Some things in life make you wait, bore you to death and refuse to move on before the climax. But when the climax is filled with such levels of taking you to a trance-like state, you'd happily wait for it. Dubai is one such drug. So, we switch emirates with the series still level, and given that this is only a two-match series, you couldn't have asked anything better. Here's hoping the next match at least tries matching up, as I, Vineet Anantharaman sign off on behalf of Pradeep Krishnamurthy, Varun Dixit and our scorer Harish. Until Abu Dhabi, ta ta!!
As we wind up, here are some stats on this amazing Test by the ever reliable Deepu Narayanan** Most consecutive Tests without a draw:26 Zim (2005-17)23 Aus (1999-01)22 Eng (1884-92)22 Aus (2001-03)22 Pak (2015-18) - streak ended today** This is the first drawn Test between Pakistan & Australia since October 1998 - 19 consecutive Tests with a result before this draw (Pak won 3, Aus won 16). ** Most overs batted in 4th inngs for a draw (Asia):142.0 Ban v Zim, Dhaka, 2005140.0 Eng v SL, Kandy, 2003139.5 Aus v Pak, Dubai, 2018136.0 Ind v WI, Kolkata, 1948
Sarfraz Ahmed | Pakistan skipper: Credit to Usman Khawaja for the way he batted through the day; he saved the match for Australia. I knew he understands Urdu, but he played the sweep and reverse sweep very well. He hung in there, batted really well and took the team home. We need to work hard, but we keep learning through Test cricket. The Haris review was very close too and it would have been different had that gone in our favour, but such things happen. We need to give a lot of credit to Abbas as well - he came back from County in England and took responsibility. The batsmen too did really well; Shafiq, Haris, Hafeez and Imam. We're sad but we need to give credit to the opposition for the way they batted. [Loose and poor Urdu translation]
Tim Paine | Australian skipper: It was an extremely tough Test match. They had us under the pump for a long time but I am proud of the way my team played. Everyone had a plan - Usman was looking to be positive and I am very happy with the way we prepared and everyone stuck to their guns in the second innings. I was nervous; very nervous. Once you get set here it becomes a lot easier. No, I don't think it feels like a win. We were outplayed but we can take a lot out of the way we played in the second innings and take it to Abu Dhabi with the series alive.
Usman Khawaja | Man of the Match: I wasn't really thinking too much. We had a belief in the team that if we batted well in the first session, which we did, we could take it to the end. Credit to the Pakistanis as well, they played in tremendous spirit. Everytime you get a hundred for Australia it is amazing; I am very privileged to be playing for them. There was rough on both sides of the wicket for a left-hander and that is why I had a plan (to reverse sweep).
But Pakistan would believe they've made a mess here of a certain victory. Remember, they lost Dubai's fortress to Sri Lanka a year ago, and Australia have made them wait longer to reclaim. When three wickets fell yesterday on the same score, it looked as if this could end early. Well given the troubles the batsmen had against spin on a track that wasn't the easiest, it should have. But Pakistan missed a catch, a review, and Wahab Riaz's form. Head and Khawaja batted for over a session, Paine and Khawaja for around a session and finally Paine and Lyon for half an hour. They withstood appeals, spinning cobras and confusions. But their doggedness stayed. Stay on, the presentations coming up shortly.
17:24 Local Time, | 18:54 IST: Delicious. Australia bat out the longest they ever have in the fourth innings to hang on to this one, by the skin of their teeth. Just a small fistpump from Paine, takes his gloves off and offers his handshake. He's been forced to lead Australia into a new era, and he's eaten up 194 balls in ensuring he does. It was Khawaja, who unleashed his hidden Pakistani avatar, batting as if at home, with no sort of fuss. He'd been accused of not having done his homework around five years ago in Asia by a man who's now in the opposite ranks to watch him having finally done it.
Five men outside off now. A short point of sorts has been added in.
Seven men around the bat. Four on off, three on leg.
Yasir Shah [42.0-8-110-4] is back into the attack
Now. 18, 17, 16 ... Two slips, two silly points, one short leg.
Bilal Asif [35.0-7-85-0] is back into the attack
Right, 24 balls. Time for someone to turn into a Mcgrath or a Gabriel. Yasir can remain Yasir.
The four catching ring on the leg side is still there.
The leg-side catching field - a leg-slip, short leg, forward short leg, silly mid-on, short mid-wicket.
