Australia struggling in 1st test vs Pakistan
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Pakistan’s inexperienced spinners left Australia struggling on 59-4 Saturday at stumps on the fourth day of the first test after Younis Khan smashed a record-breaking century to give his team a formidable lead of 437 runs.
Australia still needs 379 more runs to win after losing four wickets for five runs in its second innings in a remarkable two overs from Zulfiqar Babar and Yasir Shah on a turning wicket.
Australia’s highest ever successful chase is 404-3 in 1948 against England at Headingley.
Chris Rogers is undefeated with a nervous 23 and Steven Smith not out on 3. Australia’s lower order batsmen could struggle to see off the remaining 90 overs in the match on a declining wicket.
Left-arm spinner Babar (2-22) ignited the collapse when he lured first innings centurymaker David Warner (29) into a drive and had him stumped. Four balls later Alex Doolan (0) played across Babar’s line and was adjudged plumb leg before wicket as Australia slipped to 44-2.
Captain Michael Clarke (3) continued his lean form, out leg before to Shah (2-8) off a delivery that straightened up and hit the front pad. Nightwatchman Nathan Lyon (0) was also beaten in the air as Shah won another lbw decision to reduce Australia to 49-4.
Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq declared at 286-2 when Younis reached 103 to go with his first-innings 106 and become Pakistan’s leading centurymaker with 26 hundreds.
Younis also joined the elite club of six other Pakistan batsmen to score centuries in each test innings after Hanif Mohammad, Javed Miandad, Wajahatullah Wasti, Yasir Hameed, Inzamam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Yousuf.
Opening batsman Ahmed Shehzad hit a brilliant 131 and featured in a 168-run second wicket stand with Younis as left-arm spinner Steve O’Keefe (2-112) got both the wickets in otherwise lackluster Australian bowling.
With Pakistan searching for a quick declaration, Younis upped his striking rate after he completed his half century off 102 balls. He went on to the three-figure mark — off 152 balls with six fours and two sixes — with a hard sweep off O’Keefe to square leg boundary.
Shehzad hit 10 fours and four sixes in his nearly five-hour knock before he fell lbw while attempting to reverse sweep O’Keefe.
Earlier, Australia’s lone success came in the morning session came when O’Keefe had Azhar Ali caught behind for 30 after he added 71 runs for the opening stand with Shehzad.
Both openers gradually built the lead before Ali drove hard at O’Keefe and the ball stuck in the glove webbing of Brad Haddin behind the stumps.
Shehzad reached his half century off 128 balls by driving O’Keefe for a single and then also hit Peter Siddle for a four and two successive sixes in one over in a productive second session when Pakistan scored 115 runs.