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Pakistan slump to 8-97, Aust in control

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 16/12/2016 Rob Forsaith

Josh Hazlewood has enhanced his status as a pink-ball menace in Brisbane, embarrassing Pakistan to a point where Australia will almost certainly have the option of enforcing the follow-on.

Peter Handscomb's maiden Test hundred, coupled with a final-wicket stand of 49 runs between Nathan Lyon and Jackson Bird, helped Australia post a total of 429 on Friday's second day at the Gabba.

Pakistan were 8-97 in response at stumps, trailing by 332 runs after their batsmen were ruthlessly dismantled by the subtle movement and bounce of Hazlewood, Bird and Mitchell Starc.

The tourists are at risk of suffering a day-three loss in what was expected to be their greatest chance of a win in the three-Test series.

Pakistan surpassed the nation's lowest Test total at the venue thanks to Sarfraz Ahmed, who has top-scored with an unbeaten 31.

But it wasn't much of a moral victory for a side who unravelled spectacularly under lights, suffering a collapse of 8-61 after Australia passed 400 in their first innings for the first time since February.

Hazlewood, who snagged a career-best nine wickets in the inaugural day-night Test and grabbed six scalps in the recent pink-ball clash with South Africa, was in his element.

Hazlewood finished with astonishing figures of 3-19 from 11 overs.

The right-armer, who started the game needing six wickets to register his 100th Test scalp, was on a hat-trick after Babar Azam and Younis Khan were out edging in the 20th over.

"Hazlewood's form is as good as it's ever been in," former captain Mark Taylor observed on the Nine Network.

Misbah-ul-Haq survived the hat-trick delivery but, soon after, became Bird's first victim, while Hazlewood held a return catch to dismiss Wahab Riaz.

Handscomb praised the pacemen for breaking "the back of the Pakistani team.

Bird also removed Sami Aslam. Starc started the carnage when Pakistan were forced to face 10 overs in a testing 10-over period before dinner.

Starc fired out opener Azhar Ali then dismissed Asad Shafiq and Yasir Shah in the final session, with Usman Khawaja holding a slips catch on all three occasions.

Matthew Wade missed a late stumping chance but Australia's fielding, bowling and batting was otherwise the antithesis of what they served up during lopsided losses to South Africa in Perth and Hobart.

Handscomb resisted a spirited fightback from left-armers Wahab and Mohammad Amir, showing exactly the sort of "fight and resilience" that skipper Smith called for after five Test losses on the trot.

The hosts' pacemen all swung the ball and sent down a bouncer barrage.

But none was as effective - or intimidating - as Hazlewood, who struck Sami on the helmet twice.

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