Yasir Shah [40.0-7-106-4] is back into the attack
So, 48 balls. Pakistan need only two of them.
The lights have come on too with a big shadow cutting the pitch.
Mohammad Abbas [24.0-5-47-3] is back into the attack
Silly mid-on, silly mid-off and a two catching mid-wickets.
A slip, leg-slip and two short legs
Nathan Lyon, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Yasir Shah to Siddle, THAT'S OUT!! Lbw!!
Two slips, two silly points.
Peter Siddle, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Yasir Shah to Starc, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Sarfraz's guidelines: upar se, upar se, upar se [pitch it up x3]
Two slips, a silly point and a short leg.
Mitchell Starc, left handed bat, comes to the crease
Yasir Shah to Khawaja, THAT'S OUT!! Lbw!!
As he's nearing himself to history, Usman Khawaja now has the highest score by a non-Asian batsman in the fourth innings in Asia - going past Dan Vettori.
One final drinks break in Dubai and we are into the mandatory hour now. 15 overs for Pakistan to get those elusive five wickets and Australia are 90 balls away from securing a historic fighting draw.
Asif switches to round the wicket
Yasir Shah [36.0-3-106-1] is back into the attack
Yasir on for one last attempt, a slip, gully and a silly point in place..
20 overs left in the Test, maybe just about enough time for one final spell from Yasir Shah, it's Bilal to continue though..
Bilal Asif [28.0-6-73-0] is back into the attack
Bilal replaces Yasir.. a slip, leg slip, FSL and a short mid-wicket in place
A gully, short mid-off, short mid-on and a short mid-wicket - the catching men
A deep short square leg, short mid-wicket, short mid-on and a gully in place
Short cover has moved across to short mid-off now
A gully, short cover and a short mid-on in place, might be one long spell for Abbas
Mohammad Abbas [20.0-4-39-3] is back into the attack
Breaking: Imam-ul-Haq will miss the Abu Dhabi Test with a broken finger, the Pakistan Cricket Board have confirmed
Back to over the wicket
Riaz, from round the wicket
A slip, gully and a straight short-silly point, a short mid-off as well
Yasir Shah [32.0-3-90-1] is back into the attack
Yasir from the other end, a FSL, leg slip and a wide gully in place, he's coming from round the wicket..
A slip, gully, short cover and a short cover-point for the right-hander
Right, we are into the final session of the first Test in Dubai. Pakistan are still favourites to win, but one can't stop praising the efforts of the Australian batsmen, particularly Usman Khawaja. Can they show one final session of resiliance and save this Test? The players are back out in the middle, Riaz to start for the hosts, he's had a poor day, can he salvage something for himself and his team here? A gully, short mid-on and short mid-wicket in place..
14:39 Local Time, 10:39 GMT, 16:09 IST: This session has been dominated by Usman Khawaja. He has played one of the finest innings at this stadium. His partner in the crowd looks over the moon. It portrays how much this knock means to him and his family. The session started on a wrong note for Australia, they lost Travis Head early and soon Labuschagne followed him. At that moment, it felt that Travis Head's wicket would trigger a first innings like collapse. But skipper Paine has shown maturity and has assisted Khawaja in adding 37 runs more for the sixth wicket. Pakistan need 5 more wickets and Australia have to play a minimum of 31 overs to force a draw. We can expect a sensational final session. See you on the flip side of the break.
Asad Shafiq, right-arm leg break, comes into the attack
Bad news for Pakistan: Imam has dislocated a finger on the left-hand and he will miss the next Test match.
This must be the penultimate over before the tea.
119 by Khawaja is now the highest score by an Australian batsman in Asia in the fourth innings. He overtakes Ricky Ponting, who made 118 against Bangladesh in 2006.
Haris Sohail [7.0-1-14-0] is back into the attack
Imam is sitting in the dressing room and he has a plaster on his left hand, not sure what exactly happened. Waqar Younis on air reckons it might be a dislocated finger.
Twe slips and FSL in.
Yasir Shah [30.0-3-84-1] is back into the attack
Bilal Asif [26.0-5-71-0] is back into the attack
Mohammad Abbas [16.0-3-34-3] is back into the attack
So drinks. Khawaja is all who remains now in Pakistan's way of reclaiming the fortess they lost to Sri Lanka last year.
