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Gabba Test: Fighting Pakistan resist Australia’s victory drive

 Agencies |  2016-12-19 23:17:35.0  |  Brisbane, Australia

Gabba Test: Fighting Pakistan resist Australia’s victory drive

Asad Shafiq scored a thrilling century as Pakistan put up a spirited resistance to Australia on Sunday, frustrating the hosts’ attempts to wrap up the first Test with a day to spare.

Shafiq dashed for three runs off a cut shot in the final over of the fourth day to reach his 10th Test century off 140 balls in the day-night match at the Gabba. The tourists, who have lost their last nine Tests in Australia, refused to buckle despite the loss of key batsmen Younis Khan, Azhar Ali and skipper Misbah-ul-Haq.

At the close on a storm-hit day, with Shafiq leading the way, Pakistan had just two wickets left and were 382 for eight. They trail the home side by 107 runs heading into Monday’s final day. Play was extended by an extra half-hour to seek a result but the tourists held firm.

Steve Smith dropped a two-handed chance at second slip when Shafiq was 72 off Mitchell Starc’s bowling with three regulation overs left in the day. Shafiq gave as good as he got and led the resistance with a belligerent knock including 10 fours and a six. Mohammad Amir, in the first year of his return to international cricket following a five-year ban for spot-fixing, hit his highest Test score in a stubborn 92-run seventh-wicket partnership with Shafiq.

Amir’s previous best was 39 not out against England at The Oval in August, but he fell late in the session for 48 off 63 balls with five fours.

The Australian bowlers endured a long grind, with a three-hour final session ending only at 10:09 pm, after a fierce storm lashed the ground just before tea. Australia are defending an unbeaten run of 27 Tests at the Gabba. Their last defeat here was in 1988 against West Indies. 

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