Australia crashed to a massive 373-run loss against Pakistan in the second Test here on Friday.
Another devastating spell from Mohammad Abbas sealed Australia’s fate on day four, with the pace sensation running riot to see Pakistan claim the series 1-0. Abbas (five for 62) took four scalps off 15 balls in the opening session to obliterate Australia’s top-order and his 10-wicket haul in the match took his series tally to 17, the greatest haul by a fast bowler in a United Arab Emirates series and the equal second-most by a quick in a two-match Test series in Asia.
It was a familiar batting flop for Australia, which was rolled for 164 in just 49.4 overs early in the second session, chasing an impossible 538 with the injured Usman Khawaja unable to bat. The loss was Australia’s fourth heaviest (by runs) ever, with only Marnus Labuschagne (43) providing any kind of resistance on the game’s final day.
With all the momentum in the series behind it after its marathon fourth innings to save the first Test, Australia reduced its opponent to 57 for five in the first session on day one at a ground that is historically one of the most batsman-friendly pitches in Test history. But Tim Paine’s new-look side allowed Pakistan to reach 282 in its first dig before squandering the game by replying with just 145. Coming off his first-innings five-wicket haul, it was Abbas who again wreaked havoc as Australia lost four wickets for seven runs in 26 balls in the first hour on day four.
Resuming at 47 for one with Shaun Marsh already back in the sheds, Travis Head lasted six overs before he became Abbas’s first victim of the second dig when he nicked to fill-in wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan. Mitchell Marsh’s miserable first tour as vice-captain continued when he was given out lbw on review.
Aaron Finch fell victim to Abbas for the third time in this series, after being struck on the front pad plumb in front. Three balls later, Paine was inexplicably bowled, not offering a shot as Pakistan descended into rapturous celebrations sensing an early victory. Labuschagne has had his share of bright moments on this tour but this was the first with the bat as the right-hander showed some stern mettle to deny a rampant Pakistan outfit.
Along with Mitchell Starc, the pair put on 67 for the sixth wicket before Yasir Shah broke through to have him lbw as Peter Siddle suffered the same fate two overs later. Labuschagne lived to fight through to a lunch break extended due to the Islamic custom of Friday prayers, but survived just two Abbas balls after the interval when he edged a pull shot behind to hand the quick a second five-for in the match. Yasir brought things to an end when he had Jon Holland edging to second slip, delighting the Pakistani fans who rolled in to celebrate their biggest-ever margin of victory.
Brief scores: Pakistan (1st innings) 282 all-out in 81 overs; Australia (1st innings) 145 all-out in 50.4 overs; Pakistan (2nd innings) 400 for nine decl. in 120 overs (B Azam 99, S Ahmed 81); Australia (2nd innings) 164 all-out in 49.4 overs (M Abbas 5/62, Y Shah 3/45)