Pakistan have crawled their way along to be 4/142 when tea was taken early due to light rain on day one of the Boxing Day Test between Australia and Pakistan at the MCG. The day's play was abandoned an hour afterwards as rain refused to let up.
The highlight of the day's play for Australia was when Jackson Bird struck twice for Australia during the middle session.
Bird first bowled veteran Younis Khan for 21. Bowlers routinely refer to an individual delivery as a "nut" or a "seed", and this was one delicious bird seed -- a fact not lost on Cricket Australia.
Out-of-sorts Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq immediately tried to hit his way into form, getting off the mark with a maximum.
But he didn't last long, becoming Bird's second victim on 11. Nic Maddinson grabbed a great one-handed catch at short leg, which will hopefully provide some much-needed confidence when he strides to the wicket later on, in an attempt to improve his meagre Test batting average of 1.66.
Earlier, Josh Hazlewood struck right on the cusp of lunch, breaking his wicket drought after having sent down 42 wicketless overs in Pakistan's closer-than-expected run chase at The Gabba last week.
The 25-year-old paceman removed Pakistan number-three batsman Babar Azam with the last wicket of his eighth over, to have Pakistan 2-60 at lunch. Phew. Fifty overs and finally a wicket.
This was an old-fashioned dour morning of Test cricket. Pakistan fought hard, but pretty much crawled their way through the morning's play, scoring at just 2.30 runs per over. Australia's pace trio of Hazlewood, Mitchell Starc and Jackson Bird conceded just 38 runs between them in a combined 21 overs.
Nathan Lyon was a little more expensive, conceding 21 off five overs, but he captured a crucial wicket. That wicket provided a welcome breakthrough for his skipper, but it also kind of ruined the "Niiice Garyyy" celebration during which the entire crowd would yell "niiice Garyyy" in honour of wicket keeper' Matthew Wade's frequent behind-the-stumps call after Lyon bowls.
The entire crowd was all primed to yell "niiice Garyyy" after Lyon's third ball, but that just happened to be when he took the wicket. So it goes.Suggest a correction