Mohammed Abbas destroys Australia to put Pakistan on top in Abu Dhabi

Pakistan's players celebrate dismissal of Australia's Mitchell Marsh during their test match in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018. (AP)
Updated 17 October 2018
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Mohammed Abbas destroys Australia to put Pakistan on top in Abu Dhabi

  • Abbas finished with five for 33 to bowl out Australia for a paltry 145
  • Pakistan have a 137-run lead in the first innings on the second day at Sheikh Zayed Stadium

ABU DHABI: Medium pacer Mohammad Abbas registered a five-wicket haul to steer Pakistan into a dominating position in the second Test against Australia in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.
Abbas finished with five for 33 to bowl out Australia for a paltry 145 to give Pakistan a 137-run lead in the first innings on the second day at Sheikh Zayed Stadium.
Pakistan stretched that lead to 281 as they were 144 for two at close, with Azhar Ali not out on 54 for his first half century in the series and Haris Sohail was 17 not out.
With eight wickets in hand Pakistan were in a great position to force a 1-0 lead in the two-match series after the first Test ended in a fighting draw in Dubai last week.
Azhar, who fell for disappointing scores of 18, four and 15 in the last three innings, batted with resolve, having so far hit three boundaries.
But it was once again debutant Fakhar Zaman who lifted Pakistan with a brilliant 66 following up his 94 in the first innings, before giving a return catch to Nathan Lyon who took an evasive action but still managed to hold onto the ball.
Zaman hit seven boundaries in an enterprising knock.
Zaman said Pakistan were in the driving seat.
“Yes, our position is good,” said Zaman. “If we score 100-150 runs more on Thursday then with a turning wicket we have a very good chance of winning this Test.”
Zaman said he was lucky to have played this Test.
“I was with the squad from the start but during the first Test I was about to return to Pakistan before, unfortunately, Imam-ul-Haq got injured and I got this chance of playing my first Test.”
Mohammad Hafeez, who scored a hundred in the drawn first Test, fell to a lazy shot off pacer Mitchell Starc, caught at short mid-off for six.
Earlier, Abbas and spinner Bilal Asif (3-23) wrecked Australia for 145 in their innings.
Abbas had Shaun Marsh, in the fourth over of the day, for three and Travis Head for 14 before wrapping up the innings by trapping Starc leg-before for 34.
This becomes Abbas’s third five-wicket haul in a burgeoning career of ten Tests.
Asif had removed Aaron Finch (39) and in the last over before lunch trapped Tim Paine leg-before for three.
Marnus Labuschagne offered some resistance during his 25 before falling to a freakish run out, backing up too far as a drive from Starc was deflected to the stumps by Yasir Shah with Labuschagne out of his crease.
Abbas, whose first wicket of the match made him the joint second fastest Pakistani to 50 wickets, gave Pakistan an early wicket in the fourth over of the day, removing Marsh with a catch in the slip.
He then had Head caught in the second slip to leave Australia at 56 for four.
Leg-spinner Yasir made it 75 for five with the wicket of Mitchell Marsh, caught close to the wicket for 13 before Australia lose two more to reach lunch at 91 for seven.
Afer the Tests both the teams will play a series of three Twenty20 international with the first in Abu Dhabi on October 24.
sh/nr


Saudi Arabia to face Japan in Asian Cup second round after defeat to Qatar

Updated 17 January 2019
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Saudi Arabia to face Japan in Asian Cup second round after defeat to Qatar

  • A double from Almoez Ali means Qatar top Group E.
  • Juan Antonio Pizzi's men now face Japan in second round on Monday.

LONDON: Saudi Arabia now know they will have to overcome Japan in the second round if they are to keep their hopes of a fourth Asian Cup title alive. 

A 2-0 defeat at the hands of Qatar meant Juan Antonio Pizzi’s men finished second in Group E — both sides went into the top-of-the-table clash knowing they had already secured a spot in the knockout stages. 

A brace from Almoez Ali in Abu Dhabi was enough to give Qatar the three points and leave them top of the group. 

From the kick-off the Green Falcons were the ones who looked the more likely to make the initial breakthrough —  Fahad Almuwallad slamming a right-foot shot against the post after 22 minutes.

Qatar captain Hasan Al-Haydos then missed a penalty in the 42nd minute after Ali had been clattered in the box.

But Ali, who scored four goals in Qatar's 6-0 rout of North Korea last weekend, made no mistake in first-half stoppage time.

He calmly slotted the ball past Saudi Arabia goalkeeper Mohammed Alowais to become the first player to score six goals in a single Asian Cup since South Korea's Lee Dong-gook in 2000.

Ali subsequently headed in a seventh goal of the tournament 10 minutes from time, celebrating with a jig of delight.

While the defeat was not ideal Green Falcons coach Pizzi said he was still hopeful Saudi Arabia would be able to go far in the tournament. 

"It was an intense game but we have to hide our feelings and prepare for the last 16," Pizzi said.

"We were missing quality in the final third and individual errors have cost us," he added.

"But we will bounce back. I respect every team left in the competition, including Japan, but I don't feel that we are inferior to them in any way."

Qatar, who have never gone beyond the quarterfinals, advance to face Iraq in the last 16.