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Magnificent Misbah Propels Pakistan

Misbah-ul-Haq hit a 21-ball half-century and a 56-ball century for Pakistan
©REUTERS / Action Images

Pakistan 570-6 dec. & 293-3 dec (Misbah 101no) v
Australia 261 & 143-4 (Warner 58)
Second Test, Abu Dhabi, day four

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq hit the joint-quickest century in the history of Test cricket to ensure his side continued to dominate the second and final Test against Australia in Abu Dhabi.

Misbah needed just 56 balls to reach his century, levelling the record of Sir Viv Richards, having earlier raced to 50 in 21 deliveries, setting a new record.

He finished unbeaten on 101 in 57 balls, and alongside him Azhar Ali made 100 not out in 174 balls as Pakistan declared on 293 for three to set Australia a victory target of 603.

Australia then closed on 143 for four with David Warner hitting a half-century.

Pakistan resumed on 61 for two and made solid progress in the morning session before they lost Younus Khan, trapped in front by Steve Smith for 46 in 122 balls.

Lunch was taken at 210 for three after Misbah had torn into the Australian bowlers, reaching his half-century three balls quicker than Jacques Kallis had managed against Zimbabwe in 2004 to set a new record.

In the afternoon, he carried on taking the attack to Australia and looked on course to break Richards' record before he was forced to slow down a little by some good bowling, only to equal the milestone, hitting 11 fours and five sixes in all.

Azhar, who like Misbah also scored a century in Pakistan's first innings of 570 for six declared, reached 100 not out in 174 balls, after which the declaration came.

This was just the second instance of two batsmen on the same team scoring a hundred in each innings of a Test and Misbah made Peter Siddle pay heavily for dropping him when he had made just four.

Australia have struggled against Pakistan's spinners throughout this short series, and left-armer Zulfiqar Babar quickly had them in trouble again by removing Chris Rogers (2), Glenn Maxwell (4) and Michael Clarke (5).

Rogers was caught by Asad Shafiq, Maxwell trapped in front following a successful review and Clarke bowled as he played down the wrong line.

That left them at 43 for three but Warner fought on at the other end, hitting 58 in 75 balls and taking them past 100 until he also succumbed to the spin, of the variety bowled by Mohammad Hafeez.

He tried to hit the ball over mid-wicket but succeeded only in picking out Yasir Shah at cover point.

Smith (38 not out) and Mitchell Marsh (26 not out) then steered Australia through to stumps for no further loss of wickets, but there is an awful lot of work for them still to do if they are to avoid a 2-0 series defeat.

Pakistan won the opening Test in Dubai by 221 runs.

© Cricket World 2014