Abbas Masterclass Drives Pakistan Towards Series Victory Against Australia

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 after they were set a big 538-run target.

The win gave Pakistan a 1-0 win in the two-match series after Australia fought back to draw the first Test in Dubai last week.

This becomes Australia’s heaviest defeat against Pakistan, beating the 356-run hammering at this same venue four years ago.

It was Abbas 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’s feat 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 (UAE).

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.

Sarfraz, who was hit on the helmet by a rising Mitchell Starc delivery on Thursday, had gone for a precautionary scan.

Head and Finch added 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.

Pakistan vs Australia: Sarfraz taken to hospital, Khawaja may miss India Tests

Pakistan captain Sarfraz Ahmed has been taken to hospital and did not take the field on day four of the second Test against Australia after taking a blow to the helmet, while visiting batsman Usman Khawaja was ruled out with a knee injury.

Sarfraz was on 33 in Pakistan’s second innings on Wednesday in Abu Dhabi when a Peter Siddle bouncer struck his helmet.

The wicketkeeper brushed off the knock as he went on to make 81 off 123 balls, helping the hosts set a mammoth target of 538.

Asad Shafiq will lead Pakistan in his absence, while Mohammad Rizwan took the wicketkeeping gloves.

Australia were also dealt a major blow when it was confirmed that in-form opener Khawaja suffered a meniscal tear to his left knee that is likely to require surgery.

Khawaja, who has scored a match-saving 141 in the first Test, is now a doubt for the start of the home series against India, which begins in Adelaide on Dec. 6.

Australia began Day four on 47 for one, trailing by 491 and facing an uphill battle to avoid defeat.

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