Tease them, abuse them, mock them, call them a depleted side, but you can’t get the Aussie spirit out of them. Pakistan dominated the first Test against Australia and was on the verge of a victory. But the Kangaroos stood up and stole the show to halt the opposition to a draw.
Batting first after winning the toss, Pakistan put up a strong show in the first innings. They scored 482 runs on the back of centuries from Mohammad Hafeez and Haris Sohail and fifties from Asad Shafiq and Imam-ul-Haq. The comeback man – Peter Siddle was the pick of the bowlers as he bagged 3 wickets.
Australia, in reply, had a tremendous opening stand. Usman Khawaja scored half-centuries and added 142 runs for the 1st wicket. But post their departures, the batting line-up crumbled and the side was bowled out for 202. The debutant Bilal Asif took 6 wickets while Mohammad Abbas claimed 4.
Rather than enforcing the follow-on, Pakistan opted to bat again. They declared after scoring 181/6 which meant Australia had a daunting target of 462 runs. Once again, the Aussie openers were gutsy and shared a stand of 87. All of a sudden, 3 wickets fell for the same score and Pakistan was in the driver’s seat.
But Khawaja was adamant and alongside the debutant Travis Head who scored 72, led the Aussie fight. The 4th wicket stand added 132 runs. Khawaja went on to score 141 and kept the hopes for a draw alive. After his dismissal, Pakistan came storming back and the visitors were down to 333/8.
More than 12 overs were remaining on the last day and Pakistan needed just 2 more wickets to win. The Australian captain Tim Paine was still there alongside Nathan Lyon. The duo weathered the storm and didn’t let the opposition dismiss them. Paine stayed unbeaten at 72 off 175 balls while Lyon lasted 34 deliveries for 5 runs as Australia enforced a draw to leave the opposition wanting.
Pakistan won the toss and opted to bat first
Pakistan 1st innings: 482/10 in 164.2 overs
Mohammad Hafeez 126 (208), Haris Sohail 110 (240)
Peter Siddle 58/3 (29), Nathan Lyon 114/2 (52)
Australia 1st innings: 202/10 in 83.3 overs
Usman Khawaja 85 (175), Aaron Finch 62 (161)
Bilal Asif 36/6 (21.3), Mohammad Abbas 29/4 (19)
Pakistan 2nd innings: 181/6 declared in 57.5 overs
Imam-ul-Haq 48 (104), Asad Shafiq 41 (56)
Jon Holland 83/3 (20), Nathan Lyon 58/2 (25.5)
Australia 2nd innings: 362/8 in 139.5 overs
Usman Khawaja 141 (302), Travis Head 72 (175)
Yasir Shah 114/4 (43.5), Mohammad Abbas 56/3 (27)
Player of the Match: Usman Khawaja
Here’s how Twitter reacted to the spirit of Australia
Some Draw by the Aussies …. !! #PakVAus
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) October 11, 2018
— Steve Smith (@stevesmith49) October 11, 2018
— Tom Moody (@TomMoodyCricket) October 11, 2018
— Ryan Harris (@r_harris413) October 11, 2018
— Darren Lehmann (@darren_lehmann) October 11, 2018
— Junaid khan 83 (@JunaidkhanREAL) October 11, 2018
If ever a draw was as good as a win. Monumental effort from the Aussies, Pakistan was brilliant but couldn't close the game after dominating most parts of it #PAKvAUS
— Deep Dasgupta (@DeepDasgupta7) October 11, 2018