Abbas masterclass gives Pakistan series win



Sports Desk

Mohammad Abbas took 5-62 completing a 10-wicket haul in the match as Pakistan beat Australia by 373 runs in Abu Dhabi. Abbas was named man of the match and man of the series as Pakistan won the series 1-0.

Abbas had earlier taken 5-33 in the first innings and continues to dominate batting lineups. He has taken 59 wickets in 10 matches at an average of 15.64, by far the most remarkable statistics for a bowler in test cricket today. 

Yasir Shah chipped in with three wickets to ensure that the Australians did not get any breathing space while chasing a target of 538 runs.

No Australian batsman was able to get a decent score as Marnus Labuschagne was the highest run scorer with 43 runs. Usman Khawaja, the hero from the last match, did not bat due to a meniscal tear that will most likely require surgery.

There was also a scare for Pakistan as captain Sarfaraz Ahmed did not participate on the last day and was taken to hospital for scans after complaining of headaches. Sarfraz had earlier been struck on the head while batting.

Both captains were full of praise for Mohammad Abbas, with Australian captain Tim Paine remarking that the Australians had not been prepared for Abbas’s accurate and deadly bowling.

Sarfraz also said that Australia weren’t ready for Abbas, who was also named man-of-the-series on Pakistan’s tour of England earlier this year.

Australia had come into the two-Test series focused on the threat of Yasir Shah, who had destroyed them in their previous tour of UAE, but Shah managed just eight wickets in the series.

“But credit goes to Abbas, because the pitch is not suitable for fast bowlers,” said Sarfraz. “The way he bowled, he was the best bowler on either side. The way he bowled throughout he was the main factor for us winning the series.”

Abbas had taken seven wickets in the first Test that Australia managed to draw after a determined rearguard effort on the fifth day in Dubai.

“I am not so surprised at this win,” said Sarfraz. “Both teams are missing senior players. The way my team played the first match, we almost won it but couldn’t. The way we recovered from 57-5 on day one was remarkable.”

Paine agreed with Sarfraz’s assessment of Abbas, who became the first Pakistani fast bowler to take a 10-wicket haul in a Test in 12 years, since Mohammad Asif against Sri Lanka at Kandy in 2006.

“Abbas is a world-class bowler,” said Paine. “He challenged our defence and was too good for us. Yasir didn’t get the wickets, but he bowled just as well. Over here, one of the things our bowlers talked about was building pressure from both ends. That is what Pakistan did really well together.”

Pakistan and Australia will now play a T20 series with the first match in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

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