Pakistan complete Australia rout


Published: Monday 3rd November 2014 by The News Editor

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Pakistan completed an emphatic 356-run victory over Australia – the largest in their history – to win their Test series 2-0 in Abu Dhabi.

A first series win over the Baggy Greens since 1994 was already assured going in to the final day of the second Test after captain Misbah-ul-Haq’s record-equalling 56-ball century, though a drawn match was still a possibility.

But Pakistan were not about to ease up on opponents who have consistently refused to do so to them over the past two decades and after solid resistance from Steve Smith, wickets tumbled with embarrassing ease after lunch.

Australia’s last five batsmen departed for the addition of just eight runs in a dizzying 46-ball spell that completed a miserable series in the desert for Michael Clarke’s men, who were rolled over for 246.

They had started the day on 143 for four, a mere 460 short of the notional winning mark, with Smith present on 38 and Mitch Marsh resuming on 26.

The pair began watchfully, as required, until Smith took up an invitation to crash successive boundaries off Zulfiqar Babar and bring up his half-century.

The game continued quietly, the batsmen largely defensive but taking advantage of attacking fields with the occasional boundary.

It was not until the 23rd over of the morning that Pakistan broke through, Mohammad Hafeez tempting Marsh to flick at a ball turning into his pads and Asad Shafiq pouching a super catch at leg slip.

That was their only joy before lunch, Brad Haddin seeing out the session while Smith coolly progressed to 97 with two more fours off Babar as the session came to a close.

And that is where the Australian rearguard effectively ended.

They folded like a pack of cards after the restart, Pakistan enjoying another wonderful period of domination in one of their most memorable series in the United Arab Emirates.

Smith, so impressive for the first couple of hours, lasted just a couple of balls more as leg-spinner Yasir Shah beat the bat and clattered the pad right in front of leg stump.

Haddin followed for 13 in the next over, Babar bowling him off the inside edge.

One delivery later, with the ball back in Yasir’s hand, Mitchell Johnson was gone for a duck, bemused to be bowled via bat and pad.

Mitchell Starc lingered 21 balls before aiming a heave at Yasir and losing his off stump and Babar capped the rout by eliciting a routine short-leg catch from Nathan Lyon.

Left-arm spinner Babar finished with five for 120 while Yasir bagged three for 44, the pair defiantly proving there is life without the suspended Saeed Ajmal.

With that Pakistan leapt to third in the ICC Test rankings, their highest position for seven years.

Published: Monday 3rd November 2014 by The News Editor

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