Dubai Test ends in draw as Usman, Paine lead Australia's fightback
- Author: Stacy Allen Oct 12, 2018,
Oct 12, 2018, 2:21
At stumps, opener Usman Khawaja was batting on a fighting 50 and Travis Head on 34 as the pair had added an invaluable 49 for the unbroken fourth wicket stand to prolong Australia´s resistance on a tired and spinning Dubai stadium pitch.
Pakistan resumed at 45-3 in the morning session and batted sensibly on a deteriorating pitch before declaring their second innings at 181-6.
"I am just really proud of the whole group, how they stuck to our plans and kept digging in".
An emotional Usman Khawaja has fired back at his critics after scoring a match-saving century for Australia that has been declared one of the great test innings. No it doesn't feel like a win. Their opener Imam-ul-Haq has been ruled out of the second and final Test of the series due to a fractured finger.
Khawaja, whose best score was 26 in five previous Tests in Asia, admitted it was one of the best innings of his career.
"I came off the field with sweat through my shirt". There was a bit of a collapse but the guys have been working hard over the last few months and I'm happy everything's gone to plan.
"That first innings was as tough as any innings I've played", he said. The touring team lost three wickets on 87 and the ghost of first innings - where they lose 10 wickets for 60 runs - started hovering over them.
Former England opening batsman Michael Atherton holds the record after his match-saving 185 not out against South Africa in Johannesburg in 1995 spanned 645 minutes.
But Australia did well in the last 29 overs of the day with seamers getting the reverse swing and the spinners also finding some turn off the wicket.
The milestone capped a remarkable return for Hafeez, who was overlooked from Pakistan's original 17-man squad and has not played Test cricket since 2016. Like he did in the first innings, captain Sarfraz Ahmed turned to Abbas and the right-arm fast bowler once again delivered.
"The way he batted, he took Australia to the draw".
Head was given not out and Sarfraz decided against a review but replays showed he was plumb. "He (Yasir) had played the first Test after a year so you have to give him some margin (for error)".
Ace legspinner Yasir Shah went wicketless but would have had Mitch Marsh dismissed for three if he had gotten his hands to a caught-and-bowled opportunity which bounced off his chest.