Pakistan v Australia Test - Men's
Australia humbled in desert storm
Tourists collapse on the fourth day to hand Pakistan a comprehensive 373-run triumph
Louis Cameron Sheikh Zayed Cricket Stadium, Abu Dhabi
20 October 2018, 09:00 AM AEST
Australia's search for a breakthrough series victory in Asia goes on after they folded meekly for the second time in as many innings in the series-finale against Pakistan.
Another devastating spell from Mohammad Abbas sealed Australia's fate on day four in Abu Dhabi, with the (medium) pace sensation running riot to see Pakistan claim a monster 373-run win to set the series ledger at 1-0.
Abbas (5-62) took four scalps in 15 balls in the opening session to obliterate Australia's top-order and his 10-wicket haul in this match took his series tally to 17, the greatest haul by a fast bowler in a UAE series and the equal second-most by a quick in a two-Test series in Asia.
It was a familiar batting flop for the Australians, who were rolled for 164 after just 49.4 overs early in the second session chasing an impossible 538 with the injured Usman Khawaja unable to bat.
The loss was Australia's fourth heaviest (by runs) ever, with only Marnus Labuschagne (43) providing any kind of resistance on the game’s final day.
Rubbing salt into the wound, Australia confirmed Khawaja is likely to require surgery on his left knee after a warm-up injury before play on day three. The hero of the Dubai Test and his side's most important batsman in the absence of Steve Smith and David Warner now faces a race against time to be fit for the start of the home Test summer.
Australia will wonder how they let this match slip from their grasp.
With all the momentum in the series behind them after their marathon fourth innings to save the first Test, Australia reduced their opponents to 5-57 in the first session on day one at a ground that is historically one of the most batsman-friendly pitch in Test history.
But Tim Paine's new-look side allowed Pakistan to reach 282 in their first dig before squandering the game by replying with just 145.
Coming off his first-innings five-wicket haul, it was Abbas who again wreaked havoc as Australia lost 4-7 in 26 balls in the first hour on day four.
Resuming on 1-47 with Shaun Marsh already back in the sheds, Travis Head lasted six overs before he became Abbas' first victim of the second dig when he nicked to fill-in wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan, who took the gloves on Friday with Sarfraz Ahmed going to hospital following a head knock while batting the previous day.
Mitch Marsh's miserable first tour as vice-captain continued when he was given out lbw on review. In four innings, the right-hander has made 30 runs at 7.50 while his two wickets have come at 49.
Aaron Finch fell victim to Abbas for the third time in this series, not even considering a review after being struck on the front pad plumb in front.
Three balls later, Paine was inexplicably bowled not offering a shot as Pakistan descended into rapturous celebrations sensing an early victory.
Labuschagne has had his share of bright moments on this tour but this was the first with the bat, as the right-hander showed some stern mettle to deny a rampant Pakistan outfit.
Along with Mitchell Starc, the pair put on 67 for the sixth wicket before Yasir Shah broke through to have him lbw, as Peter Siddle suffered the same fate two overs later. The former reviewed and the latter didn't – both proved bad calls given replays showed Starc was plumb but Siddle's had pitched outside leg-stump.
Labuschagne lived to fight through to a lunch break extended due to the Islamic custom of Friday prayers, but survived just two Abbas balls after the interval when he edged a pull shot behind to hand the quick a second five-fa in the match.
Yasir brought things to an end when he had Jon Holland edging to second slip, delighting the Pakistani fans who rolled in to celebrate their biggest-ever margin of victory.
Australia XI: Aaron Finch, Usman Khawaja, Shaun Marsh, Mitch Marsh, Travis Head, Marnus Labuschagne, Tim Paine (capt), Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc, Nathan Lyon, Jon Holland.
Pakistan XI: Mohammad Hafeez, Fakhar Zaman, Azhar Ali, Asad Shafiq, Harris Sohail, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed (capt), Yasir Shah, Bilal Asif, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Abbas.
Australia Test squad: Tim Paine (c), Ashton Agar, Brendan Doggett, Aaron Finch, Travis Head, Jon Holland, Usman Khawaja, Marnus Labuschagne, Nathan Lyon, Mitch Marsh, Shaun Marsh, Michael Neser, Matthew Renshaw, Peter Siddle, Mitchell Starc
Pakistan Test squad: Sarfraz Ahmed (c), Azhar Ali, Fakhar Zaman, Imam-ul-Haq, Babar Azam, Asad Shafiq, Haris Sohail, Usman Salahuddin, Yasir Shah, Shadab Khan, Bilal Asif, Mohammad Abbas, Hasan Ali, Wahab Riaz, Faheem Ashraf, Mir Hamza, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Hafeez
Oct 7-11: First Test, drawn
Oct 16-20: Second Test, Abu Dhabi