Ten-wicket Abbas destroys Australia for Pakistan’s series win
ABU DHABI: Medium pacer Mohammad Abbas took his maiden ten-wicket haul in a match to fire Pakistan to a 373-run win over Australia in the second Test in Abu Dhabi on Friday.
Abbas followed his 5-33 in the first innings with figures of 5-62 to wreck Australia for 164.
The victory, after Australia were set a 538-run target, allowed Pakistan to wrap up the two-match series 1-0 after Australia fought back to draw the first Test in Dubai last week.
It was Australia’s heaviest defeat against Pakistan, beating the 356-run hammering at this same venue four years ago.
It was Abbas, 28, who destroyed Australia with a haul of 17 wickets in the series — becoming the first Pakistani fast bowler to take ten wickets in a Test since Mohammad Asif did so against Sri Lanka at Kandy in 2006.
Abbas had jolted Australia with four wickets off just 23 balls while Yasir Shah finished with 3-45 to give Pakistan their tenth series win on the neutral venues of United Arab Emirates.
They have only lost one series — 2-0 to Sri Lanka last year — since being forced to play their home matches in UAE since 2009.
Pakistan were forced to play their home matches in UAE since attacks on the Sri Lankan team bus in Lahore in March 2009.
Australia’s batsmen had no answers to his accurate seam bowling under cloudy conditions at Sheikh Zayed Stadium as only Marnus Labuschagne (43), Travis Head (36) and Aaron Finch (31) offered some resistance.
Yasir dismissed number ten Jon Holland soon after lunch to hand Pakistan victory.
The first Test ended in a draw in Dubai last week.
Australian opener Usman Khawaja could not bat after suffering a recurrence of a knee injury during practice on Thursday.
Abbas jolted the Australians in the seventh over of the day when he removed a solid-looking Head, getting an edge to substitute wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, deputising for Sarfraz Ahmed.
‘Youngsters coming through’
Sarfraz, who was hit on the helmet by a rising Mitchell Starc delivery on Thursday, had gone for a precautionary scan which came back clear.
Sarfraz was full of praise for Abbas, the man of the match.
“The way Abbas has bowled all series is one of the biggest positives for us,” said Sarfraz.
“All the youngsters who have come through in recent times have done well. We have to groom them all to become a good Test team,” said Sarfraz.
Australian skipper Tim Paine said his side had thrown away a chance to win the match.
“Obviously really disappointing to have them five for 57 on day one and we let that opportunity slip,” said Paine.
“Abbas challenged our defence time and time again. There’s certainly no sugar coating that we’ve got some real issues with our batting.”
Head and Finch put on 61 runs for the second wicket while Starc (28) and Labuschagne added 67 for the sixth wicket, but it only delayed the inevitable.
Abbas had Mitchell Marsh (five) and Finch (31) leg-before wicket and dismissed Tim Paine for nought — before Yasir Shah removed Starc and Peter Siddle for three.
Australia had reached 155-7 at lunch with the writing very much on the wall.
Pakistan made 282 in their first innings and then bowled out Australia for a paltry 145, gaining a match winning 137-run lead.
The highlights of Pakistan’s batting in this match were 94 and 66 from opener Fakhar Zaman in his first Test while skipper Sarfraz returned to form with innings of 94 and 81.
Both the teams now play a series of three Twenty20 internationals with the first in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.