium in Karachi for the second Test.
Australia skipper Pat Cummins won the toss and opted to bat first. Australia made one change in the eleven by replacing Josh Hazlewood with Mitchell Swepson whereas Pakistan made two changes by including Hasan Ali and Faheem Ashraf in place of Ifthikhar Ahmed and Naseem Shah.
Australia openers weave fifty-run partnership
Australia opener David Warner struggled early in the innings and suffered some close calls against left-arm pacer Shaheen Afridi. Second opener Usman Khwaja batted confidently right from the start. He hammered two back-to-back boundaries off pacer Hasan Ali. Warner also collected some runs through occasional boundaries. Both batters brought up the 50-run partnership for their side.
Australia lose two wickets in quick succession
Warner and Khawaja both plundered runs with attacking strokeplay after settling in the middle. Both batters smashed one six each off Sajid Khan. However in the very next over, Warner got caught by wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan off Faheem Ashraf on 36. So, Australia lost their first wicket on 82. The new sensation in Australian cricket, Marnus Labuschagne came to bat at one down. However, due to a terrible mix up on the pitch, Labuschagne, unfortunately, got run out on duck off nine deliveries due to a straight hit by Sajid Khan. Khawaja, in the meanwhile, completed his fifty off 69 deliveries.
Australia accumulate 172 for the loss of two wickets till Tea
After lunch, Khawaja continued to plunder boundaries against off-break spinner Sajid Khan. He added a 50-run partnership with former skipper Steven Smith. Right-arm pacer Faheem Ashraf troubled Khawaja a few times before tea. Australia accumulated 172 runs after losing two wickets at tea.
Usman Khawaja completes century
Steven Smith played second fiddle to Usman Khawaja till that time. After tea, Smith started to play positively. In the meantime, both batters brought up a 100-run partnership and Smith reached his 35th half-century. After that Khawaja completed a phenomenal century off 193 deliveries. Both batters batted aggressively after completing their individual milestones. However, after adding 159 runs with Khawaja, Smith got caught by Faheem Ashraf at slip on 72. It was an extraordinary catch by Ashraf off right-arm pacer Hasan Ali to send Smith back to the pavilion.
Australia sent night-watchman Nathan Lyon to play the final over of the day which Lyon survived as Imam-ul-Haq dropped a tough catch at short leg. Khawaja remained unbeaten on 127 off 266 deliveries. He hammered 13 elegant fours and one six in his spectacular innings.
Australia ended the day after scoring 251 runs after losing three wickets.