DUBAI: Pakistan spinners Zulfiqar Babar and Yasir Shah took nine wickets in the second innings as the hosts beat Australia by 221 runs in the first test on Sunday to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series.
Australia, resuming on 59 for four, put up stiff resistance throughout the fifth day and managed to drag the match into the final session but were finally all out for 216.
Left-armed Babar took his maiden five-wicket haul in his third test match while debutant leg-spinner Shah chipped in with four as Australia’s batsmen showed a familiar vulnerability against spin bowling on slow wickets.
Both spinners took seven wickets each in the match while part-time off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez also got a wicket in the first innings.
Steve Smith (55) and Mitchell Johnson (61) scored dogged fifties to delay the inevitable as Pakistan completed a morale-boosting win, sweetened by the fact that they did not have the services of leading bowlers Saeed Ajmal and Junaid Khan.
Smith, who batted for 175 deliveries, added 65 for the eighth wicket with Johnson and the duo thwarted Pakistan’s bowlers for 90 minutes in the second session before the former was out caught at short leg off Yasir.
Pakistan had multiple chances to break the partnership but failed to make the opportunities count. Babar was the unlucky bowler on most occasions.
Wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed failed to collect the ball with Smith on 37 while captain Misbah-ul-Haq dropped a tough chance at cover with the batsman on 44.
Johnson (65) was also dropped twice, both times off the 35-year-old Babar.
Sarfraz made amends for his earlier mistake by swiftly taking off the bails to stump Johnson, who also added 43 for the ninth wicket with Siddle, to give Yasir his fourth wicket.
Siddle (15) was the last man out to become Babar’s fifth wicket.
Australia fought hard in the morning to keep Pakistan at bay for more than 80 minutes but lost three quick wickets once the resistance was broken.
Opener Chris Rogers (43) was bowled by debutant Imran Khan for the only wicket to fall to the fast bowlers in Australia’s second innings after he and Smith added 43 for the fifth wicket.
Babar got in on the act by dismissing all-rounder Mitchell Marsh for three. Debutant Marsh prodded forward to a delivery and the catch was held smartly at silly point by Azhar Ali.
Brad Haddin, Australia’s last recognized batsman to join Smith, did not last long either and went for a duck as Babar breached his defence to disturb the stumps.