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Where should the Pakistan Super League Final be played?
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Warner hit a quick-fire 113 with Renshaw finishing on 167* as Australia end Day 1 at a commanding 365/3.

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By Abdullah Ansari (3rd January, 2017)

Toss: Australia won the toss, Steve Smith opted to bat first.

Teams

Australia: MT Renshaw, DA Warner, UT Khawaja, SPD Smith (c), PSP Handscomb, HWR Cartwright, MS Wade (wk), MA Starc, SNJ O'Keefe, JR Hazlewood, NM Lyon.

Pakistan: Sharjeel Khan, Azhar Ali, Babar Azam, Younis Khan, Misbah-ul-Haq (c), Asad Shafiq, Sarfraz Ahmed (wk), Mohammad Amir, Yasir Shah, Wahab Riaz, Imran Khan.

Pakistan made a couple of changes to the side that lost at MCG, with Sharjeel handed a Test debut as Australia went in with two spinners, while the visitors chose to stay with the one and only Yasir Shah. The signs were ominous as the new ball bowlers struggled to make a breakthrough while Warner scored with freedom all around the ground, taking a liking to Imran's bowling in particular. He slowed down a tad but still got to a 42-ball fifty, taking advantage of the conditions on offer. With the field pushed back, Warner could afford the occasional mis-hit or edge as his shot-making ensured there were no close in fielders that were able to take advantage. He continued to hit boundaries after that as Australia raced to a 100 before Lunch and just before the interval, it was Warner who reached his hundred as well, becoming the first man since Majid Khan in 1976 to score a hundred in the first session of a Test, off just 78 balls.

Pakistan bowled a bit tighter after the break but it was Renshaw who was to be a thorn in the Pakistan side for the rest of the day. Warner was kept quiet for a few and fell for 113, trying to guide a back of a length delivery from Wahab which went to Sarfraz for a straightforward catch. Khawaja came and struggled to move the scorecard along with Renshaw taking responsibility to bat at a better tempo. There was a tough chance at gully grassed while Imran was bowling to Khawaja and it was eventually Wahab who delivered, with the left-hander going for a big drive and inside-edging behind to Sarfraz for just 13. Australia went to the Tea break at a demanding 224/2, despite Pakistan's relatively improved session.

Amir came on to bowl after Tea, after having bowled lesser overs in the 2nd session due to seemingly having hurt his knee once again. It was Yasir who got the next breakthrough, as he got one to turn and bounce against Smith, who went for the cut but simply got a thin edge behind to Sarfraz after making 24. Amir bowled a quick bouncer to Renshaw, which the opener took his eyes off and was smashed on the helmet. A short break was taken to ensure the youngster was in optimum condition to bat on. He got to his maiden Test hundred off Yasir's bowling, off 201 balls. With the clock winding down, Pakistan missed another chance as Sarfraz failed to effect a stumping with Handscomb well outside his crease. Renshaw, meanwhile, increased in confidence and took advantage of the tired bowlers - he was given LBW off Yasir but successfully reviewed with a big inside edge saving him. Pakistan took the 2nd new ball but failed to get a breakthrough with that as well as the hosts finished the Day at a mammoth 365/3 with Renshaw unbeaten on 167.

Summary: Once Pakistan lost the toss and were made to bowl first, there was a sense of foreboding about the first day. That's exactly how it panned out, with Warner first taking the attack to the cleaners with the visitors showing negative body language in the field, including an early misfield by Misbah that set the tone for the rest of the day, while Renshaw took full advantage of the tired bowlers to make hay towards the latter stages off the day. Pakistan had a couple of chances to try and come back into the game, the best one being at 244/3 after Smith's dismissal, but they were unable to make consistent breakthroughs as has been the norm for them on this tour and now face an uphill battle on Day 2 to stop Australia from posting a massive first innings score.

Fall of wickets:

1-151 (Warner, 32.3 ov)
2-203 (Khawaja, 48.1 ov)
3-244 (Smith, 59.5 ov)

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