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Posted at: Oct 13, 2018, 2:02 AM; last updated: Oct 13, 2018, 2:02 AM (IST)

The great escape

Oz secure epic draw as Khawaja, Head, Paine keep Pak at bay
The great escape
Tim Paine’s gritty 61 helped Australia survive the final day of the first Test in Dubai on Thursday. AFP

Dubai, October 11

Usman Khawaja batted bravely for nearly nine hours to make 141 and help Australia salvage a draw in the first Test against against Pakistan here today. Set an improbable victory target of 462, Australia resumed on 136/3 hoping to survive the final day to force a draw.

The overnight pair of Khawaja and Travis Head played sensibly to deny the Pakistan attack in the morning session and guide their team to 215/3 at lunch. Pakistan threatened to slice through the Australian middle-order when Head was trapped lbw for 72 by off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez. Debutant Marnus Labuschagne followed soon, dismissed by leg-spinner Yasir Shah for 13.

After looking vulnerable against the spinners for the first half hour on a deteriorating pitch, Australia captain Tim Paine settled down and built a crucial partnership with Khawaja.

Khawaja completed his century off 224 balls with 10 fours, becoming only the fifth Australian to score a hundred in the fourth innings of a Test in Asia. “(The plan was to) Just bat. Wasn’t thinking too much,” Khawaja, who was adjudged Man of the Match, said. “It was decent but it was getting tougher and tougher. We thought that if we batted two sessions we’d be in good stead.” 

Shah went on remove Khawaja, Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle in quick succession, keeping Pakistan’s victory hopes alive until the last over of the match.

But Paine (61) and Nathan Lyon (5) remained unbeaten to seal the draw as Australia finished on 362/8 — the second highest fourth-innings score by a visiting team in a Test in Asia. “It was extremely tough Test match. Pakistan played very well and had us under the pump for three days,” Paine said. “Everyone had a plan. Usman was more defensive than usual. 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.”  — Reuters

Brief Scores: Pakistan: 482 and 181/6 decl. drew with Australia: 202 and 362/8 (Khawaja 141, Head 72, Paine 61*; Yasir 4/114, Abbas 3/56)

139.5  It’s the longest (in terms of overs) Australia have ever batted in a fourth innings to save a Test. Their total of 362/8 is the second-highest fourth-innings score by a visiting team in Asia

141 Khawaja’s knock is the highest by a visiting batsman in Asia. Also, it’s just the fifth century by an Australian in the fourth innings of a Test in Asia

8hr 39min knock by Khawaja is the second-longest by a player in a fourth innings in Test history. He spent 12 hours and 40 minutes at the crease in the whole Test, having struck 85 in the first innings

20 Last time Australia and Pakistan played out a draw in a Test was 20 years and 20 Test matches ago

194  balls faced by Taim Paine for his gritty 61*, the fourth-most  by a player batting at No. 7 or below  in the fourth innings  

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