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Nathan Lyon's five-for troubles Pakistan A

Pakistan A 247 for 6 (Abid 83*, Aslam 51, Lyon 5-87) v Australia

Australia's chances against Pakistan in the upcoming series will rest on their ability to play the turning ball. But as they showed in a riveting series against India last year, their own spin-bowling resources aren't to be trifled, and Nathan Lyon continued that narrative with a five-for on the first day of the team's warm-up match in Dubai. The offspinner finished with figures of 36-5-87-5, walking the talk from last week when he said he will bowl ugly if need be to put his team on top.

Pakistan A had some solid performers as well, with opener Sami Aslam making a smooth half-century and No. 3 Abid Ali batted for more than 80 overs to finish unbeaten on 83 off 254 deliveries. Despite those two promising performances, the score at the end of the day was a middling 247 for 6.

Mitchell Starc also provided good news for Australia, getting through 17 overs of work in his first competitive outing since March 2018. The 28-year old fast bowler sustained a tibial stress fracture on the tour to South Africa and has since been on the bench, recovering, Selected for this tour, Starc will be leading an Australian pace attack that will not have Pat Cummins or Josh Hazlewood and it is in light of that fact that Lyon's form becomes doubly important. He had three of his five victims caught behind and bowled one other. All of them were top-order batsmen, including Aslam who fell for 51. Left-arm spinner Jon Holland played the supporting act and secured an important wicket as well - that of Asad Shafiq, who struck a gallant century in the 2016 day-night at Brisbane to almost chase down a target of 490.