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Pakistan peeved at 'premature' rain break

AAP logoAAP 28/12/2016 Michael Ramsey

A frustrated Mickey Arthur says Pakistan's day two momentum was broken by a 'premature' rain delay in the Boxing Day Test.

The umpires' decision to call lunch 10 minutes early amid light showers on day two at the MCG raised eyebrows.

Prior to the rain delay, Australian captain Steve Smith had put himself and fellow part-time spinner Nic Maddinson into the attack to bowl out the final overs with an ageing ball.

The pair went for 27 off their combined six overs, with Australian bowling coach David Saker on Tuesday admitting the early interval had come as something of a blessing for the hosts.

Pakistan coach Arthur was less than impressed with the halt in play.

"Yeah I was (peeved), to be honest, because I thought the rain had subsided a little bit," he told ABC Grandstand on Wednesday.

"We'd been out there in far worse for a period of time and I thought we were just getting some momentum. I thought it might have been a little bit premature.

"Those extra 10 minutes, the way we were batting, potentially could have been 15 to 20 runs which would have got us in a really good position before that second new ball actually came about."

Australian cricket great Shane Warne had earlier questioned whether Smith had influenced the umpires' decision.

"Why are they going off? This rain, it's just spitting," Warne said in the Nine Network commentary box.

"I think Steve Smith might have talked the umpires into going off because of a light drizzle and he wanted the second new ball.

"It's not heavy enough to be really off the ground. Everyone is out on the ground. There is a decent crowd in want to see some cricket. I think Steve Smith has sold it beautifully."

Arthur was pleased nonetheless with his side's performance, with Azhar Ali and Asad Shafiq's determined partnership taking the visitors to 6-310 at stumps on Tuesday.

"For us to win the toss, bat and to get ourselves in a really good position, I couldn't be happier," he said.

"We want to win. We want to be the first Asian side to win in Australia. We're hoping this rain goes away and we can really put in a good effort because we want to get something out of this today."

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