Pakistan 132 for 2 (Shafique 42, Imam 38*) trail Australia 487 (Warner 164, Marsh 90, Jamal 6-111) by 355 runs
Masood had promised a continuation of Pakistan’s proactive batting approach from their successful tour of Sri Lanka in July. But Shafique and Imam were watchful through 20 overs in the second session as they effectively blunted Australia’s accurate pace bowlers.
While Imam, who made just two runs off his first 31 deliveries faced, entirely focused on stonewalling, Shafique looked impressive technically as he presented a straight bat in defence. Unlike Imam, he was able to make the scoreboard tick over with the occasional elegant boundary.
But Lyon had the last laugh when he had Shafique miscuing to leg slip where David Warner held onto a fine catch. In his comeback from a calf injury that cut short his Ashes campaign, Lyon is now just three away from 500 Test wickets. After coming on in the 10th over, he conjured spin and bounce to finish with 1 for 40 from 13 overs.
Masood took it upon himself to lead from the front and play aggressively as he smashed Lyon for a boundary on his second delivery faced. He soon after hit a gorgeous boundary off Hazlewood to race to 19 off 13 balls.
Masood quickly caught up to Imam, but he fell on 30 just 10 minutes before stumps when he was caught behind off Starc in a decision overturned on review.
Khurram Shahzad survived through to stumps as the nightwatchman with Imam finishing on 38 from 136 balls.
Masood’s wicket dented Pakistan’s fightback after a forgettable performance in the field. They lacked discipline with the ball and fielded raggedly as Australia batted at over four runs an over to post a formidable first innings total of 487.
Marsh took charge in the first session and relished playing his first Test match at Optus Stadium having dominated on his home ground for Perth Scorchers in the BBL. He also justified the faith of selectors who stuck with him over Western Australia team-mate Cameron Green.
Having been watchful early against the second new ball, Marsh unfurled his muscular batting with powerful strokes around the wicket as he raced to his half-century off 66 balls.
He took a liking to innocuous short-pitched deliveries that were being served up by an uninspiring Pakistan attack. Pakistan’s goal of bowling Australia out an hour into the day’s play quickly eroded with spearhead Shaheen Shah Afridi unable to consistently threaten with the second new ball.
Debutant seamer Shahzad could not replicate his energetic performance from day one where he hit the mid-130kph mark. He bowled considerably slower at the start of day two and his pedestrian pace was easily handled by Marsh.
Jamal sparked a fightback for Pakistan, whose sedate approach with the bat left a crowd of 17,666 fans often inventing ways to keep entertained in the terraces. But the late wickets of Shafique and Masood had Australia firmly on top.
Tristan Lavalette is a journalist based in Perth