Pakistan poised for series win

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Published: Friday 31st October 2014 by The News Editor

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Pakistan all but ensured a first Test series win over Australia in 20 years, with Younis Khan’s fifth double century and a hundred from Misbah-ul-Haq leaving them in a handsome position on day two in Abu Dhabi.

Following victory in the opening match, Pakistan need only a draw to win the two-match series and a first-innings total of 570 for six declared goes a long way towards guaranteeing that.

Much of the heavy lifting was done on day one, when tons from Azhar Ali and Younis helped them to reach 304 for two, and the latter found another willing partner in captain Misbah on Friday.

Having already bagged twin centuries in Dubai, Younis was again hungry for runs – turning his overnight 111 into 213, his 10th score in excess of 150 and the third best of his prolific career.

Misbah then kept the boot on Australia’s throat with 101 before declaring late in the day.

Australia then lost Chris Rogers to close on 22 for one.

Mitchell Johnson almost had Younis in the third over of the morning, David Warner dropping a tough chance at gully.

There was worse to come for Australia when wicketkeeper Brad Haddin was forced from the field after injuring his shoulder lunging at a low catch.

Warner took the gloves and promptly missed a stumping chance against Younis from Nathan Lyon’s first ball.

After his early slices of luck Younis settled and Warner quickly repaid some of his debt by holding Ali when he tickled Mitchell Starc down the leg side for 109.

Australia still had a chance if they could string together a cluster of wickets but Misbah was not in a co-operative mood.

He launched his fourth ball, from Lyon, into the onside for six and scored fluently while Younis held his end.

The 40-year-old skipper had 55 to his name when Pakistan took lunch at 405 for three but Australian spirits were raised a little by Haddin’s return for the afternoon session.

That sent Warner back into the outfield but the ball followed him and he could not grab a tough chance at slip when Misbah flashed at Lyon on 64.

Younis finally got the ball to the boundary off Lyon, ending a 94-ball wait between his 11th and 12th four and the hundred stand soon followed.

The bowlers continued plugging away with no success, Younis smashing Glenn Maxwell for six to go within a shot of his 200.

Instead he passed the landmark with a gentle single off his 334th delivery shortly after steering his side beyond 500.

Four balls later Misbah reverse-swept Maxwell to the ropes to reach his hundred, a sixth in Tests.

He eventually fell before tea, popping a return catch to Steve Smith, and the main part of the innings came to a close when Younis heaved across the line at Peter Siddle and dragged on to make it 537 for five.

Asad Shafiq (21) and Sarfraz Ahmed (19 not out) topped up the total before the declaration came.

Warner began by drilling Imran Khan’s first two deliveries for four but Australia closed in trouble at 22 for one, Rogers caught behind for five.

Published: Friday 31st October 2014 by The News Editor

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