Peter Handscomb scored the third century of Australia's first innings before the hosts declared on 538 for eight before tea on the second day of the third and final Test against Pakistan on Wednesday.Australia's pace attack made immediate inroads into the Pakistan batting with debutant opener Sharjeel Khan (6) and Babar Azam (0) removed by Josh Hazlewood in five balls to leave the tourists reeling on 16-2 at the break.
Azhar Ali, who was 12 not out, and Younus Khan, who had yet to score, will resume for the final session looking to cut into Australia's imposing 522-run lead.Australia are already assured of winning the series after victories in Brisbane and Melbourne and Pakistan for large parts of the first two sessions had the look of a side who wanted to get the match over and done with as quickly as possible.
Handscomb's second hundred in his first four Tests had piled on the misery for the tourists after openers David Warner and Matt Renshaw had reached the milestone on day one.
Renshaw fell short of his double century, chopping on for 184 in the first hour of the day, and Handscomb knocked over his own wickets for 110 with Hilton Cartwright, Matt Wade and Mitch Starc also departing before the declaration.Handscomb, who resumed on 40 with Australia 365-3, brought up both his half century and his century with singles, a reflection of his solid and unfussy style of play.
Brought into the side with Renshaw in the wake of the Hobart humiliation at the hands of South Africa in November, the 25-year-old has proved a rock in what had become a fragile Australian middle order.His 205-ball knock, including nine fours, ended in bizarre circumstances when a Pakistan review showed he had got too deep into his crease and dislodged a bail off a Wahab Riaz (3-89) delivery.
Debutant all-rounder Cartwright opened his Test account with a crisp four through the covers off the first ball he faced and made a handy 37 before Imran Khan took out his middle stump.
Wade holed out in the deep after a 33-ball 29 and Starc clubbed two huge sixes over long-on before being caught at deep midwicket for 16, his dismissal prompting captain Steve Smith to declare.