Pakistan lead by 325 after Australia bowled out for 202

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Offspinner Bilal Asif grabbed 6-36 on debut as Pakistan bowled out Australia for 202 on the third day of the first test on Tuesday.

Pakistan, which scored 482 in its first innings, didn’t enforce the follow-on and swelled its overall lead to 325 runs by reaching 45-3 at stumps.

Left-arm spinner Jon Holland had nightwatchman Asif out for zero and had Azhar Ali trapped leg before wicket in the last over as the pitch started to give spinners lots of assistance.

Earlier, Australia wasted a century opening stand in a dramatic collapse, losing 10 wickets for just 60 runs in a sensational afternoon session.

Usman Khawaja (85) and debutant Aaron Finch (62) launched Australia with an opening stand of 142 runs, but their fellow batsmen were exposed by the guile of Asif’s offspin.

Pakistan cricketer Bilal Asif bowls during the third day of play of the first Test cricket match in the series against Australia at the Dubai International Stadium. – AFP

Asif dismissed the top order, and fast bowler Mohammad Abbas chipped in with 4-29 as the batsmen couldn’t cope with seam or spin on a pitch where Pakistan batsmen Hafeez and Haris Sohail compiled centuries in the first innings.

The pitch looked a featherbed for batsmen in the morning when Khawaja and Finch carried their team from 30 without loss overnight to 137 without any problems by lunch.

Both batsmen were aggressive against Pakistan’s top legspinner, Yasir Shah, who conceded 80 runs off his 28 overs, but couldn’t get the breakthrough.

So high was the confidence of the Australia opening pair that Khawaja even reverse swept twice in succession against the legspinner.

But once Finch drove casually and was caught at short mid-on after lunch, the top order crumbled, as Asif seemed to extract more bite from the pitch than Shah.

Finch, who played 93 one-day internationals before earning his first test cap, showed patience and restraint in accumulating 62 from 161 balls, including five boundaries and a six.

Shaun Marsh was next to go when he drove at Asif and was caught in the slips for seven.

Asif then induced a top edge to remove Khawaja, who hit eight fours in his 175-ball innings.

Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne, both playing their first test, fell for ducks against Asif’s brilliance.

Abbas then grabbed the wickets of Mitchell Marsh (12), Mitchell Starc (0), and Peter Siddle (10) after tea. Asif wrapped up the innings by claiming No 10 batsman Nathan Lyon for six.

Pakistan lost first-innings century-maker Hafeez to Lyon in the second innings, then Holland got two in quick succession. However, Pakistan still had a strong hold on the test, and Australia faced a challenging total to chase on a wearing pitch.