Twitter Reactions: Usman Khawaja and Tim Paine's fantastic batting effort help Australia eke out a thrilling draw

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.

Tim Paine and Usman Khawaja
Tim Paine and Usman Khawaja. (Photo by Ryan Pierse/Getty Images)

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:

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