Brave Aussies draw first Test against Pakistan

Pakistan players appeal in vain for the dismissal of Australia's batsman Nathan Lyon on Thursday.

Pakistan players appeal in vain for the dismissal of Australia’s batsman Nathan Lyon on Thursday.Credit:AP

Dubai: Australia have clung on for a valiant draw in the first Test against Pakistan, grinding out a record-breaking day-five fightback in Dubai led by Usman Khawaja and Tim Paine.

Chasing a world-record 462 to win, the tourists survived 140 overs – an unprecedented effort for a draw by Australia in Test match history – to finish on 8-362, with skipper Paine unbeaten on 61 and Nathan Lyon five not out.

Travis Head and Usman Khawaja provided strong resistance on the final day of the first Test.

Travis Head and Usman Khawaja provided strong resistance on the final day of the first Test.Credit:AP

A valiant Khawaja dug in for eight hours and 44 minutes, scoring 141 off 302 balls in the second-longest knock ever in the fourth innings of a Test.

Paine survived 194 balls and shepherded Australia brilliantly during a perilous final hour on Thursday that began with ace legspinner Yasir Shah snaring three quick wickets.

With the pressure mounting, Paine calmly kept the strike during an intense final over from Yasir in which he was surrounded by Pakistani fielders.

Khawaja also scored a determined 85 in the first innings, spending almost 13 hours at the crease in total.

The 31-year-old gazed to the sky and appeared to be overcome with relief as wife Rachel cried in the stands after bringing up his century shortly after lunch.

The Queensland batsman's maiden Test century in Asia came to an end midway through the final session, the left-hander given out lbw while attempting to sweep Yasir.

Khawaja called for a review but replays confirmed the umpire's decision.

Yasir struck twice in his following over, dismissing Mitchell Starc (1) after Babar Azam took a spectacular one-handed diving catch at bat pad.

He then trapped Peter Siddle in front of the stumps for a duck bringing Nathan Lyon (5), who steered Australia home safely alongside Paine, to the crease.

Pakistan earlier squandered their last remaining review on an appeal for lbw against Paine from paceman Mohammad Abbas, but replays showed a thick inside-edge onto Paine's pads.

Usman Khawaja leaves the field after his great ton.

Usman Khawaja leaves the field after his great ton.Credit:AP

Missing suspended trio Steve Smith, David Warner and Cameron Bancroft, Australia will take plenty of positives from the start of their new era under Paine and coach Justin Langer.

Aaron Finch fell just short of making half-centuries in both innings while fellow debutant Travis Head scored 72 in the second dig. Marnus Labuschagne failed to get among the runs in his maiden Test but took crucial wickets with his part-time legspin and impressed in the field.

Dropped catches, missed run-out opportunities and some loose bowling combined to frustrate Pakistan during the first two sessions with skipper Sarfraz Ahmed angrily admonishing left-arm paceman Wahab Riaz at one point.

The hosts also suffered an injury blow with opener Imam-ul-Haq ruled out for the second Test after fracturing his pinky finger while diving in the field.

Khawaja's determined knock came after Aaron Finch, Shaun Marsh and Mitch Marsh all fell without Australia adding to their score late on Wednesday.

Australia were given an early reprieve on Thursday courtesy of a shocking umpiring call when Head was trapped in front on 44 by Yasir.

Head was given not out and Sarfraz decided against a review but replays showed he was plumb.

Khawaja survived a run-out scare after reaching his century and was also dropped in the slips of Yasir's bowling late on day four.

AAP

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