Brilliant Shafiq gives Australia huge fright

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 20 Dec 2016 09:23:58


Dec 19,


AUSTRALIA prevented a world-record, 490-run chase by Pakistan to win a gripping first Test by just 39 runs and preserve their 28-year unbeaten streak at Brisbane’s Gabba ground.

Relieved skipper Steve Smith ran out Yasir Shah for 33 to take the last wicket and end Pakistan’s brave attempt to reel in the mammoth target on the last day of the day-night Test.

“I think I lost all my fingernails. Some game of cricket, wasn’t it?” said Smith.
“A lot of credit has got to go to the way they played. But I thought our bowlers stuck at it all day, we bowled a lot of overs, our quicks just kept coming back.”
The highest ever successful Test run chase of 418 for seven was set by the West Indies against Australia in Antigua in 2003.

And Pakistan looked on course to beat that on the back of Asad Shafiq’s knock of 137, but he was caught shortly before Yasir’s run out. His magnificent innings came to end when a Mitchell Starc lifter came off the shoulder of his bat and lobbed to David Warner in the gully for the crucial catch.
Man of the match Shafiq faced 207 balls in 336 minutes and hit 13 fours and a six. While he was at the wicket, Pakistan’s hopes of a remarkable victory were still realistic.