Sarfraz Ahmed settles for draw after Australia battle back to claim draw in Dubai

Aussie opener Khawaja scored his first century in Asia with a brilliant, match-saving 141 in the UAE. (AFP)
Updated 11 October 2018
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Sarfraz Ahmed settles for draw after Australia battle back to claim draw in Dubai

  • Baggy Greens display grit and determination to save first Test.
  • Sharfraz happy with character shown by Pakistan over the five days.

DUBAI: Sarfraz Ahmed said he had no regrets after Pakistan failed to secure victory over Australia in the first Test in Dubai.
The hosts went into the last day needing five wickets to win the first of the two-match series. But a brilliant 141 from Baggy Greens opener Usman Khawaja, a 61 not out from skipper Tim Paine and 72 from Travis Head frustrated Pakistan as the tourists finished the day on 362 for eight.
That left the Pakistan captain with a case of what might have been, but Sarfraz said he could not fault the effort of his side.
“We hoped to roll them out but we have to give credit to Khawaja, we must give him credit,” he said.
“We need to work hard — in Tests you learn (quickly).
“We have little things to work on. We should praise (Mohammad Abbas) a lot. The way he bowled on this pitch was tremendous.
“The batsmen who got their opportunities also took them. That’s a positive. We could have won this but Tests are like this. We’re sad, but the opposition also played well and we need to acknowledge that.”
Australia’s hero was Khawaja, who started the day on 50 not out as Australia resumed on 136 for three, chasing 462 for an unlikely victory.
Khawaja and Head added 79 before lunch as Pakistan failed to take a wicket in the first session. The pair eventually put on an invaluable 132 runs for the fourth wicket.
Khawaja, who was born in Pakistan but moved to Australia as a child, batted for eight hours 44 minutes and faced 302 balls before he was sixth man out in the final session. He was trapped leg-before sweeping Yasir Shah.
Khawaja’s innings was the second longest in the fourth innings of a Test, behind England’s Michael Atherton’s 645-minute vigil in scoring 185 not out against South Africa in Johannesburg in 1995. It was the highest fourth-innings score by any visiting batsman in Asia, beating New Zealand’s Daniel Vettori’s 140 made at Colombo against Sri Lanka nine years ago.
Pakistan started the day needing seven wickets to win but nothing worked for skipper Sarfraz, despite multiple bowling changes.
Pakistan could have had Head leg-before off leg-spinner Yasir on 44, but Sarfraz did not review umpire Richard Kettleborough’s not out decision. Replays showed the ball was hitting the stumps.
Pakistan were only rewarded when they took the second new ball as soon as it was due and Mohammad Hafeez trapped Head leg-before with the first ball. Australia wobbled but Khawaja and Paine, who batted for over three hours, ensured a draw.
The second Test starts in Abu Dhabi from Oct. 16.


Jabeur becomes first Tunisian woman to make WTA final

Updated 19 October 2018
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Jabeur becomes first Tunisian woman to make WTA final

  • Jabeur, ranked 101st in the world and who came through qualifying, prevailed over Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 3-6, 6-3
  • In Saturday’s final, Jabeur will face sixth-seeded Daria Kasatkina of Russia, last year’s runner-up, who put out Britain’s Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-3.

MOSCOW: Ons Jabeur made history on Friday when she became the first Tunisian woman to reach a WTA final by seeing off Latvian fifth seed Anastasija Sevastova 6-3, 3-6, 6-3 at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow.
Jabeur, ranked 101st in the world and who came through qualifying, prevailed in one hour 37 minutes.
“This is really amazing and I’m really happy. I gave it all today, and it wasn’t easy because she plays really good,” said 24-year-old Jabeur, who unleashed 45 winners on her way to victory.
“Maybe I was too relaxed in the second set. At the end, I stayed calm. It was a little bit frustrating because I missed some easy balls, but I said I was just going to play my game, and if it goes, it goes.”
In Saturday’s final, Jabeur will face sixth-seeded Daria Kasatkina of Russia, last year’s runner-up, who put out Britain’s Johanna Konta 6-4, 6-3.
“They’re both playing good, so I hope they fight for four hours,” Jabeur had said. “The best win is that there is a Tunisian in the final.”
Jabeur lost her only career meeting against Kasatkina at the Rio Olympics in 2016.
“She (Jabeur) plays interesting tennis with plenty of drop shots, often advances to the net,” Kasatkina said.
“Everything is possible in tomorrow’s final and I will just come onto the court and try to play my best.”
In the ATP event, France’s Adrian Mannarino ended Egor Gerasimov’s run beating the Belarus qualifier 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 to set up a semifinal with Italy’s Andreas Seppi, who ousted fourth seeded Serb Filip Krajinovic 6-4, 7-6 (7/2).
Second seed Daniil Medvedev of Russia beat last year’s runner-up Ricardas Berankis of Lithuania 6-2, 1-6, 6-4 will face third-seeded compatriot Karen Khachanov, who saw off Mirza Basic of Bosnia 6-2, 7-6 (7/5).