The Australian opener, Usman Khawaja smashed his 11th Test ton and also made a 159-run partnership with Steve Smith to power Australia to 251 for three on Day 1 of the second test against Pakistan on Saturday. Khawaja had failed to score a century in the opening Test in Rawalpindi where he top-scored for his side with a breezy 97. However, the catch of Faheem Ashraf to get rid of Steve Smith towards the end of Day 1 stole a lot of limelight.
The elegant southpaw made changes in Karachi where he shelved the reverse sweep and made an unbeaten 127 with the help of included 13 fours and a six. Smith made 72 before getting dismissed by Hasan Ali in the penultimate over of the day owing to a brilliant catch by Faheem Ashraf. Nightwatchman Nathan Lyon had yet to open his account.
Here is the video of the catch taken by Faheem Ashraf:
At the very end of the day Steve Smith is caught napping.
— Fox Cricket (@FoxCricket) March 12, 2022
Earlier, the Australian skipper, Pat Cummins elected to bat on a dry surface at the National Stadium in Karachi. Khawaja looked in sublime touch and scored freely on the leg-side after being fed regularly on his pad. His opening partner David Warner was less convincing as he also suffered a blow on his shoulder by a short delivery from Hasan Ali.
Warner hit Sajid Khan for a six to bring up Australia’s 50 in the 11th over and it prompted Pakistan captain Babar Azam to take the spinner out of the attack. Seamer Faheem Ashraf broke the 82-run opening partnership with a back-of-a-length delivery that Warner, who made 36, could only edge to Mohammad Rizwan behind the stumps. Pakistan tasted a second success soon afterwards when Sajid ran out Marnus Labuschagne for a duck with a direct throw from mid-off.
Khawaja and Smith steadied the ship batting through the second session. Pakistan spinners failed to do much till the tea break, bowling way down the leg side, to stem the run flow and the batsmen were happy to just pad them away.
Steve Smith, who made 78 in Rawalpindi, once again failed to convert his fifty into a century and edged Hasan for Faheem Ashraf to take a low one-handed catch at second slip. Leg-spinner Mitchell Swepson makes his Test debut, joining Lyon in Australia’s two-man spin attack as Josh Hazlewood is missing the game.