He's gone over the wicket
Tim Paine, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Yasir Shah to Labuschagne, THAT'S OUT!! Lbw!!
Bilal Asif [22.0-5-58-0] is back into the attack
Yasir Shah [22.0-1-65-0] is back into the attack
A silly point is brought in.
A slip and a short leg.
Marnus Labuschagne, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Hafeez to Head, THAT'S OUT!! Lbw!!
Mohammad Hafeez [2.0-0-10-0] is back into the attack
New ball taken. But surprise, surprise, it's someone who was in the team for his bowling, but barely got to.
12:37 Local Time | 14:07 IST: We're back live. This should be the session that'll give some clarity. Pakistan needed seven wickets at the start of play, which is still the case. Australia meanwhile have done one-third of what they needed to. Here we go then .. a slip, leg-slip and a short leg.
Travis Head and Usman Khawaja have chipped away and batted out the first of three sessions needed to force a draw. Sarfraz doesn't look too happy, but the Australian dressing room will be pleased with the fight shown by the two southpaws. Pakistan wheeled away on a track which is still not breaking up, they could have got rid of this partnership, but failed to review a plumb LBW call against Head, on 44. They did review a non-dismissal of Khawaja late into the session, and were perhaps lucky to save that review. Barring those two iffy moments, both batsmen have shown plenty of patience and the skill to go with it. Abbas was brilliant, but the rest hardly inspired. The hosts need some inspiration and that might come with the second new ball, which will be due shortly after resumption. Join us at 12:40 PM local for a session that might define this Test.
Round the wicket to Khawaja
Bilal Asif [20.0-5-52-0] is back into the attack
Just one over for the wayward Riaz and he's out of the attack, Bilal replaces him..
Haris Sohail [2.0-1-2-0] is back into the attack
Another change with Haris Sohail replacing Abbas..
Sarfraz is back at his normal position now
Wahab Riaz [11.0-3-21-0] is back into the attack
A mini-conference between Sarfraz and Riaz as the latter comes into the attack, replacing Yasir
A slip, leg slip, FSL and a short mid-wicket in place
Sarfraz is back for Head
A slip, gully and a short extra-cover in place
Sarfraz is up to the stumps now
Drinks are on the field now. A perfect first-hour for Australia. Khawaja and Head have looked decent against the spinners. Some balls have troubled Head. He needs to be cautious while sweeping against Yasir Shah. The wrecker-in-chief yesterday, Abbas has just came in to the attack and his spell will be crucial for Pakistan.
Mohammad Abbas [11.0-2-26-3] is back into the attack
Round the wicket now.
FSL, leg-slip and short third.
Yasir Shah [15.0-1-42-0] is back into the attack
Players make their way in the middle. Sarfraz just had an animated conversation with his players. We are all set for the start.
Tim Paine: It is a huge day for us. Khawaja and Finch have been great and they have showed that it is possible for the rest of us. The challenge for us will be to survive that initial phase of 10-15 balls. Both the fast bowlers bowled very well yesterday, they set good fields and bowled according to that. They have a good bowling attack and we have to bat really well today.
For Pakistan, Abbas was the wrecker-in-chief yesterday when Finch and Khawaja again got Australia to a terrific start. It is staggering that the more established bowlers in Pakistan's bowling line-up, Yasir Shah and Wahab Riaz have been wicket-less and all thirteen wickets in the match have been shared by Abbas(7)and Bilal Asif(6).The pitch has deteriorated but it is not a minefield by any stretch of the imagination. The first session has been brilliant to bat on all four days and Australia would want that trend to continue. The lower middle-order of Australia doesn't exude much confidence and Khawaja and Head will have to bat at least for a session, if not more, if Australia had to save this match. Stay tuned for live action.
09:30 Local Time, 05:30 GMT, 11:00 IST: Hello and welcome to the day 5 of this Test match. Almost everything has gone according to the script for the hosts thus far. It is hard to think of any other result besides a win for Pakistan. The only man who is standing between them and the victory is Islamabad born, Usman Khawaja.
