A thrilling Test match has ended in dramatic fashion. Australia have held on to claim a draw against all odds in Dubai, sending the two-Test series with Pakistan to Abu Dhabi level on Thursday, reports Cricket.com.au.
Australia’s new era began in nail-biting fashion, with two senior players standing up when their country needed them most. Usman Khawaja’s defiant century, his first in Asia, allowed Australia to be in a position to fight into the final overs. While Tim Paine’s grit as captain - he hit fifty but barely celebrated - exemplified the battling spirit of Baggy Green.Khawaja struck a brilliant 141, silencing critics about his ability to bat in Asia, but fell to the leg-spin of Yasir with 15 overs remaining. It was an epic knock, but in the context of the situation Khawaja had exited, the opener could barely raise his eyes from the turf to salute the applause from teammates, family and the handful of Australian supporters in the stands.
What happened next would have only deepend his disconsolation, as Australia lost Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle in quick succession to Yasir’s next over.
Khawaja has been on the field for some 27 hours of this Test, either in the field or at the crease, and Australia’s hopes seemed to hinge on his ability to bat through the final session on a wearing pitch against a world-class bowling attack.
Khawaja’s century was his first in Asia, and just his second overseas, and has lead Australia’s gritty resistance on the fifth and final day of an absorbing Test match in Dubai.
Australia had resumed day five still 325 runs behind Pakistan, but more importantly, needing to survive 90 overs to earn what would be a famous draw in the first Test.