Twitter Reactions: Pakistan seven wickets away from taking a 1-0 lead

Australia still need 326 runs to win on the final day.

Usman Khawaja and Travis Head
Usman Khawaja and Travis Head. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

Pakistan all but ensured that they will be taking a 1-0 lead in the two-match Test series against Australia in Dubai. Despite a stellar resistance from their openers, Aaron Finch and Usman Khawaja, the visitors once again lost their way thanks to the continued poor show by the middle-order. Both the Marsh brothers, Shaun and Mitchell, bagged ducks in the second innings and from 87/0, the score suddenly looked 87/3 and there was a fear of Australia imploding once again.

However, that was not to be as Khawaja and Travis Head played exceptionally well. While the former tackled all the pressure his partner eased himself after getting off the mark in Test cricket. The left-hander played his shots and most importantly, the use of sweep shot was effective from him.

Mohammad Abbas was the best bowler for Pakistan as he exploited the conditions beautifully and reversed the ball significantly. He didn’t let Finch get to his second half-century in as many innings and nipped out the Marsh brothers cheaply to leave the opponents reeling. But Khawaja and Head didn’t perturb and ended the day on 136/3 with Australia still needing 326 runs to win on the final day while Pakistan would feel they are the favourites with seven wickets still to go.

Pakistan bat Australia out of the game

Earlier in the day, Haris Sohail and Imam-ul-Haq rebuilt the innings from 45/3. They attacked the bowlers whenever there was a bad ball and stitched a 65-run stand for the fourth wicket. Just when it felt that the Aussies are looking felt, Jon Holland fluffed the latter and dismissed him on 48. Soon, Sohail was undone by the debutant Marnus Labuschagne on 39.

But the duo of Babar Azam and Asad Shafiq carried on and made batting look extremely easy. Both of them added 71 runs in quick time as Pakistan looked to declare in the post-lunch session. Shafiq was more animated and he lost his wicket in the process after scoring 41 runs. At 181/6, Pakistan declared to set a target of 462 for Australia with a minimum of 137 overs to play.

Khawaja and Head would be looking to play out time as much as they can on the final day while the hosts will be keen to wrap things up soon.

Here’s how Twitter reacted during the course of the day:

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