Finch, Khawaja defy Pakistan in first Test

Travis Head plays off the back foot

Usman Khawaja got to 85 before falling to Bilat Asif.

Pakistan are in the midst of their own rebuild in the wake of retirements to former skipper Misbah-ul-Haq and Younis Khan, but having trounced a stronger Australia 2-0 in the last UAE series in 2014, they will fancy themselves to win this one.

Pakistan batsman Haris Sohail, who scored a maiden Test century to join opener Mohammad Hafeez in reaching triple-figures, said patience had been key during an opening session in which Australia opted not to take the new ball.

Hafeez, 37, capped his return to the Test team after a gap of two years with a brilliant 126, helping his team to 255-3 on the first day of the opening match in Dubai.

Just when things looked in control of Australia, Muhammad Abbas once again delivered the goods for the team.

But Marsh (12) was trapped lbw by paceman Mohammad Abbas shortly after the interval and Paine (seven) soon followed, unsuccessfully reviewing his dismissal from offspinner Bilal with replays confirming a faint edge to short leg. Their middle order will be held up by the Marsh brothers, Shaun and Mitchell.

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SEVEN years on from their last series victory in Asia, the issues that plagued Australia in Dhaka, Bangalore and Galle were carried to Dubai as Tim Paine's men lost 10 wickets for just 60 runs and were bowled out for 202.

Peter Siddle congratulates debutant Travis Head.

Pakistan will need seven more wickets while Australia require another 326 runs for an improbable victory to take a 1-0 lead in the two-match series, with the second Test starting in Abu Dhabi on October 16.

Sohail and Asad Shafiq (80) put on 150 for the fifth wicket on a placid track at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium as Australia's bowlers toiled in the intense heat.

Azhar Ali played a rash drive against left-arm spinner Jon Holland and was smartly snapped at mid off by Mitchell Starc as Australia pegged back Pakistan.

"I have a target of 20 wickets", Yasir told AFP. However, the off spinner got his revenge when Shafiq hit one straight into the hands of the deep mid-wicket fielder, and that's when Sarfraz made the declaration.

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