Pakistan opener Imamul Haq leaps in celebration on reaching hishundred against Australia during their first Test in Rawalpindi on Friday. RAWALPINDI: Opener Imamul Haq hammered an undefeated dazzling maiden century as Pakistan reached on a commanding 245 for the loss of one wicket on the first day of their first Test against Australia at Rawalpindi Stadium here on Friday. The 26-year-old left-hander marked the first Test by Australia in Pakistan for 24 years with 132 not out, leaving the tourists frustrated on a dry and flat pitch. The bespectacled 26-year-old, who was not out on 132 at the close, added 105 runs with fellow opener Abdullah Shafique to give Pakistan a strong start after captain Babar Azam’s decided to bat first. His 140-run stand for the unbroken second wicket with Azhar Ali, who was 64 not out, further consolidated Pakistan’s position on a flat pitch where Australia rued not playing a second spinner. Australia used eight bowlers, but only spinner Nathan Lyon (1-87) managed a scalp in 31 tireless overs. Shafique miscued a lofted shot off Lyon in the penultimate over before lunch for 44. Shafique was shaping well after getting a life on 21 when Travis Head dropped a sharp chance at leg slip off Lyon, who extracted spin from the outset. Shafique hit three boundaries and a six during his enterprising knock. That brought Azhar to the crease, and the Pakistanis dominated the Australian attack — forcing skipper Pat Cummins to use part-time spinners Head, Steven Smith and Marnus Labus chagne, but to no effect. Australia are in Pakistan for the first time in 24 years for a full tour, which could potentially lead to regular visits by top teams who have largely stayed away since a 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore. Australia players wore black armbands in memory of former wicketkeeper Rod Marsh who died aged 74 on Friday. The teams also observed a minute’s silence for the Australian stalwart. Earlier, Josh Hazlewood returned from a side injury to replace Scott Boland in Australia’s three-pronged pace attack but an early breakthrough eluded the tourists. Imam, playing his first Test since December 2019, drove pacer Mitchell Starc to the cover boundary to complete his century in 277 minutes. He has batted for 379 minutes, hitting 15 boundaries and two sixes, also improving on his previous best of 76 made against the same opponents in Dubai in October 2018. When Imam reached the milestone the 12,000 crowd stood as one to applaud. Azhar was also in sublime form, playing spin and pace with confidence in his 235-minute knock, spiced with four boundaries and a six. Australia will rue their questionable selection as they went into the Test with three pacers, a fast bowling allrounder and a lone spinner in Lyon. In contrast, Pakistan chose two spinners, a part-time slow bowler and two frontline quicks. Australia agreed to tour only after being assured of top security.