Khawaja, Head frustrate Pakistan as Australia reach 215/3 at lunch
A heroic 128-run partnership between Usman Khawaja and debutant Travis Head frustrated Pakistan team on Day Five of the first Test against Australia at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium.
Needing seven wickets to win the first match of the two-Test series on the final day, Pakistan failed to take a single wicket in the morning session.
Resuming at the overnight score of 136/3, Australia reached 215/3 at lunch with Khawaja (82 batting, 199 balls, 8 fours) and Head (70 batting, 171 balls, 5 fours) handling the Pakistani bowlers very well.
Khawaja and Head used soft hands to deal with the spinners. While Wahab Riaz was largely ineffective, Mohammad Abbas did trouble the batsmen every now and then.
But Pakistan missed a chance to take the DRS when Yasir Shah caught Head in front of the wicket just before the drinks break. The review showed the ball that pitched on the line would have hit the middle stump.
That was not the only error of judgement from Pakistan captain on the final day morning session.
Sarfraz Ahmed probably also missed a trick by not starting the day with his best bowler in the second innings - Abbas.
The right-arm pace bowler was brought in only in the 16th over of the day, and by then, the Australian batsmen had already started to feel confident about their game.
At stumps on day four, Australia were 136/3 in 50 overs with Khawaja and Head surviving intense pressure from Pakistan bowlers after Abbas took three quick wickets.
Earlier, Pakistan declared their second innings at 181/6 in the second session of the fourth day, setting Australia a target of 462.
The second match of the two-Test series will be played in Abu Dhabi (October 16-20).
The Test series will be followed by a three-match T20I series (Abu Dhabi, October 24, and Dubai, October 26 and October 28).
Pakistan first innings 482
Australia first innings 202
Pakistan second innings 181/6
Australia second innings
Aaron Finch lbw Abbas 49
Usman Khawaja batting 82
Shaun Marsh c Sarfraz b Abbas 0
Mitchell Marsh lbw Abbas 0
Travis Head batting 70
Extras: (9 b, 4 lb, 1 nb) 14
Total (for three wickets, 79 overs) 215
Fall of wickets: 1/87, 2/87, 3/87
Bowling: Abbas 16-3-34-3; Hafeez 2-0-10-0; Yasir 22-1-65-0; Wahab 13-3-28-0; Asif 22-5-58-0; Sohail 4-1-7-0.