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Bird strikes twice to reduce Pakistan to 142-4 at tea

Associated Press logo Associated Press 26/12/2016 IHITHISHAM KAMARDEEN, Associated Press
Australia's Jackson Bird, left, celebrates the wicket of Pakistan's Misbah-ul-Haq, right, on the first day of their second cricket test in Melbourne, Monday, Dec. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill) © The Associated Press Australia's Jackson Bird, left, celebrates the wicket of Pakistan's Misbah-ul-Haq, right, on the first day of their second cricket test in Melbourne, Monday, Dec. 26, 2016. (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

MELBOURNE, Australia — Seam bowler Jackson Bird struck twice in quick succession to leave Pakistan struggling on 142-4 at tea on the opening day of the second cricket test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground on Monday.

Opener Azhar Ali, with 66 runs in four hours, and Asad Shafiq, on 4 not out, took the visitors to tea when rain forced an early break. Pakistan had won the toss and batted.

Bird, 2-53, removed experienced batsmen Younis Khan (21) and skipper Misbah-ul-Haq (11) in the space of 14 runs as Pakistan slumped from a well-placed 111-2 to 125-4 under lights and overcast skies.

Azhar batted obdurately for his 25th half century in his 56th test appearance and held the innings together while the rest fell to a combination of poor shots and good deliveries.

Younis, who shared 51 runs for the third wicket with Azhar, was beaten off the pitch and was bowled.

Misbah, having opened scoring with a six off Nathan Lyon, got an edge to a delivery from Bird and was well caught down low by Nic Maddinson at short leg.

Pakistan was 60-2 at lunch during a slow morning session.

Swing bowler Josh Hazelwood had Babar Azam caught by Steve Smith for 23 runs off the last ball before the lunch break.

Opener Sami Aslam was caught by Smith three balls after he introduced offspinner Lyon to the attack after Australia's pacemen failed to make inroads in the first 11 overs.

Lyon got a ball to turn sharply and lefthander Sami edged to Smith after scoring 9 runs off 41 balls.

Australia leads the three-test series 1-0 following a hard-fought 39-run win in the first test in Brisbane last week.

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