Aussies hold on for heroic Dubai Test draw

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Aussies hold on for heroic Dubai Test draw

Opener Usman Khawaja hit a fighting hundred to keep Pakistan's victory bid in check as Australia reached tea at 287-5 on the final day of the first Test in Dubai.

AUSTRALIA has clung on for a valiant draw in the first Test against Pakistan, grinding out a record-breaking day-five fightback in Dubai as Usman Khawaja and Tim Paine restored pride to the national team's battered reputation.

Travis Head was not out on 34 as both batsmen tried to revive the innings after Abbas' (3-26) burst had left Australia reeling at 87-3.

Pakistan had 12.2 overs to claim the two wickets they needed for victory after Yasir (4-114) removed Khawaja, Mitchell Starc and Peter Siddle in quick succession, but Paine (61 not out) and Lyon (5no) dug in under pressure to complete a great escape. Pakistan had declared their second innings on 181-6 after resuming at 45-3. Head followed his first-innings duck with a score of 72 to become only the sixth Australian to score a duck and a fifty on debut.

For four days Pakistan had Australia on the ropes, and after their skipper Tim Paine successfully negotiated five deliveries of the final Yasir Shah over, it was the Aussies who would've felt like the victors.

The failure of the Marsh brothers in the crucial positions of first and second drop, however, will only increase the calls to bring Glenn Maxwell into the side - especially when another one-day specialist in Aaron Finch has played so well.

Shaun was caught behind off a well directed delivery, while a darting inswinger downed Mitchell plumb in front of the stumps.

"Coming from where we came from after the collapse on day three, I'm really proud of the whole group".

Pakistan had already squandered their last remaining review on an appeal for lbw against Paine from paceman Mohammad Abbas. "I knew if I went away from just trying to bat I was more likely to get out in those conditions", he added.

As it was the fourth wicket pair took their partnership right through the first session as Australia went to lunch on 3-215 with Khawaja on 82 and Head 70.

"It was extremely tough test match". With a mountain to climb, the openers once again looked solid and played risk-free cricket to lay a good foundation. Having lost only two wickets in the first two sessions they were becoming more confident of pulling off an unlikely draw.

"I was nervous (in the last hour)".

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