Australia had to wait for a tad longer then expected on Day Four but they managed to register a comprehensive win by an innings and 5 runs in the first Test at Gabba, Brisbane. With this win, they lead the two-match series 1-0. It was first the bowlers who had set it up for Australia, bowling their opponents out for 240 on the first day, despite a gutsy 76 from Asad Shafiq. Then, David Warner (154) and Joe Burns (97) put on a first-wicket partnership of 222, which laid the platform for a big lead. Warner has been involved in all of Australia’s four double century opening partnerships since 2009.
To add to Pakistan’s woes, Marnus Labuschagne scored 185 – his maiden Test ton – and that further took the game away from Pakistan.
Things could have been much different had the 16-year-old newly-found pace sensation Naseem Shah bowled a legitimate delivery when Warner nicked one to the ‘keeper when he was on 56. But Warner went on to score his 22nd hundred, his first since returning from his one-year ban, putting the ghosts of a horror show in The Ashes behind him.
Australia picked up a couple of wickets in the first hour of Day Four, first breaking the 68-run stand between Shan Masood and Babar Azam and then managed to get rid of Iftikhar Ahmed for a duck six balls later. With half their side back in the hut and with a deficit close to 250 yet to wipe, Pakistan had their backs against the wall. Luckily for Pakistan, they had a set batsman in Babar, but he was quickly running out of partners.
It was a great time for Mohammad Rizwan, who was given out off a no-ball in the first innings, to prove his worth, playing ahead of Sarfaraz Ahmed in this series. He had gotten off to a good start in the first innings, where he played some delightful shots, but seemed to take a defensive approach in this knock. Babar too had played well on Day Three and continued from where he left off on Day Three.
Babar and Rizwan put up 132, which is only the third sixth-wicket century stand for the sixth-wicket since 2018. Babar brought up his second Test century with a delightful cover drive, while Rizwan too got to his maiden Test fifty, which gave Pakistan hopes of taking a lead.
Once Babar was dismissed, Rizwan shouldered the responsibility of taking Pakistan close to Australia’s total, but he fell five short of his first ton, guiding it straight to third man, not before he put on a 79-run stand with Yasir Shah. Yasir played positively and got to his highest Test score of 42 before he was dismissed.
The deficit was under 20 and it would have been a tremendous achievement for Pakistan to wipe it off and make Australia bat again. A couple of rash shots in the end ensured Pakistan narrowly missed out from taking the lead, handing Australia an innings victory.
Australia continue their dominance at Gabba – a venue they have not lost at since 1988. Pakistan were never in the game since they won the toss and posted just 240 on the board.
They will have their task cut out when they face Australia in the second game at Adelaide in five days’ time, which will be a day-night Test.
Pakistan 240 (Asad Shafiq, Azhar Ali; Mitchell Starc 4 for 52, Pat Cummins 3 for 60) & 335 (Babar Azam 104, Mohammad Rizwan 95; Josh Hazlewood 4 for 63, Mitchell Starc 3 for 73) lost to Australia 580 (Marnus Labuschagne 185, David Warner, 154; Yasir Sha 4 for 205, Haris Sohail 2 for 75) by an innings and 5 runs
Player of the match: Marnus Labuschagne