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Defiance in Dubai! Aussies dig deep to seal dramatic draw

Posted by On 6:54 AM

Defiance in Dubai! Aussies dig deep to seal dramatic draw



Pakistan v Australia Test - Men's, First Test

PAK AUS View Scorecard

A thrilling Test match has ended in dramatic fashion. Australia have held on to claim a draw against all odds in Dubai, sending the two-Test series with Pakistan to Abu Dhabi level.

Australia's new era began in nail-biting fashion, with two senio r players standing up when their country needed them most. Usman Khawaja's defiant century, his first in Asia, allowed Australia to be in a position to fight into the final overs. While Tim Paine's grit as captain - he hit fifty but barely celebrated - exemplified the battling spirit of Baggy Green.

Khawaja struck a brilliant 141, silencing critics about his ability to bat in Asia, but fell to the leg-spin of Yasir with 15 overs remaining. It was an epic knock, but in the context of the situation Khawaja had exited, the opener could barely raise his eyes from the turf to salute the applause from teammates, family and the handful of Australian supporters in the stands.

What happened next would have only deepend his disconsolation, as Australia lost Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle in quick succession to Yasir's next over.

Khawaja has been on the field for some 27 hours of this Test, either in the field or at the crease, and Australia's hopes seemed to hinge on his ability to bat through the final session on a wearing pitch against a world-class bowling attack.

Khawaja's century was his first in Asia, and just his second overseas, and has lead Australia's gritty resistance on the fifth and final day of an absorbing Test match in Dubai.

Khawaja reached his ton from 224 balls, with 10 boundaries. He leapt into the air with a fist pump of delight while wife Rachel shed tears of pride, joy and relief in the stands.

Pakistan were forced to wait until after lunch, but struck immediately after the interval for the first wicket of the fifth day having been kept at bay for 29 overs by the obdurate Australians.

Khawaja celebrates his first Test hundred in Asia // celebrates his first Test hundred in Asia // Cricket Network

Mohammad Hafeez struck with the first delivery of the second new ball to strike Travis Head plumb in front, the ball hitting the back knee roll, after Head played for turn that was non-existant.

Head's exit for a well-made 72 from 175 balls brought Marnus Labuschagne to the crease, and left Australia 4-219, and needing to survive another 59 overs on the fifth day.

Head and Usman Khawaja rode their luck to keep Pakistan's bowlers at bay throughout the fifth morning as a frustrated Pakistan side went wicketless.

QUICK SINGLE subjectEpic Khawaja century delivers for Australia

At lunch Australia were 3-215, with Khawaja unbeaten on 82 from 199 balls. More importantly, the pair soaked up 29 overs of pressure, leaving a minimum of 61 to be bowled in the day.

Yasir Shah, the Pakistan leg-spinner, bowled without luck and was twice was denied appeals by Umpire Richard Kettleborough. And twice captain Sarfraz Ahmed opted not to review, when replays showed they would have been successful if Pakistan had opted to involve the third umpire.

Khawaja survived an appeal for a catch at bat pad, and snicko showed the faintest of inside edges. Head had a rather more fortunate break when he was struck plumb in front while sweeping, only for Pakistan's screamed appeal to again be turned down. Ball tracking showed three red lights on replay.

Aussies ride their luck as Pakistan rue non-reivew

Head reached his maiden Test fifty soon after, a brilliant return in difficult conditions following his first innings duck, but the celebration was minimal with the Australians focused on batting out overs rather than accumulating milestones.

Sarfraz did opt to review when Khawaja was on 79 in the penultimate over before lunch, when struck on the pad by Haris Sohail. Ball tracking showed he was struck marginally outside the line, the verdict of 'umpire's call' meaning Pakistan kept their sole remaining review.

Australia had resumed day five still 325 runs behind Pakistan, but more importantly, needing to survive 90 overs to earn what would be a famous draw in the first Test.

Khawaja resumed on 50, while Head, following a first-innings duck, resumed on 33.

More to come

Australia: Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Mitchell Marsh, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Tim Paine (c & wk), Mitchell Starc, Peter Siddle, Nathan Lyon, Jon Holland

Pakistan: Imam-ul-Haq, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Mohammad Hafeez, Sarfraz Ahmed (c & wk), Bilal Asif, Mohammad Abbas, Yasir Shah, Wahab Riaz

Qantas Tour of the UAE

Australia Test squad: Tim Paine (c), Ashton Ag ar, Brendan Doggett, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc

Pakistan Test squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Usman Salahuddin, Yasir Shah, Shadab Khan, Bilal Asif, Mohammad Abbas, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Faheem Ashraf, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Hafeez

Oct 7-11: First Test, Dubai

Oct 16-20: Second Test, Abu Dhabi

Filed Under

Australia Men

Pakistan Men

Pakistan v Australia Test - Men's

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