Dubai: David Warner's aggressive half-century spurred Australia to a solid 113 without loss after Sarfraz Ahmed's belligerent century lifted Pakistan to 454 on the second day of the first Test on Thursday.
Warner raised his sixth consecutive 50-plus score in Tests and was unbeaten on 75 off 77 balls, with seven fours and a six, at stumps. Chris Rogers, dropped on 13, will resume on 31.
Ahmed earlier tormented the bowlers on the grassless pitch by making 109 off 105 balls, hitting 14 fours before Pakistan ere dismissed just after tea. "Before I walked out to bat, [coach] Waqar (Younis) told me to play my natural shots and I succeeded," Ahmed said.
Asad Shafiq (89) and captain Misbah-ul-Haq (69) added resilient half centuries as Pakistan resumed from 219 for 4 overnight. Fast bowler Mitchell Johnson was the pick of the battery with 3 for 39. Nathan Lyon (2 for 148) had to wait until his 37th over to get his wickets.
Australia were 37 for 0 when left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar should have dismissed Rogers off his third delivery. Younis Khan spilled a regulation low catch at first slip after Rogers charged down the wicket but misread an arm ball that went straight and caught the outside edge.
Warner was little troubled by Pakistan's second-string fast bowlers or the three spinners as he drove and swept with confidence. He reached his half-century off 50 balls with a reverse-swept four off debutant Yasir Shah's no-ball, and lofted the legspinner over long-off for a six in the next over. "Our spinners are inexperienced but I hope tomorrow we will make a comeback and try to bowl them out quickly," Ahmed said.
Earlier, Ahmed picked up where he left off from his previous two Tests in Sri Lanka in August, when the wicketkeeper scored three half-centuries and a century.
He punished loose deliveries by Australia, and his second successive century in Tests came off 80 balls with an upper-cut boundary off wicketless Mitchell Marsh in his debut Test. Lyon finally ended Ahmed's entertaining knock when he had him stumped by Brad Haddin at the stroke of tea.
Lyon quickly wrapped up the innings after the break when he had No. 10 Rahat Ali caught in the deep. Babar got a knock on his right hand off a short-pitched delivery by Australia's most impressive bowler, Johnson, and couldn't resume his innings after tea. As a left-arm spinner, Babar bowled with his right middle and ring fingers heavily bandaged.
Pakistan's middle order struggled against Australia in the one-day international series and finally came good on the slow pitch.
Misbah scored only 67 runs in two Tests against Sri Lanka, but made a defiant 69 from 182 balls before playing a loose drive to legspinner Steve Smith to give Australia their only wicket of the morning session.
Shafiq, dropped by Alex Doolan from Lyon's first ball of the day, swelled the fourth-wicket stand to 91 and kept Australia at bay until the Pakistan captain, who hit two fours and two sixes, threw away his wicket.
Misbah, 34 overnight, reached his 26th Test half-century by sweeping Lyon for a single, and also hit Smith for a straight six before perishing late in the first session.
Ahmed and Shafiq toyed with the bowlers by raising 124 runs for the sixth wicket off 128 balls, before Shafiq gave debutant Steve O'Keefe his first wicket in the left-arm spinner's 25th over.
"We both have a very good understanding because we play in the same club back home," Ahmed said. "We decided to keep the scoreboard ticking and never missed singles, doubles and even threes."
Shafiq hit five fours and two sixes in his 151-ball knock but top-edged a sweep to Mitchell Marsh at square leg when he looked well set for his fifth hundred.