Azam leads the resistance but Australia on top at lunch

Brisbane (Australia) (AFP) –


Babar Azam was fighting a lone rearguard action on day four of the first Test against Australia as the home side tightened the screws in the opening session in Brisbane on Sunday.

At lunch on the fourth day, Pakistan were 144 for five in their second innings, still 196 runs from making Australia bat again.

Azam was not out 67 with wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan alongside him on 17.

Azam, who brought up his 50 from 107 deliveries with six boundaries, has now made his highest Test score in Australia.

Pakistan had earlier resumed their second innings on 64 for three, with Shan Masood and Azam at the crease.

The Pakistan pair looked comfortable against the Australian attack and brought up their 50-run partnership midway through the first hour.

But on 42 Masood tried to hook a Pat Cummins short ball and got a thin edge to Australian wicketkeeper Tim Paine to leave the visitors 93 for four.

One run later Paine was in the action again when new batsman Iftikhar Ahmed was squared up by a beautiful ball from Josh Hazlewood and could only manage to edge it through to the Australian captain to fall without scoring.

Azam and Rizwan are the last recognised batsmen left for Pakistan.