Pakistan v Australia, 1st Test, Dubai, 2nd day October 23, 2014

Australia solid after rapid Sarfraz ton

Australia 113 for 0 (Warner 75*) trail Pakistan 454 (Sarfraz Ahmed 109, Younis Khan 106, Asad Shafiq 89, Johnson 3-39) by 341 runs
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Australia haven't been this confounded by a Sarfraz since the feisty Nawaz introduced them to reverse swing at the MCG in 1979. Sarfraz Ahmed's 80-ball century hurtled Pakistan to a first innings of 454, chastening Australia's bowlers and ensuring the first Test will have to be fought to the finish on a parched and dusty Dubai pitch.

David Warner and Chris Rogers made the best of their time in the final session, adding a busy 113 with only the occasional hiccup, but there is still some way to go after Australia's bowlers were left looking bereft for much of the day. The platform set by Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq and Asad Shafiq allowed Sarfraz to launch into an innings every bit as joyful as the celebration he unleashed upon cresting three figures.

If Australia's bowlers had been forewarned by Sarfraz's recent Test form - scores of 74, 5, 48, 55, 52*, 103 and 55 - before this match, they were disarmed by long hours in the field and a pitch utterly foreign to them. What followed was a display that allowed Pakistan to more than double their first day tally inside two sessions. Warner and Rogers lifted the day two total to 348, the most scored at the DSC in a single Test match day.

Well as Mitchell Johnson bowled for standout figures of 3-39 from 31 overs with no fewer than 18 maidens, Nathan Lyon and Steve O'Keefe returned combined figures of 4 for 255 from 67 overs. An early chance dropped by Alex Doolan, following another by Rogers on day one, took on critical dimensions as Pakistan's first innings grew.

Pakistan had needed to search more readily for runs when play began, Australia more pointedly for wickets. Lyon's first ball of the day should have reaped the desired breakthrough, as a sharp off break skewed off Shafiq's bat and pad to short leg. But Doolan dropped it, and from there the batsmen took the initiative.

Misbah sallied forth to loft Lyon for six over midwicket, while Shafiq used his feet where the previous night he had thrusted his pad. Their stand grew the total far more quickly than anything on the opening day, and Lyon's opening spell of the morning leaked runs at five per over.

The attack on Lyon was critical, for his off breaks seemed most likely to claim a wicket. Though Mitchell Johnson retained his pace and threat, none of Peter Siddle, Mitchell Marsh or Steve O'Keefe could attain the sort of deviation in the air or off the pitch to force a false stroke.

Michael Clarke was moved to try Smith's leg breaks, and his combination of sharp spin and looseners drew Misbah into a heave that sailed only as far as Johnson, posted halfway to the long on boundary. That wicket brought some momentary relief, but Sarfraz's intentions to attack were clear in the same over the wicket had fallen, and by lunch he already had a sprightly 27.

Shafiq had been the dominant Pakistani batsman for most of the morning, but as play resumed he reverted to a role in support of Sarfraz, who offered a starburst of strokes all round the ground as Clarke's brow furrowed. All bowlers were scored off, the spinners most of all, and in what seemed no time at all the total had zoomed past 400.

Both batsmen appeared destined for centuries, but Shafiq perished when he tried to slog sweep O'Keefe, the top edge landing in the hands of his fellow debutant Marsh behind square leg. Sarfraz was undeterred, and cuffed Marsh impudently over the slips for his second Test hundred and the second of the innings.

If he had appeared limited against Pakistan's batsmen, O'Keefe is accomplished at winkling out the tail, and soon he also drew a top edge from Yasir Shah. Johnson struck the left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar a nasty blow on the hand, drawing blood, and on the stroke of tea Sarfraz failed to regather his ground when missing a tired-looking sweep at Lyon.

The innings lasted only two more balls after tea due to Zulfiqar's retirement on account of his bandaged right fingers, leaving Warner and Rogers to face more than 30 overs in the evening. Mohammad Hafeez was handed the new ball as a nod to Rogers' previous difficulties against Graeme Swann, and his first few balls were played with something less than assurance.

But Warner has been on a Test match hot streak of his own to match that of Sarfraz, and he built up steadily in the shadows of late afternoon. There were some straight drives of rare brutality, and a reverse sweep from the debut leg spin of Yasir to pass 50 for the sixth Test innings in a row. Warner looked primed for a long stay on the morrow when stumps were drawn. After Sarfraz's effort, he will need one.

Daniel Brettig is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo. @danbrettig

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