Cummins, Starc lead way for Aussie quicks

Mitchell Starc missed a hat-trick but Australia still ruled day one against Pakistan at the Gabba.
Mitchell Starc missed a hat-trick but Australia still ruled day one against Pakistan at the Gabba.

Pat Cummins continued his Gabba dominance and Mitchell Starc claimed four scalps to start Australia's Test summer by rolling Pakistan for 240 in Brisbane.

After Australia's bowlers went wicketless in the opening session of a Test at the ground for the first time in history, Starc and Cummins had the hosts on top by stumps.

Starc finished with figures of 4-52 as he ran through the Pakistan tail, going within a whisker of claiming a maiden Test hat-trick on Thursday evening.

Cummins took 3-60 in his first home Test since claiming the mantle of the world's best bowler, keeping his average at the ground at 13.52.

Josh Hazlewood claimed two wickets in the rout, instrumental as Pakistan fell from 0-75 to 4-78 in a seven-over blitz from the Aussies.

Australia have not lost a Test at the Gabba since 1988, while no team from the sub-continent has ever won on the bouncy Brisbane wicket.

"I always enjoy bowling here, with that extra bounce," Hazlewood said.

"We were all at the SCG last week and it's the exact opposite. It took a while to get into it.

"But the way we fought back in the second session was perfect."

With openers Azhar Ali and Shan Masood the first tourists to bat through the opening session of a Test at the Gabba, Cummins turned the game with Shan's dismissal.

Just two balls after the right-armer took the opener's edge for 27, Hazlewood (2-46) followed suit by claiming Azhar for 39.

Hazlewood also had Babar Azam caught in the same manner, with the Pakistan star out driving hard at a ball after making just one.

"We strangled them to a degree in that first session," Hazlewood said.

"We probably bowled too short in the first hour ... but while ever that scoreboard wasn't moving we didn't feel too much pressure."

"We knew if we could get a couple (of wickets) we could get three or four in a row."

Starc and Nathan Lyon (1-40) also had wickets in the middle session, while Cummins was lucky to have Muhammad Rizwan caught behind after tea off what appeared to be a no-ball.

English third umpire Michael Gough watched several replays of the Aussie quick's foot landing on the line, before declaring it a fair delivery and Muhammad was sent on his way for 37.

Asad Shafiq and Yasir Shah then provided brief resistance for the tourists, but Starc showed again he is the world's most dangerous bowler against tail-enders.

He produced a ripper to clean up Yasir via a late-inswinging yorker with the second new ball, before having Shaheen Shah Afridi caught behind with the next delivery.

The left-armer was unlucky not to claim a hat-trick, with 16-year-old debutant Naseem Shah inside edging a ball past his stumps to deny Starc.

Cummins then produced a beauty in the next over to beat the resilient defence of Asad, cutting a ball back between bat and pad.

It ended a resolute 134-ball innings from the Pakistani No.4, with his 76 keeping the tourists in the battle in the last session.

Australian Associated Press