On a beautiful day in Brisbane, the sun was beating down and it was perfect conditions for batting. David Warner and Joe Burns started the proceedings brilliantly by dominating the pace battery. Shaheen Afridi and Imran Khan bowled inconsistently upfront and released the pressure quickly, allowing the opening pair to rollick along.
Naseem Shah didn't look overawed by the occasion and cranked up the pace right away, clocking high 140s in his fiery spell. He took a fancy to short bowling but the short pitch attack was nullified smartly by ducking and on other occasions, the openers carted pacers towards square leg and long leg region.
His strong front-on action, great follow-through, and ability to generate rapid pace from a short run-up are good signs for Pakistan who may have found a tearaway talented speedster. That being said, he wasn't able to generate enough sideways movement - something he could develop down the line and has oodles of time to work on his skillset.
The running between the wickets was exceptional - an aspect that was lacking in Pakistan's batting yesterday as they soaked up many dots whereas Australia were pretty keen on putting pressure on the infield and pinched singles to get the scoreboard ticking. They rushed to 100 at the end of the first session.
Azhar Ali was forced to make quick changes and every bowler was tried within the first session as the skipper desperately searched for a wicket.
Pakistan missed the trick by leaving Mohammad Abbas to warm the bench considering the fact that the visiting team was looking for an experienced pacer who may have stymied the run flow and bowl consistently in the corridor.
Imran Khan didn't challenge Warner from round the wicket angle which was exploited well by Stuart Broad in the Ashes and once the southpaw got off to a flying start, it became increasingly difficult to contain him as his insatiable hunger for scoring runs put Australia right on top. Warner was looking ominous on 52 while Joe Burns was unbeaten on 41 at lunch break.
Naseem Shah induced a false shot from Warner just after lunch as he was chasing the wide delivery and got a feather edge through to the keeper but Naseem overstepped and not for the first time in the day. The rookie was shattered and Warner made sure to feast on error. Pakistan tightened the screws after the lunch; Yasir Shah was bowling with a nice rhythm but the hosts negotiated him well and continued along their merry way.
Warner pushed on, converted half-century to a ton and then got to 150 while Burns missed out on a century by only three runs. He got outfoxed while trying to smother the spin of Yasir with an adventurous sweep shot. Nevertheless, the pair did substantial damage to the touring party with a gigantic double-century opening partnership.
Warner survived by a whisker when he survived a run-out opportunity in the 48th over; he clipped a length ball from Imran Khan to midwicket where Yasir pinged a sharp throw but Warner made his ground by mere millimetres.
Yasir bowled the bulk of overs and was made to toil hard on a flat batting track. There wasn't much respite for him and his record outside the United Arab Emirates remains ordinary - something that separates greats from the run of the mill leggies.
The grave concern for Azhar led side was the inability of the pacers to make any sort of inroads as they were manoeuvred in the gaps with ease and nobody looked threatening enough to outsmart the sturdy batters.
The new ball was taken without any delay and Shaheen was told to go have a crack at the Aussies. However, the set batsmen didn't lose a wicket to the new ball and Labuschagne and Warner forged a quick 90-run partnership before stumps on the second day.
Labuschagne hasn't looked back after the surprise call-up in the Ashes owing to Steve Smith's concussion injury. He batted superbly and thumped a fifty in no time.
"It was exhausting, the crowd got behind us. Joe deserved a hundred. I had a bit of a tough period and I can't thank enough everyone for their support," Warner opined.