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AUS v PAK, 1st Test Day 5 Review: Australia holds nerve to complete tense win

Australia
Australia’s captain Steve Smith (C) walks off the field with teammates after beating Pakistan in the first day-night cricket Test match between Australia and Pakistan in Brisbane on December 19, 2016. / AFP / Saeed KHAN / IMAGE RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE – STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL USE (Photo credit should read SAEED KHAN/AFP/Getty Images)

An unfortunate run-out of Yasir Shah ensured that Australia had completed an impressive and remarkable 40-run win in the first Test match between the two sides at the GABBA. While this effectively brought to an end what was indeed a scintillating Test match, many will believe that the wicket of Asad Shafiq was the wicket that effectively gave the game away to the hosts. Of course, Shafiq would go on to win the man of the match award for his efforts, yet, the issue would be the simple fact that they conceded the Test match, to say the least.

Pakistan began the final day’s play with some impressive bowling from the Australian bowlers as they seemed to attack the two batsmen giving away very little. However, the fact of the matter remained that the Pakistani batsmen, Asad Shafiq, in particular, were not prepared to throw in the towel, to say the least. Asad Shafiq began attacking the likes of Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazelwood, something that brought the Pakistanis ever so close tp victory.

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There was an eerie atmosphere around the stadium as the crowd hinged upon what would certainly be a remarkable Test match win. As far as Mickey Arthur was concerned, his side had already won. They had shown the character that was required of them and it was victory enough. In fact, he was also all smiles given the fact that he was the coach of Australia not too long ago.

Misbah-ul-Haq, in contrast, was a picture of calm. He was literally the father figure for most of the lads including Asad Shafiq, who was playing out of his skin to help the Pakistan team over the line. While Shafiq remains to be one of the most solid players in the Pakistan side, he is also one who boasts of ferocious character.

This character was what ensured that he was one of the rare gems who boasted of a century in the fourth innings of the Test match. When the Pakistanis reached the 400-run threshold, there was a possibility of them securing an unlikely win. Yasir Shah was playing the game of his life. He had bowled upwards of 50 overs in the Test match and had toiled hard for his side and looked as though a win and only a win would quench the disappointment of his efforts with the ball.

At the 450 mark, Ian Chappell in the commentary box had his heart in his mouth. Mr. Chappell had been a veteran of Australia Test matches and had been privy to some of the best Tests ever played. However, this was something surreal and Chappell was on the edge of his seat. However, in a few moments, disaster would strike in the form of Mitchell Starc.

Starc had bowled upwards of 30 overs on the day and was seemingly running out of steam. Yet, the bit of steam he had left would eventually yield him the wicket he so richly deserved. This wicket would be the prize scalp of Asad Shafiq. The funny thing was that there was little Shafiq could do about the ordeal. More importantly, for every Australian around the scattered remains of the GABBA, the front foot was fine.

Shafiq’s disappointment was there for all to see as David Warner completed the catch. A few deliveries later, the match would be wrapped up by a funny yet careless piece of cricket from Yasir Shah, who had battled his way past many an incident to make it big. In a nutshell, it was a lackadaisical way to end the game with Yasir Shah failing to make ground in what was perceived to be a lazy runout.

Brief Scores:

Australia, 1st innings: 477 all out

Pakistan, 1st innings: 142 all out

Australia, 2nd innings: 202/5 dec.

Pakistan, 2nd innings: 450 all out (A Shafiq 137; M Starc 4/119)

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