Pak vs Aus, 3rd Test: Usman Khawaja's century (104* runs) helps Australia set 351-run target
Brief Scores: Pakistan 268 (Shafique 81, Azhar 78, Babar 67, Cummins 56/5, Starc 33/4) & 73/1 (Imam 42*) need 278 runs to beat Australia 391 (Khawaja 91, Green 79, Carey 67, Smith 59, Naseem 58/4, Afridi 79/4) and 227/3dec (Khawaja 104*, Warner 51, Naseem Shah 23/1)
After taking a lead of 123 runs in the first innings, Australia were 11/0 at the end of the third day. Openers David Warner and Usman Khawaja resumed batting for Australia on the fourth morning. Warner raised a storm earlier in the morning with his explosive stroke play. The left-handed opener pummelled three boundaries off pacer Shaheen Shah Afridi.
David Warner and Khawaja add 96 runs for the first wicket
The opening duo of Warner and Khawaja brought up a 50-run partnership. Warner continued to play attacking strokes and completed his half-century off 86 deliveries. However, left-arm seamer Afridi sent the stumps flying to send Warner back to the pavilion. One down batter Marnus Labuschagne and Khawaja helped their team to reach 97 at the stroke of lunch.
Australia go past 200 till tea
After the break, Labuschagne smashed a few elegant boundaries. In the meantime, Khawaja completed his 17th half-century. Spinner Nauman Ali dropped a catch of Labuschagne when the latter was on a personal score of 11. However, Labuschagne got caught by Sajid Khan off Nauman on 36.
Khawaja, however, batted aggressively from the other end and hammered three boundaries in an over of Hasan Ali. Two down batter Steven Smith went past 8,000 Test runs in just 151 innings. Australia made 202 runs till the tea break.
Usman Khawaja notches up century, Australia set target of 351 for Pakistan
Pacer Naseem Shah dismissed Smith on 17 which the batter decided to review; though the umpire upheld the decision and Smith had to leave the ground. Khawaja continued his dream run in this series and completed his century off 169 deliveries. Middle-order batter Travis Head smoked a few boundaries before skipper Pat Cummins declared the innings to post a target of 351 runs in front of Pakistan.
Pakistan reach 73/0 till stumps, 278 runs adrift
In front of a huge target of 351, hosts’ opening pair of Imam-ul-Haq and Abdullah Shafique started cautiously. They kept the scoreboard ticking with singles and doubles. Shafique got caught behind off leg-spinner Nathan Lyon, however, the batter reviewed the umpire's decision and the clear gap between bat and ball forced the umpire to overturn his decision.
After being saved by DRS, Shafique went in the attacking mode and hammered a six over mid-on. Hosts’ opening pair helped their side reach 73 without losing any wicket till stumps on the fourth day.
What Lies Ahead?
The thrilling three-match Test series between Pakistan and Australia is likely to reach its climax tomorrow. Pakistan need 278 runs to conquer this Test and the series whereas Australia require all ten wickets of the hosts to register a rare win in the sub-continent.