22nd over: Australia 93-0 (Warner 49, Burns 37) Yasir to Warner, twice in a row on the pads. Warner pressing forward to defend. But it’s the third ball that lets Yasir down. Overthrown, too full and a bit of width as he tries a googly, where building consistent pressure might have been better. Warner drives it through cover for four. Then Yasir drags a bit short and Warner is dropped! Impossible for short leg to have seen that ball, it was middled and it hit him in the hand rather than the other way around. Shan Masood has been good in that position, and he was immediately looking for a rebound, hoping the ball would pop up off his thigh after it hit him, but it goes to ground instead. Would have been a pure fluke if that had stuck somewhere. Warner follows up with another run to keep the strike and move within a run of his fifty.
21st over: Australia 88-0 (Warner 44, Burns 37) Burns again, climbing into a short ball! He’s not been shy about cross-bat shots this morning. Imran Khan not quick enough to try that length. The rest of the over is a decent length, but you can’t build pressure when you’ve given away that easy four. Warner’s score hasn’t moved for several overs but Burns has been ticking away.
20th over: Australia 84-0 (Warner 44, Burns 33) Yasir Shah at last, the leg-spinner who was the fastest bowler to 200 wickets in terms of Tests played, beating a long-standing record by Depression-era Australian leggie Clarrie Grimmett. Yasir’s first ball in this Test is too short, and Burns cuts it easily to get off strike. Yasir to a left-hander now, rarely a leg-spinner’s preference, but from over the wicket he can bowl in line with the stumps and threaten Warner that way. Yasir debuted against Australia in 2014 in the UAE and got a lot of his wickets with the straight ball, sliding on to hit the pads of batsmen expecting turn. Decent length to Warner, dragging him forward but not bowling too full.
19th over: Australia 83-0 (Warner 44, Burns 32) The Imran Khan line of attack to Warner is curious. It looks like he’s just trying to bowl dry, keep Warner quiet. He’s right-arm over, but naturally bowls quite wide of the stumps. That means there’s a steep angle across Warner, no chance of leg before wicket, and the only mode of dismissal is an edge into the cordon. But Warner isn’t offering much in the way of loose shots. He’s happy to defend the balls close to him, and leave the ones wider if the length isn’t full enough or short enough to target. Imran bowls a maiden. The omission of Mohammad Abbas starts to look worse and worse. What a bowler he is, and might have been here.
18th over: Australia 83-0 (Warner 44, Burns 32) Another trip to the dancefloor for Burns. He’s starting to catch up to Warner’s score, with another lofted off-drive against the Pakistani off-spinner. The visitors look short of ideas at this stage.
17th over: Australia 78-0 (Warner 43, Burns 28) Too short again from Imran, and now Burns is pulling, but only for one run thanks to the deep square leg. Just a couple of singles from the over, but no threat in it. Still no sign of Yasir Shah…
16th over: Australia 76-0 (Warner 42, Burns 27) Dancing time for Burns! He’s taken on more deliveries than Warner today, refusing to be dictated terms. First ball of Iftikhar’s over, Burns is down the track and lifting him straight for four. Adds a single to keep the strike.
15th over: Australia 71-0 (Warner 42, Burns 22) Imran Khan is back replacing Naseem, trying the same length of attack but about 20 clicks slower. Warner responds with his first pull shot of the innings, not entirely nailed, but into the gap between mid-on and midwicket for four.
14th over: Australia 67-0 (Warner 38, Burns 22) Spin for the first time today, but it won’t be the leggie Yasir. Iftikhar Ahmed will essay his off-breaks, around the wicket to the lefty Warner. Nothing expansive from Warner, just a third-ball push and he gets a run thanks to a misfield at cover. Nice line from Iftikhar to Burns as the bowler switches over the wicket. A couple of good takes from Shan Masood at short leg, he’s been impressive there today. “Bowling, Iffy!” calls Rizwan. A debatable nickname.
13th over: Australia 66-0 (Warner 37, Burns 22) Naseem is cranking up the speed gun as his spell wears on! Up towards 150 kilometres an hour now, and when Burns takes on a bouncer it’s too fast for him to control. A high top edge swirls out to deep backward square, but there’s no man there on the hook. Burns gets four.
12th over: Australia 58-0 (Warner 36, Burns 15) Lucky that Warner had a drink. Another four for him, but not a boundary. His cover drive pulls up just inside the rope, but he runs the first couple so hard that he’s able to turn for a fourth as the ball is retrieved. That’s a hard task in the Brisbane heat. It’s not quite 30 degrees today but it’s still Queensland humid.
11th over: Australia 51-0 (Warner 30, Burns 14) Naseem Shah bowling with fire! After being nudged off the pads for another couple of runs he decides that he’s had enough, comes around the wicket to Warner and starts the barrage. One decent bouncer, then one absolute beauty! It sizzles past the grille, and Warner plays it well, swaying away. The bowler gives him a glare after each of those short balls, and Warner offers back a broad grin. Even Warner can’t help being a bit friendly towards his young opponent. Naseem loses his line down leg, but Rizwan spares him any extras with a huge diving save. Drinks.
10th over: Australia 51-0 (Warner 30, Burns 14) Finally a quiet over for Pakistan, but Shaheen is having trouble with his landing zone, bowling a no-ball and then having a long conversation with the umpire and his captain about his footing. Australia’s fifty is up.
9th over: Australia 49-0 (Warner 29, Burns 14) Naseem Shah now, his first bad ball in Test cricket, losing his line across Warner and giving way too much width. Warner middles his cut-carve stroke for four. Naseem, right-arm over, is immediately tight on the stumps again, but even then Warner can just drop and run a single to cover.
