Australian cricket team under the leadership of wicket-keeper batsman Time Paine managed to draw the first contest which was played at Dubai International Cricket Stadium. There was no way the game could have been saved unless some miraculous efforts from the visiting gentleman who exhibited a stupendous piece of cricket to wrap up the highly coveted Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test, 2018.
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Batting first, Pakistan managed to put up titanic innings of 482 against the likes of a recurring Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Nathon Lyon and debutant Jon Holland. One couldn’t have expected Pakistan to deliver anything better than the game they exhibited during their 1st innings of play.
Courtesy Imam-ul-Haq and Mohammad Hafeez‘s rupturing innings of 76 and 126, Pakistan went on to a galloping start which was indeed expected of them while competing against the Aussies XI. Following their respective dismissals onto Nathon Lyon and Siddle’s deliveries, it looked as if the visitors were trying to get themselves back into the game.
What shifted the game in Aussie’s favor was the surprise dismissal of a rock-solid Azhar Ali on a petty total of 18 in 80 deliveries to the debutant Jon Holland’s delivery.
In came Harris Sohail, who perhaps had a sentinel run during his stay in the nerve-wracking game. Sohail’s 110 of 240 deliveries, backed by Shahiq’s sensible 80 helped the hosts in generating a confident total on board.
Australia struggles to make ends meet
During the 2nd innings, it was Usman Khawaja (85) and debutant Aaron Finch(62) who looked like the only contributors from the Aussie unit. Their respective knocks ensured Australian’s survival in what appeared as a one-sided contest. The rest succumbed to the breath-taking spells from Bilal Asif ( 6/36) and Mohammad Abbas (4/29) which gave the hosts the much-awaited advantage over Paine & Co.
Pakistan, now once again donned the batting gloves with the intent of smacking hard the visiting unit for left, right and center. While none of their players could cross the 50-run mark in individual scorings, the contributions from Imam-ul-Haq ( 48), Shafiq(41) and Harris Sohail (39) went a long way to put up a final total of 461 for the visitors.
Paine & Co. save the day from a jaw-breaking defeat at the hands of Pakistani unit
What looked like an unexpected chase, fortunately, changed into a draw by the end of fifth day’s play, thanks to some unblemished performances at just the right moment.
Finch( 39) and Khawaja ( 141) dished a mega-partnership which helped the visitors in getting off to flyer totals. The score might have been out of Australia’s reach from the beginning, yet, had Marsh Brothers stayed on for more deliveries and batted the way they’re expected of generally then probably the outcome could have landed up in their favor.
Ultimately, it all zeroed down onto Travis Head ( 72) and Paine ( 61) for ensuring their team’s survival in the nail-biting contest. While Australia lost few more wickets adding a truckload of pressure onto Paine’s shoulder, they were able to draw the duel at the nick of time without losing any more expensive wickets.
Credits to Yasir Shah ( 4/114) and Mohammad Abbas (3/56) for getting on the nerves of Australian batsmen.
In the end, Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test ended in a draw keeping the hosts and the visitors meeting again for a final duel at Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.