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Australia set Pakistan 490 for victory

Australia captain Steve Smith declared Australia’s second innings closed at 202 for five during dinner on day three of the first day-night test against Pakistan in Brisbane on Saturday, setting the touring side a mammoth victory target of 490.

Usman Khawaja scored 74 and captain Steve Smith smashed 63 off 70 balls as the home side sought to bat Pakistan out of the game after declining to enforce the follow-on on a steamy day at the Gabba.

Peter Handscomb was unbeaten on 35 and wicketkeeper Matthew Wade on one before Smith’s declaration.

Skipper Steve Smith did not enforce the follow-on after Pakistan were dismissed for 142, some 287 runs behind on the first innings.

Instead Australia amassed a formidable lead over the beleaguered tourists heading into the tricky twilight session under lights.

Smith went after the runs and brought up his 19th Test half-century off 59 balls with his eye on a declaration.

But he was caught at long-on by Rahat Ali going for a heave off leg-spinner Yasir Shah for 63 off 70 balls with 11 fours.

Usman Khawaja, out cheaply in the first innings, cracked 74 off 109 balls before he was splendidly caught by Misbah-ul-Haq off Rahat nearing the dinner break.

Nic Maddinson once again failed and was out for four off just three balls before he was caught off Wahab Riaz.

Both openers were out before tea. David Warner fell for 12 when he went to hit Mohammad Amir through midwicket only to miscue his pull shot to Wahab Riaz at mid-on, while Matthew Renshaw was caught at second slip off Rahat Ali for six.

The highest winning run chase in the fourth innings at the Gabba stands at 236 for seven by Australia against the West Indies in 1951.

Pakistan’s batsmen face a stiff task to keep their wickets in the evening session with the pink ball at its most devilish.

The Pakistani team will have to go beyond the record highest-ever Test run chase of 418 for seven set by the West Indies against Australia in Antigua in 2003.

Earlier Pakistan’s last two partnerships battled for almost an hour before they were all out for 142 to trail Australia by 287 runs.

Wicketkeeper Sarfraz Ahmed earlier top scored with a fighting unbeaten 59 off 64 balls as the tourists added 45 runs to their overnight total 97 for eight.

Sarfraz and Mohammad Amir put on a stubborn 54 runs for the ninth wicket before Amir was adjudicated caught behind off a faint edge, detected by Hot Spot.

courtesy : dawn news



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