Pakistan off to steady start in first Test against Australia

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Thanks to Hafeez's century, Pakistan ended the first day of the first Test on 255/3 (90 overs).

Preview: Opener Mohammad Hafeez celebrated his recall with an impressive century as Pakistan dominated the opening day of the first Test against Australia in Dubai on Sunday. The wicket did boost the visitors just before the Tea break but Pakistan will aim for the 500-run mark in the final session before giving Australia a few tricky overs to deal with before stumps.

Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed won the toss and chose to bat, and Hafeez and Imam laid the platform for a big first innings as Australia's pace-cum-spin attack was held wicketless before tea.

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Former Indian cricketer Sridharan Sriram, serving as a consultant with Australia, brought two Indian wrist-spinners, Pardeep Sahu and the left-arm KK Jiyas, to the UAE for net practice ahead of the Tests.

But after Nathan Lyon and Peter Siddle sent back the openers, Pakistan's scoring rate suffered.

Left-hander Haris Sohail (15, 53 balls, 1 six) and night-watchman Mohammad Abbas (1, 13 balls) will resume Pakistan's first innings on Monday. Hafeez's dismissal brought the Pakistani run blitzkrieg to a halt and to add to the agony lost another wicket when Azhar chipped Jon Holland to mid-off.

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Pakistan will also have 33-year-old off-spinner Bilal Asif, who played three One-day Internationals in 2015 but has yet to play a Test.

Meanwhile, Wahab Riaz returned to the Test team after a one year gap as the second fast bowler in the team.

The second match of the two-Test series will be played in Abu Dhabi (October 16-20).

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The absence of Smith and Warner was certain to be a significant factor with three debutants among the visitors' top six for the first Test in Dubai.