Mohammad Abbas strikes again to lead Pakistan to Test series win over Australia

Pakistan cricketers celebrate after dismissing Australian cricketer Aaron Finch during day four of the second Test match between Australia and Pakistan at Sheikh Zayed stadium in Abu Dhabi on Oct. 19, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 19 October 2018
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Mohammad Abbas strikes again to lead Pakistan to Test series win over Australia

  • Australia was bowled out for 164 after lunch on the fourth day after given an improbable winning target of 538
  • Right-arm seamer Mohammad Abbas grabbed a match haul of 10-95

ABU DHABI: Seamer Mohammad Abbas grabbed a match haul of 10-95 as Pakistan recorded an emphatic 373-run victory over Australia in the second test to clinch the series 1-0 on Friday.
Australia was bowled out for 164 after lunch on the fourth day after given an improbable winning target of 538.
Usman Khawaja, whose herculean century helped Australia salvage a draw in the first test, couldn’t bat in the second innings after tearing a left knee cartilage in the warmup on Thursday.
Australia sorely missed Khawaja-like grit from any of its batsmen on Friday.
Abbas, on a slow turning pitch, again jolted the top order with four quick wickets in the first hour on day four. The right-arm seamer then had top scorer Marnus Labuschagne caught behind for 43 after lunch to finish with 5-62 to go along with his first innings effort of 5-33.
Legspinner Yasir Shah ran through the tailenders with 3-45, finishing off the match by having Jon Holland caught in the slips on 3.
Looking to hold out for more than two days for a draw, Australia began the day on 47-1.
Travis Head (36) and Aaron Finch (31) stretched their second-wicket stand to 61 runs before Abbas struck four blows in a high-class exhibition of seam and swing bowling.
Head edged to substitute wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, standing in after captain Sarfraz Ahmed went to hospital for precautionary scans when he woke up on Friday and complained of headaches.
Abbas then had Mitchell Marsh lbw on 5 when Pakistan successfully went for a video referral against umpire Richard Illingworth’s not out decision.
Pakistan stand-in captain Asad Shafiq outsmarted Finch’s tactic of standing well outside his crease while facing Abbas, by making Rizwan stand close to the stumps, forcing the batsman inside the crease. The switch paid off as Abbas trapped Finch lbw.
Two balls later, captain Tim Paine was out without scoring while trying to leave a ball that nipped back enough and knocked over the off stump.
Shah then had Mitchell Starc (28) and Peter Siddle (3) both leg before wicket. Siddle could have survived but chose not to go for a video referral as the replays suggested the ball pitched outside leg stump.
Labuschagne shared the best partnership of the innings by adding 67 runs with Starc for the sixth wicket before Abbas returned after lunch and had him caught behind off a short-pitched delivery.


Joe Root ton puts England on top against Sri Lanka

Updated 17 November 2018
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Joe Root ton puts England on top against Sri Lanka

KANDY: Captain Joe Root smashed 124 and newcomer Ben Foakes again hit valuable tail end runs to put England in command of the second Test against Sri Lanka on Friday.
England reached 324 for nine — a second innings lead of 278 — when bad light stopped play for the day in Kandy.
Foakes was batting on 51 alongside James Anderson on four.
Spinner Akila Danajanya, whose action is under investigation by the International Cricket Council, claimed six wickets on the turning pitch.
He trapped Root lbw and then bowled Sam Curran for nought with his next ball. Adil Rashid thwarted the hat-trick but soon fell to Dananjaya’s guile for two.
It was his third five wicket haul in just his fifth Test for Dananjaya, who must rush off to Australia after the game for an ICC examination of his bowling.
He however could not stop Root and Foakes swinging the game.
Root reached his 15th Test ton soon after tea, making the sweep and reverse sweep valuable weapons, as he hit 10 fours and two sixes in his 146-ball knock.
Root said he enjoyed making the runs despite the pressure.
“That’s what it should be. You shouldn’t feel pressure like the pressure is too much for you, you should enjoy the occasion and make the most of the opportunity in front of you,” he said after the day’s play.
“The whole group managed to harness that today and make the most of it.”
Root raised his bat to a standing ovation from traveling English fans who also lauded Foakes.
Root made an 82-run seventh wicket stand with Foakes, who reached his fifty with a six off Dilruwan Perera. The hit turned out to be the last ball of the day with dark clouds gathering and thunder heard in the distance.
As he did in his sparkling century on Test debut in the opening game of the series, Foakes mixed caution and aggression to push up the England score.
Every one of England’s top seven batsmen were out attempting a sweep of some description.
Jos Buttler dragged one of Dananjaya’s deliveries onto his stumps while trying to reverse sweep on 34. Moeen Ali was trapped lbw for 10 after failing to connect with an attempted sweep.
“From my point of view, it was almost a safer shot than playing the forward defensive,” said Root.
“With the amount the ball was turning there’s a lot of risk involved in that. At times attack is the best form of defense on a wicket like that.”
Earlier, left-hander Rory Burns registered his maiden Test half-century in just his second match. He was trapped lbw off Malinda Pushpakumara for 59.
Burns then put together 73 runs for the second wicket with Keaton Jennings, who made 26, to steady the innings and help England overcome their 46-run deficit.
“I think the temptation with a deficit like that going into the second innings is to play within your shell and be a bit insular but the guys went out and set the tone at top of the order,” said Root.
“It was really pleasing to see inexperienced guys as Test cricketers really set the benchmark for the rest of the group, a really good platform for us.
“Hopefully we still stretch the lead further and that should be a good chase on this surface.”