Fair to say there are only two results possible now. A Pakistan win looks most likely, but Australia will not go down without a fight. They started well once again, with Khawaja and Finch adding 87 for the first wicket. But then 87 is Australia's unlucky number and they lost three wickets at the same score. Finch and the Marsh brothers - done in by the brilliance of Mohammad Abbas - who got the semi-old ball to reverse appreciably. The end seemed nigh at that stage, but Head - who started tentatively and then played some gorgeous shots joined forces with Khawaja to ensure that the visitors escaped unscathed. The partnership is worth 49 runs so far, but Australia still have the daunting task of batting out a complete day tomorrow. Not much batting left after this pair with Marnus Labuschagne on a pair. The hosts will fancy their chances of scalping the remaining 7 wickets in quick time, although the two spinners struggled on a pitch that's their ally now. Should be another absorbing day's play coming up. Do join us for all the action. For now, cheers and bye..
Back to round the wicket
Should be the final over of the day
Both batsmen are taking their time, we have had the 90 bowled for today and have around 8 minutes remaining..
Haris Sohail, left-arm orthodox, comes into the attack
Should have been the last over, but we will have a few bonus overs tonight. Haris replaces Yasir
Sarfraz has something to say to his bowler and Yasir switches back to over the wicket
A slip, leg slip, backward short leg and FSL in place
Just 5 overs left for the day and we still have around 27 minutes remaining. There's a break in play as a backward short leg comes in, a FSL and a slip as well
A slip, FSL and a gully in place..
Bilal Asif [6.0-2-16-0] is back into the attack
Spin from both ends now. Bilal Asif replaces Abbas..
Another over for the impressive Abbas..
Yasir Shah [9.0-0-27-0] is back into the attack
Spin after a while, a slip, FSL, leg slip and short mid-wicket for Yasir
Drinks are on the field now. After a wicket-less last session for Pakistan they have come storming back in the first hour. Abbas has been on fire and he has picked up all the wickets. Australia have an uphill task ahead of them.
Sarfraz goes for a LBW review again. He and Pakistan are on a roll here. There is no bat involved for sure. Off to ball tracking: It is missing leg and Pakistan lose a review.
Travis Head, left handed bat, comes to the crease
Mohammad Abbas to Mitchell Marsh, THAT'S OUT!! Lbw!!
LBW review: Pakistan wants justice again from DRS. It hit the pad first and that was the pertinent point. It is smashing the stumps. Mitchell Marsh departs now.
Mitchell Marsh, right handed bat, comes to the crease
Mohammad Abbas to Shaun Marsh, THAT'S OUT!! Caught!!
Shaun Marsh, left handed bat, comes to the crease
Mohammad Abbas to Finch, THAT'S OUT!! Lbw!!
LBW review: Finch waited for a long time before deciding to take the review. It hit the pad first and this looks close. He looks out. It is smashing the stumps and three reds in the DRS means Finch will have to depart.
Wahab Riaz [2.0-0-7-0] is back into the attack
Welcome back to the final session of the day. Finch has a bright smile on his face. He and his partner get ready to counter Abbas.
14:42 Local Time | 16:12 IST -- Tea: Australia check the first box. Pakistan's bowlers, especially the spinners, were all over the place. Having been given a very defensive field in the first place, they kept changing up their plans, stayed very inconsistent in their lengths and Finch and Khawaja have found good confidence in trusting their defence. But Pakistan have a mountain of a target, on a track that has a three-day history of crumbling in the final session and spicing things up. And as someone famous once said, if it's Australia in Asia, one wicket brings you ten. Back in just a bit ..
Slip, leg-slip and a short leg. Shah goes over the wicket.
Sarfraz comes over with advice. A silly point is brought in, short leg goes out.
Yasir Shah [3.0-0-8-0] is back into the attack
A slip and a short leg. But a pretty defensive field in the rest of the ground.
Bilal Asif, right-arm off break, comes into the attack
So 6 + how many?
One wide slip and a gully in place.
Wahab Riaz, left-arm fast medium, comes into the attack
Finch seems to have something stuck in his eye. Or has maybe spotted something wrong with his contact lenses.
A slip and a short extra-cover for the left-hander
A gully and a short extra-cover for Abbas
Yasir Shah, right-arm leg break, comes into the attack
Change of bowling, Yasir replaces Hafeez and is starting from round the wicket. A slip, FSL, leg slip and a short mid-wicket in place
Finch is batting well outside the crease
Mohammad Hafeez, right-arm off break, comes into the attack
Spin from the other end and it's the part-time option of Hafeez. A slip, FSL and a short cover in place..
Finch and Khawaja are at the crease. Finch is on strike. Mohammad Abbas will open the attack