Twitter Reactions: Usman Khawaja and Tim Paine’s fantastic batting effort help Australia eke out a thrilling draw
Head also batted beautifully on debut and fought bravely for his 175-ball 72.
Updated - Oct 11, 2018 7:05 pm
Usman Khawaja played the innings of his life on the final day of the first day Test match between Australia and Pakistan in Dubai. His dogged knock of 141 runs took the life out of the opposition bowlers who toiled hard all day to pick wickets on a potentially dead pitch. Surprisingly, the 22 yards didn’t deteriorate much and though the ball was spinning, the visitors did well to counter it. They eventually somehow managed to hold Pakistan for a thrilling draw as the things went down the wire in the end.
Khawaja’s wicket opened the gates in the final hour of the day. Yasir Shah bowled a snorter which didn’t turn and went on straight through the line to pin the left-hander in front of the stumps. Soon, Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle were also back in the hut and with 13 overs to go, Pakistan were the favourites to win the game. Though the skipper Tim Paine was fighting at the other end and kept his calm amidst all the action.
He first forged a fighting stand of 79 runs along with Khawaja and then took Nathan Lyon by his side to survive the scariest part of the day. Pakistan threw everything at the duo and Mohammad Abbas also tried his best to reverse swing the ball. But the batsmen were extremely watchful and with some luck, managed to draw the game which no one saw coming after the way they had collapsed in the first innings.
The credit of the draw should go to Travis Head, Khawaja and the captain Paine who led from the front when the team needed it the most.
Head and Khawaja’s stunning partnership
Earlier in the day, it was the duo of Travis Head and Khawaja who made the batting look easy. They just carried on from where they left the other day and didn’t look perturbed at all. The hosts tried a plethora of things but they didn’t deter only to leave them frustrated. Both of them got to their respective half-centuries and made the dressing room believe that there was a realistic chance now to draw the match.
In the meantime, soon after lunch, Pakistan took the second new ball which worked wonders for them. The good-looking 132-run stand was broken off the very first ball by Mohammad Hafeez. The ball skidded through the line and Head played for the turn to get undone on 72. The other debutant Marnus Labuschagne stayed in the middle for 24 balls but Yasir Shah’s variations were too good for him.
Despite all the drama in the dying stages of the game, Australia somehow hung in for a draw. Lyon and Paine sucked in all the pressure for almost an hour. Paine, the captain, was the man for them who played out a massive 194 deliveries and didn’t let Khawaja’s effort go in vain who faced a whopping 302 balls in his marathon outing in the fourth innings.
Here’s how Twitterati reacted during the day:
— Steve Smith (@stevesmith49) October 11, 2018
Some Draw by the Aussies …. !! #PakVAus
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) October 11, 2018
— Junaid khan 83 (@JunaidkhanREAL) October 11, 2018
That is a magnificent effort by our boys in the baggy green. Great fighting qualities and Khawaja one of the best tons you will ever see.#cmon
— Mark Waugh (@juniorwaugh349) October 11, 2018
— Callum Ferguson (@calferguson12) October 11, 2018
If ever a draw was as good as a win. Monumental effort from the Aussies, Pakistan was brilliant but couldn't close the game after dominating most parts of it #PAKvAUS
— Deep Dasgupta (@DeepDasgupta7) October 11, 2018
— Tom Moody (@TomMoodyCricket) October 11, 2018
— Mitchell Johnson (@MitchJohnson398) October 11, 2018
After 4 long days in tough conditions, to come out and save the game on Day 5 like that is determination personified. Colossal knock @Uz_Khawaja, @tdpaine36 @travishead34 brilliant support and @NathLyon421 nerves of steel! Series alive. Love these boys!! 👏🏼
— Pat Cummins (@patcummins30) October 11, 2018
Well batted Uzi! Trav!#PakVAus
— Jason Gillespie 🌱🌈 (@dizzy259) October 11, 2018
Brilliant. Worth staying up for. Great fight Australia
— Shaun Tait (@shaun_tait32) October 11, 2018
— Ryan Harris (@r_harris413) October 11, 2018
What a catch !!! 😮🙌🏼 #Babar
— Danielle Wyatt (@Danni_Wyatt) October 11, 2018
— Darren Lehmann (@darren_lehmann) October 11, 2018
Yasir Shah was awesome today!
Gave us so much hope
Sadly Shannon Gabriel wasn't batting 😔#PAKVAUS
— Fawad’s Gaylestorm (@HedzCricket) October 11, 2018
5 days for a draw what a sport #PAKvAUS
— Matthew Potter (@matthewpotter23) October 11, 2018
— Shubham Solanki (@Princeshubham82) October 11, 2018
Said it enough times and I proudly say that again…
TEST CRICKET Was,Is and Always will be The BEST FORM OF CRICKET…!!♥️🏏
LONG LIVE TEST CRICKET, my love.@cricketcomau @CAComms #PAKVAUS #PAKvAUS #PAKvsAus #ICC #Khawaja #TimPaine
— Sanket D. Patil (@San4u8793) October 11, 2018
In all seriousness what an adverts for 5 day cricket. There's lots of talk of reducing days but when youve got two evenly matched sides you need the fifth day. #PAKvAUS
— Abdul Firfire (@afirfire) October 11, 2018
— . (@martinihenry1) October 11, 2018