8th over: Australia 44-0 (Warner 24, Burns 14) Yesterday the Pakistani opening pair batted through the session and frustrated Australia, but the bowlers didn’t offer any freebies. The partnership didn’t hurt too much on the scoreboard. This morning Australia’s openers are batting through but they’ve also been given scoring chances in every over. Shaheen nearly gets through a tidy one, but overpitches the sixth ball and Warner can drive again for three.
7th over: Australia 40-0 (Warner 21, Burns 13) Here’s a moment: Naseem Shah, on debut, will have his first bowl in Test cricket. Sixteen years of age as he turns out for Pakistan. He’s on the spot with his first ball, just outside Warner’s off stump and blocked away for a dot ball. The second effort squirts past backward point for three runs, but it clocked nearly 148 kilometres an hour. He really arches the back in his delivery stride and then slingshots his bowling arm through, which is where he derives his pace. Burns gets a single to fine leg. Back to bowling at Warner, and Naseem is tight on the stumps. Twice in a row, not far from the sticks but Warner leaves, and the ball swings after it passes him enough to flummox the keeper and go for a couple of byes. Exciting start from Naseem.
6th over: Australia 34-0 (Warner 18, Burns 12) The errors keep building. Overpitched, so Warner can drive two runs through cover. On the legs, square for two more. The runs coming too easily, both batsmen have a start. Then overpitched again and Warner drives for four. Nice stride, perfect balance, out through cover. Imran looks for a solution by shifting to around the wicket, right-armer to left-hander, but bowls the same length and Warner can drive through cover again for three. The ball gets saved because third slip has been moved to cover and is able to chase it down. Australia off to a flyer, nearly 6 runs an over. Time for a change.
5th over: Australia 23-0 (Warner 7, Burns 12) Shaheen is the one not getting it right now. Just enough width for Warner to steer it away behind point, his most productive shot in Test cricket, for three runs. Then down leg side, and Burns doesn’t hit it with the bat but gets some thigh pad on it, four leg byes.
4th over: Australia 14-0 (Warner 3, Burns 11) Imran Khan still isn’t quite right to Burns, straying onto the pads to allow a single to fine leg. But he gets it right to the left-handed Warner thereafter, angling the ball across. Beats Warner with a beauty that has the whole slip cordon up, but the bowler shakes his head. No edge. Warner nails an off-drive, but Azhar Ali at mid-off dives full length to stop it getting straight of him. Good fielding.
“Morning Geoff,” writes Brian Withington. “Lovely to see a return to your usual preambling form. All power to your marrows and assorted cucurbits.”
3rd over: Australia 12-0 (Warner 2, Burns 10) Another boundary for Burns, safe enough but not controlled, pushing at Shaheen gently enough that the edge rolls to third man rather than flying through the air. Burns follows up in true opening batsman style by just pressing a run to midwicket. Warner covers his stumps for the rest of the over.
2nd over: Australia 6-0 (Warner 1, Burns 5) A busy first over of work for Joe Burns, who isn’t settled. First ball he’s cramped for room against a short ball but flays at it anyway, and under-edges it on the bounce through to Rizwan. Imran Khan is annoyed that the keeper was so far back. Then Burns takes on the next ball with a pull, clobbering it into short leg’s shin pad for a ricochet single. Warner takes his first run with a push to cover, then Burns hits short leg again and is setting off, but a brilliant bit of fielding from Shan Masood under the helmet sees the ball hit him on his right side, then the fielder grabbing the rebound with his left hand as it bounces behind his back. On the spin, Shan backhands at the stumps, and would have run out Burns had he hit. Then Imran bowls Burns a shorter wider one, and Burns carves a boundary. No shortage of shots.
1st over: Australia 0-0 (Warner 0, Burns 0) Shaheen Shah Afridi with the ball, and Warner to face the first delivery. More often than not he prefers to start at the non-striker’s end, but he wants an immediate start. Shaheen is tall, left arm, bowls with pace and swing. And he starts with both, on the off stump, throwing in a bumper. Warner plays with circumspection and watches out a maiden.
“G’day Geoff. Had a great day at the Gabba yesterday, but am back in the office today, so looking forward to your updates. Will the Australians fare any better than Pakistan did?”
Thanks for the email, Murray Henman. That’s exactly the question. Warner and Burns are walking to the middle. Warner had a shocking Ashes in England, as most of you would know. Burns has finally got another chance after being harshly dealt with before that series. Both have a point to prove and some good bowlers to deal with…
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Remember you can email the OBO – [email protected] for the time being – or find me on Twitter using @GeoffLemonSport.
If you want something to read in the meantime, England are still batting, just, over the fence in New Zealand. I’ll yell any messages across if you have any.
If you want a bit more detail, here is the wires summary of the first day’s play.
What ho, fine friends. Good morrow. Good marrow. Of your bones and in your gardens both. Here’s hoping. Time to sniff the flowers and biff with power. We’ve had one day of Test cricket in the Australian summer and it was a beauty – momentum shifts, danger, sturdy resistance, late drama, and ultimately closure. Pakistan were bowled out on the stroke of stumps. Fought brilliantly through the morning session via Azhar and Shan Masood, collapsed through the middle, then fought again at the end via Shafiq with help from Rizwan and Yasir. They’ve made 240 which will at least give their quicks something to bowl at. Today it’s Australia’s turn: how will the new-old batting line-up fare? Can’t wait.