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Run out ends thriller as Pakistan lose day-night Test by 39 runs

Run out ends thriller as Pakistan lose day-night Test by 39 runs

BRISBANE: After a tense and lengthy innings that was shaping as one of the greatest chases in Test cricket, Pakistan’s bold bid to beat Australia in the series-opening day-night Test was wrapped up in five balls on Monday.

Asad Shafiq marshalled the Pakistan tailenders from 173-5 to 449-8 in pursuit of the improbable target of 490, scoring 137 from 207 balls before he was caught at gully, fending off a Mitchell Starc short ball.

Four balls and one run later, skipper Steve Smith threw down the stumps from second slip to run out Yasir Shah for 33. That ensured Smith’s young line-up held off Pakistan by 39 runs, maintained Australia’s unbeaten at the Gabba since 1988 and avoided the embarrassment of losing the unlosable.

After frustrating Australia on an extended, rain-interrupted fourth day, Pakistan started day five needing 108 to win while Australia needed two wickets.

Fewer than 1,000 people were in the crowd when play started under overcast skies, including a small but vocal group of ex-pats cheering every run and chanting ‘Pakistan Zindabad’.

Asad and Yasir kept the pressure on Australia in a 71-run partnership that went close to giving Pakistan an unlikely world-record victory.

After Asad’s departure, the responsibility moved to Yasir, who earlier had an lbw decision overturned on review. He dug out a yorker from Starc, steering it toward the slips, but moved out of his crease and Smith swooped. The Australian captain had dropped two catches at second slip, including Asad on 72, and admitted he was relieved he got to end the game.

New Zealand’s 451 chasing 550 against England in Christchurch in 2002 remains the record for the highest fourth innings total to lose a Test, but this was a closer call.

Australia ended a five-Test losing streak last month with a win over South Africa in a day-night test in Adelaide, narrowing the losing margin to 2-1 in that series. Smith then led Australia to a 3-0 sweep of New Zealand in a limited-overs series, before the opening Test against Pakistan the first-ever day-night Test at the Gabba.

Pakistan won the second ever day-night Test beating the West Indies in Dubai in October but the conditions were vastly different with more swing in humid, subtropical Brisbane.

Pakistan have lost 10 consecutive Tests in Australia since 1995 and has never won a Test at the Gabba, where Australia is unbeaten since 1988.


AUSTRALIA (1st Innings) 429 (S.P.D. Smith 130, P.S.P. Handscomb 105, M.T. Renshaw 72; Wahab Riaz 4-89, Mohammad Amir 4-97).

PAKISTAN (1st Innings) 142 (Sarfraz Ahmed 59 not out; J.R. Hazlewood 3-22, J.M. Bird 3-23, M.A. Starc 3-63).

AUSTRALIA (2nd Innings) 202-5 declared (U.T. Khawaja 74, S.P.D. Smith 63; Rahat Ali 2-40).

PAKISTAN (2nd Innings, overnight 382-8):

Sami Aslam c Renshaw b Starc 15

Azhar Ali c Wade b Starc 71

Babar Azam c Smith b Lyon 14

Younis Khan c Smith b Lyon 65

Misbah- ul-Haq c Wade b Bird 5

Asad Shafiq c Warner b Starc 137

Sarfraz Ahmed b Starc 24

Mohammad Amir c Wade b Bird 48

Wahab Riaz c Smith b Bird 30

Yasir Shah run out 33

Rahat Ali not out 1

EXTRAS (LB-5, W-2) 7

TOTAL (all out, 145 overs) 450

FALL OF WKTS: 1-31, 2-54, 3-145, 4-165, 5-173, 6-220, 7-312, 8-378, 9-449.

BOWLING: Starc 38-10-119-4 (1w); Hazlewood 42-11-99-0; Bird 33-6-110-3 (1w); Lyon 29-3-108-2; Maddinson 3-0-9-0.

RESULT: Australia won by 39 runs to lead three-match series 1-0.

UMPIRES: I.J. Gould (England) and R.K. Illingworth (England).

TV UMPIRE: S. Ravi (India).

MATCH REFEREE: R.S. Madugalle (Sri Lanka).

MAN-OF-THE-MATCH: Asad Shafiq.

SECOND TEST: Melbourne, Dec 26-30.

THIRD TEST: Sydney, Jan 3-7.

Published in Dawn December 20th, 2016

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