DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — While David Warner produced his third successive test century, Pakistan snatched four quick wickets by lunch to leave Australia struggling at 207-4 on the third day of the first test on Friday.
Warner scored centuries at Cape Town in his last test against South Africa in March, and stood out against Pakistan’s spinners to be unbeaten on 133 in an extended 2-1/2 hour morning session due to Friday prayers.
Australia is still not yet out of trouble on a pitch which has gradually started favoring spinners, as it trails by 247 runs after Pakistan scored 454.
Warner, who was 75 overnight off 77 balls, was more circumspect as the wickets started falling around him. He has faced 171 balls, hitting 11 fours and two sixes.
Resuming at the overnight 113-0, Pakistan struck within half an hour when fellow opener Chris Rogers (38) chopped Rahat Ali’s short-pitched delivery back onto his stumps.
In the absence of suspended offspinner Saeed Ajmal, spinners Zulfiqar Babar, Mohammad Hafeez and debutant Yasir Shah managed to tie down the Australians, and even the free-flowing Warner.
Warner completed his century off 128 balls with eight fours and a six when he hit his first boundary of the day in the 18th over by driving new fast bowler Imran Khan through extra cover.
Alex Doolan (5) took 16 deliveries to score his first run before his shaky 34-ball innings ended when he failed to beat Ali’s direct throw from mid on and was just short of his crease at the non-striker’s end.
Left-arm spinner Babar cut short Michael Clarke’s (2) return to international cricket from a hamstring injury, as he set a leg trap for the Australia captain and had him caught bat and pad. Australia slipped to 3-158.
Warner cut loose briefly and raised Australia’s 200 by driving and cutting Hafeez for two successive boundaries, then Shah struck in the penultimate over before lunch.
Steven Smith (22) was shaping up well but chased a wide Shah delivery to be comfortably caught by Hafeez.