Australia deserves praise for saving Test match especially “USMAN KHAWAJA, TIM PAINE & AARON FINCH” for holding their nerves & proving their homework to tackle Yasir Shah’s majestic stats in UAE were spot-on, first test had to be decided on the fifth day in the final session’s final over and Australian captain hold his nerves and played a sensible knock to finish the game a DRAW, which makes Abu Dhabi test more interesting.
Day-1 (Pakistan had an upper hand)
Toss won by team Pakistan and they decided to bat first on a reasonably good batting pitch, was well supported by both openers. Hafeez on his return to test match played a scintillating knock of Hundred, also well supported by Imam, who missed his Test hundred. Australian bowlers were looked helpless on day-1.
Day-2 (Pakistan was in a good position)
Pakistan posted a mammoth total in their first innings, after Hafeez, It was Haris Sohail who was to make his mark in test cricket, and he made full use of it and scored 110. Also Pakistan’s experienced campaigner Asad Shafiq played a good hand, he added 80 runs to Pakistan’s total, and Pakistan finished at 482. Australian openers see off their 13 tricky overs and Australia ended day 2 at 30 for no loss.
Day-3 (Pakistan’s grip on the match was much stronger)
First session of day 3 definitely belonged to Australia in which both openers scored freely and put 142 runs on the board for the first wicket, since after the fall of Finch, Australian batting line collapsed and team were all out at 202. Pakistan didn’t opt to follow-on Australia and they bated themselves to try to make their grip on this test match by giving target to Aussies and avoided to bat in the fourth innings if possible. Pakistan finished the day with a lead of 325 runs and they had seven more wickets to add to it. They were easily the favorites to win this game.
Day-4 (Pakistan seven wickets away from the win)
Pakistan declared their innings at 181 for 6, when they lost the wicket of Asad Shafiq, set 462 for Australia to win the test match. Australia had a decent start at tea, they were 72 for no loss. It was Mohammad
Abbas who took 3 quick wickets of Aussies put them on the back-foot. Finch and Marsh brothers went back quickly to the pavilion left Australia 87 for 3. Khawaja joined by Travis Head to the crease and they both played well and sees off the remaining overs in the day. Pakistan was looking for their 7 more wickets to win the game, while Australia was eying to play 90 more overs on day-5.
Day-5 (Australia survives and match ended a Draw)
On previous day, Australia was on the back-foot they had to step up and had to play whole day of the first test match, which wasn’t an easy job, it needed a Hercules effort from the Aussie batsmen, who were down in the confident as per their dismal batting performance in the first innings. It was Usman Khawaja, Travis Head and Tim Paine who batted sensibly and gives Australia an unbelievable draw-cum victory in Dubai test match. Yasir Shah started taking wickets in the current game, but it was too little late to join the party as Paine was defensive and well set to defend his and other bowlers last overs of the day also well supported by Nathan Lyon, who faced 34 balls and was the catalyst to draw this all important game.
Player of the Match: On his brilliant batting in both innings especially in the second innings Usman Khawaja awarded as a player of this memorable test match in Dubai.
Usman Khawaja: “I wasn’t really thinking too much. We had a belief in the team that if we batted well in the first session, which we did, we could take it to the end. Credit to the Pakistanis as well, they played in tremendous spirit. Everytime you get a hundred for Australia it is amazing; I am very privileged to be playing for them. There was rough on both sides of the wicket and that is why I looked to reverse sweep things from there.”
Pakistan 482/10 in 164.2 overs (Mohammad Hafeez 126, Haris Sohail 110; Peter Siddle 58/3, Nathan Lyon 114/2)
Australia 202/10 in 83.3 overs (Usman Khawaja 85, Aaron Finch 62; Bilal Asif 36/6, Mohammad Abbas 29/4)
Pakistan 181/6 dec in 57.5 overs (Imam Ul Haq 48, Asad Shafiq 41; Jon Holland 83/3, Nathan Lyon 58/2)
Australia 362/8 in 139.5 overs (Usman Khawaja 141, Travis Head 72; Yasir Shah 114/4, Mohamamd Abbas 56/3)
Next Encounter: Second test match at Abu Dhabi from 16th October 2018. .
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