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by Andrew Wood Saturday 25 October 2014
Pakistan 454 & 286-2 dec. (Ahmed Shehzad 131) vAustralia 303 & 59-4 (Yasir Shah 2-8)First Test, Dubai, day fourScorecard
Centuries from Ahmed Shehzad and Younus Khan followed by a brace of wickets apiece from Yasir Shah and Zulfiqar Babar left Australia reeling at stumps on day four of the first Test in Dubai.
Shehzad (131) and Younus (103 not out) put Pakistan on course to declare their second innings on 286 for two, setting Australia a victory target of 438.
Although Australia started positively, they lost their way towards the end of the day as both Yasir and Zulfiqar delivered double-wicket maidens to keep Pakistan in control.
Australia closed on 59 for four and still need another 380 to win, although more realistically their target will now be to bat through the final day and take a draw.
Pakistan began the day on 38 without loss and only lost the wicket of Azhar Ali before taking lunch at 116 for one.
Azhar edged Steve O'Keefe to Brad Haddin and his dismissal brought Shehzad and Younus together and they proceeded to hand Pakistan a huge lead.
Shehzad hit 131 in 233 balls with 10 fours and four sixes before Younus overtook Inzamam-ul-Haq by notching his 26th Test century.
Tea came with the score on 231 for one and after Shehzad was trapped in front by O'Keefe (2-112), Younus sped to his century to set up the declaration and give his bowlers plenty of time to bowl at Australia.
In all, he faced 152 balls, hitting six fours and two sixes while alongside him was Sarfraz Ahmed, not out on 15, when Misbah-ul-Haq called them in.
Australia therefore faced a tricky spell of almost two hours before stumps and they collapsed, losing four wickets for five runs in the space of five overs as they went from 44 without loss to 49 for four.
David Warner cracked a quickfire 29 in 27 balls to get his side off to a flyer but it was dismissal, stumped off Zulfiqar that started the slide.
While he danced down the track and failed to get back into his crease, Alex Doolan (0) was going nowhere when he was trapped in front five balls later.
Leg-spinner Yasir then emulated Zulfiqar with a double-wicket maiden to remove Michael Clarke for three and nightwatchman Nathan Lyon for nought.
Both were trapped in front and Australia managed to add 10 further points before the end of play offered them some respite from their trial by spin.
Yasir finished the day with two for eight and Zulfiqar two for 22 and just two of the 23 overs their team bowled were by quick bowlers.
For Australia, Chris Rogers was standing form on 23 not out in 77 balls and Steve Smith was unbeaten on three.
© Cricket World 2014