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18 May 2024

Four-wicket Abbas brings Pakistan to verge of victory

Photo: AFP


Pakistan's medium pacer Mohammad Abbas took four wickets off just 23 balls to leave Australia reeling and his side on the brink of victory in the second Test on Friday.

Australia were 155-7 at lunch on the fourth day as 28-year-old Abbas followed up his first innings figures of 5-33 with 4-56.

Australia's batsmen had no answers to his accurate seam bowling under cloudy conditions at Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

At the break Marnus Labuschagne was unbeaten on 43 runs and Nathan Lyon not out without scoring, meaning Pakistan need another two wickets to win the match and the two-match series.

The first Test ended in a draw in Dubai last week.

Australian opener Usman Khawaja was unlikely to bat after suffering a recurrence of a knee injury during practice on Thursday.

Abbas jolted the Australians in the seventh over of the day when he removed a solid-looking Travis Head for 36, getting an edge to substitute wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, deputising for Sarfraz Ahmed.

Sarfraz, who was hit on the helmet by a rising Mitchell Starc delivery on Thursday, had gone for a precautionary scan.

Head and Aaron Finch added 61 runs for the second wicket.

Abbas then had Mitchell Marsh (five) and Finch (31) leg-before wicket and dismissed Tim Paine for nought - before leg-spinner Yasir Shah removed Mitchell Starc (28) and Peter Siddle for three.