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Batting woes but bowling joy for Pakistan

AAP logoAAP 8/12/2016 Scott Bailey

Pakistan learnt the most important lesson of pink-ball cricket in Australia on Thursday: You want to have the ball in your hand at night, not the bat.

Just a week out from the series-opening day-night Test against the Aussies in Brisbane, Pakistan were dismissed for 208 against an inexperienced Cricket Australia XI, six of their wickets falling in the final session.

Then they responded in kind.

Wasim Akram-like tearaway Mohammad Amir swung the ball back violently to claim three wickets in 11 balls and Rahat Ali claimed another to leave the hosts reeling at 4-3 at stumps on day one.

"As the lights come on there is a little more swing in these conditions," Pakistan veteran Younis Khan said.

"If you have good swing bowlers and pace bowlers in your team as well I think you have a good chance ... Especially in these types of conditions."

Pakistan have played with the pink ball just once before, however that was flat Dubai wicket that offered little for the bowlers in a run-fest against the West Indies.

However in a hot and humid Cairns - where conditions are similar to what they'll face at the Gabba - it was a different story.

Misbah-ul-Haq's men were particularly tentative in their first encounter with a pink ball on Australian soil, where a number of batsmen were out pushing hesitantly.

Only Khan offered a sustained resistance, holding out for 138 balls before he inside-edged a Ryan Lees ball that swung back slightly under lights to be caught behind for 54.

"Test cricket is all about adjusting and dealing with the situation all the time," Khan said.

"If you're brave enough and just work on your technique I think there is a lot there for batsmen."

He was the only Pakistani reach 50, but wasn't alone in being defeated by the swinging ball.

No.3 Babar Azam pushed at one from Mark Steketee (3-47) that swung away from him to be caught at gully for 16, while Misbah edged an outswinger from Cameron Valente (4-36) to be caught behind.

Wicket-keeper batsman Safaraz Ahmed, who struck 39 from 66 balls, was also undone by one that swung back sharply from Steketee, getting a leading edge to mid-off.

Meanwhile openers Sami Aslam and Azhar Ali both misplayed straight ones. Aslam was bowled for 10 while trying to work a Cameron Wheatley ball to fine leg, and Ali caught at gully after pushing at a ball from Valente for 23.

No.6 Asad Shafiq (18) was the first to go in the night session, chopping on a cut shot off Valente before the lower order fell.

However that paved the way for Amir to fire a warning shot of what he can do with the pink ball under lights in the Queensland humidity.

He first went through the gate of Jimmy Peirson, before trapping Will Bosisto lbw next ball, both for first-ball ducks.

Ali then had opener Joe Carder caught in the slips, before Amir finished the day with another inswinger to clean bowl Jake Winter.

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