Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Pace bowler Mohammad Abbas proved to be a nightmare for the Australian batsmen once again as he took his second five-wicket haul of the match to not only lead Pakistan to a 373-run win on the fourth day in Abu Dhabi, but also a 1-0 series win.
Starting off the day on 47/1, Australia lost Travis Head early on as he was caught behind by substitute fielder Mohammad Rizwan, who was filling in for captain Sarfraz Ahmed as he went to hospital for precautionary scans, off the bowling of Abbas for 36.
Mitchell Marsh only scored five runs before he was trapped lbw off the bowling of Abbas.
Marsh was not given out initially, but Pakistan decided to review the decision. Their gamble paid off as replays showed that the ball was pitching in line and going on to hit leg stump.
Aaron Finch suffered the same fate as Marsh after scoring 31, while Australia captain Tim Paine was clean bowled by Abbas three balls later.
Marnus Labuschagne and Mitchell Starc halted Pakistan’s charge with a 67-run partnership before Starc was given out lbw off the bowling of Yasir Shah for 28.
Starc opted to review the decision, but replays showed that the ball was pitching in line and hitting the stumps.
Peter Siddle was also trapped lbw off the bowling of Yasir, while Labuschagne was caught behind off the bowling of Abbas for 43.
Yasir finished things off when he had Jon Holland caught at slip for three runs.
Since Usman Khawaja suffered a torn meniscus prior to the start of the third day, he was unable to bat. As a result, Australia were bowled out for 164.
Abbas was the pick of the bowlers with five wickets, while Yasir took three and debutant Mir Hamza claimed one.
Paine was disappointed with his side’s performance, and said: “Obviously really disappointing to have them 5 for 57 on day one and we let that opportunity slip. When you do that against really good teams in Test cricket you pay the price and I thought they batted really well after that in the first innings, put us under pressure and we weren’t up to the challenge with the bat.
“I thought our bowlers toiled pretty well on that wicket. To bowl them out twice was not a bad effort. It’s just our batting. Mohammad Abbas challenged our defence time and time again, and as we’ve seen a number of times over the last couple of years, we’ve come up short. There’s certainly no sugar coating that we’ve got some real issues with our batting and we need to address it really quickly.”
Sarfraz was thrilled to have won, and said: “The way Abbas has bowled all series is one of the biggest positives for us. I’m feeling fine, just wanted to see if there was concussion. Fakhar has had an excellent debut, he’s an important player. This team management wants to give confidence to young players. All the youngsters who have come through in recent times have done well. We have to groom them all. There was pressure, when the team loses there is pressure, the most important is that the team wins. Thankfully my batting performance in this Test contributed to the win.”
Abbas was named Man of the Match and Man of the Series.