Published: Sun, October 14, 2018
Sport | By Kayla Schwartz

Khawaja-Head resistance keeps Australia alive in Dubai

Khawaja-Head resistance keeps Australia alive in Dubai

Pakistan made 482 in their first innings to which Australia replied with 202.

AUSTRALIA has clung on for a valiant draw in the first Test against Pakistan, grinding out a record-breaking day-five fightback in Dubai as Usman Khawaja and Tim Paine restored pride to the national team's battered reputation.

Anchored by a career-defining 141 by Usman Khawaja and Paine's unbeaten 61 on a pock-marked pitch, Australia survived 139.5 overs in enervating heat to ensure the series remains alive to the second match in Abu Dhabi.

Pakistan had to wait until after lunch to get the day's first breakthrough when Mohammad Hafeez had Travis Head (72) LBW off the first ball with the second new ball.

With Australia's batsmen preaching the need to bat for time, Khawaja endured 175 balls in the calamitous first innings and has faced 120 in the second.

While not quite able to see Australia to safety, the 31-year-old's defiance laid the platform for captain Tim Paine to combine with the tail to repel Pakistan's bowlers in a gripping finish to the game. Left-arm spinner Jon Holland (3 for 83) dismissed Imam for 48, caught and bowled off a flighted delivery, before debutant Marnus Labuschagne trapped Sohail in front for 39 in the very next over.

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Earlier, Australia wasted a century opening stand in a dramatic collapse, losing 10 wickets for just 60 runs in a sensational afternoon session.

Shaun Marsh was caught behind nibbling at one that nipped away, and his younger brother also fell for a duck, Abbas celebrating another lbw verdict following a review after the ball struck pad before bat.

But Paine and Lyon thwarted Pakistan over the last 12 overs to pull off a remarkable draw. He also became only the sixth batsmen from Australia to score two fifties and aggregate in excess of 200 in a Test in Asia.

"I am just really proud of the whole group, how they stuck to our plans and kept digging in".

"I've worked my backside off for the last 10 years in first-class cricket, day in, day out". There have been 55 instances in which teams that batted first in Asia have taken a lead of 250 or more; out of that on 11 instances teams have not enforced the follow-on. This time he went on to make a hundred, his seventh in Tests with his prolonged celebrations showing how much it meant to him after the work that he'd been putting it to get used to the conditions.

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