Dhaka, Bangladesh
Khawaja vigil earns Oz hard-fought draw

Khawaja vigil earns Oz hard-fought draw

DUBAI, Oct 11: Australia managed to pull off a dramatic draw in Dubai after skipper Tim Paine blunted Pakistan’s spin attack on a final day surface with the visitors having only two more wickets in their kitty. Pakistan’s shoulders dropped when Usman Khawaja and Paine did all the hard work needed to not go 1-0 down in the series. But three wickets in the space of 14 deliveries paved way for a sensational finish, only for the Australian skipper to stand firm, reports Cricbuzz. Having already played out a wicket-less morning session, Australia were dealt a blow post lunch when Travis Head and Marnus Labuschagne were dismissed, leaving the doors open for Pakistan to sneak a win. But a determined Paine alongside centurion Khawaja continued to thwart the Pakistani bowling attack well into the final session. No other Australian batsman had batted as long as Khawaja did in terms of time in the fourth innings of a Test match. In spite of that, Khawaja was well aware that Pakistan needed just one wicket to trigger a collapse. Australia had already suffered a collapse in the first innings and again in the second innings yesterday and with 15 overs left in the game, Pakistan struck to entertain hopes of a win again. Khawaja, who had been sweeping well until then, failed to connect bat on ball once and was rightly ruled out. Yasir Shah, who had an unlucky outing until then gave his side a lifeline and put them on the brink of a win in his very next over by dismissing Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle in the space of four deliveries. While Babar Azam pulled off a sensational catch at short leg to get rid of Starc, Siddle was trapped plumb in front. At that point in time, Paine had plenty of work to do with Pakistan having 74 balls in their bag to get rid of the final two wickets. With only Lyon and Jon Holland left, Paine had to marshall most of the strike, which was never easy on this surface with Pakistan hunting for wickets. Paine’s trust in Lyon paid dividends for Australia as he not only played out Yasir, but also managed to bat against Mohammad Abbas with confidence. Paine endured a nervy phase in the 134th over when an offcutter from Abbas took his inside edge and missed the leg stump by a whisker but having fought against all odds, that’s the sort of luck Australia needed as they eventually pulled off the unthinkable.Brief scores: Pakistan 482 (Mohammad Hafeez 126; Peter Siddle 3-58) & 181/6d (Imam-ul-Haq 48; Jon Holland 3-83) drew with Australia 202 (Usman Khawaja 85; Bilal Asif 6-36) & 362/8 (Usman Khawaja 141; Yasir Shah 4-114).

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