Pakistan were left to rue two missed opportunities on the first day against Australia at the Gabba. They let Steven Smith off on 53 and 97 and he went to stumps unbeaten on 110
It was very much Australia’s day after Smith won the toss – his first win in seven Tests – chose to bat and finished on 3 for 288. But Smith was fortunate to survive on 53 when he played back to the part-timer Azhar Ali and edged behind, only to be put down by Sarfraz Ahmed. Pakistan’s catching has let them down in recent series and missing a key chance so early in this campaign was hardly the start they wanted.
“It would have been a wonderful wicket for us, Steve Smith we all know is a very good batsman and he was quite well set,” Azhar Ali said at the press conference. “It could have changed, a little bit, the course of the game but these things happen and you just have to go on and look forward. He batted brilliantly today.”
Sarfraz did pouch an edge off Smith later in the day, but Pakistan failed to hear any noise and did not appeal. Smith was on 97 at the time, when he followed an excellent delivery from Mohammad Amir that swung away. Television replays revealed a small HotSpot mark on Smith’s outside edge, and a noise on Snicko.
“Obviously we got information from outside that that had happened,” Azhar said. “No one really noticed anything, not even a sniff. None of our guys went up slightly, even. It was just one of those situations where no one realised what had happened.
“Sometimes it does happen. It has happened in the past also, that we don’t get any noise or anything, any idea of having an edge. I think it’s just a bit of luck for the batsman.”