Milestone for Misbah, Pakistan sniff victory

Chasing an improbable 603-run victory target, the Australian top order surrendered, not for the first time in the series, to the Pakistani spinners to slump to 143 for four at stumps.


Among the top four, only David Warner (58) offered some resistance before falling to off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez.

Left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar (3-65) was the pick of the Pakistani bowlers and took the rest of the Australian wickets to fall on Sunday.

Steven Smith (38), one of the better players of spin in his team, and Mitchell Marsh (26) will return on Monday to continue their battle against a Pakistan team on the verge of their first test series win against Australia in 20 years.

The day belonged to Misbah, who hit a blistering 101 not out, belying his reputation as a ponderous batsman as he added 141 quick runs in 17 overs with Azhar (100) for the unbroken fourth wicket.

Dropped by Peter Siddle on four, Misbah took just 21 balls to race to his half-century, bettering South African Jacques Kallis’s record of a 24-ball fifty against Zimbabwe in Cape Town in 2005.

Needing eight runs from two balls to reach his hundred, he hit paceman Mitchell Starc for consecutive boundaries to match West Indies great Richards’s 1986 record of a 56-ball century against England at St John’s, Antigua.

The right-hander hit five sixes — including three in one Smith over — and 11 boundaries in his stunning 57-ball knock at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

Younus Khan (46) was the only Pakistan batsman dismissed in the morning session.

Younus, who has hit scores of 106, 103 not out and 213 in his last three innings, was trapped leg before by part-time spinner Smith.

If any consolation for the Australians, this was the first time the former Pakistan captain failed to reach three figures in the two-test series, which he finished with 468 runs to his name.

Compounding Australia’s problems, pace spearhead Mitchell Johnson left the field with a hip pain while Warner kept wickets in the absence of Brad Haddin who hurt his shoulder on Saturday.

Maxwell also donned the keeping gloves towards the end of the Pakistan innings to relieve Warner who was to return soon to open the innings for the second time.

(Reporting by Amlan Chakraborty; Editing by Sudipto Ganguly)