Australia set Pakistan 351-run target to win in final Test

Australia set Pakistan 351-run target to win in final Test

Australia declared their second innings closed on 227-3 on Thursday to set Pakistan a target of 351 to win the deciding third and final Test in Lahore.

Usman Khawaja hit his second successive century and Steve Smith became the fastest batter to 8,000 Test runs before skipper Pat Cummins recalled players to the pavilion.

Khawaja batted for the entire two sessions on day four to reach 100 in the last over before tea off 169 balls.

Australia was 202-2 and aimed to set up a challenging target in its first tour of Pakistan since 1998.


Smith, needing seven to reach the milestone, drove Hasan Ali through covers for a boundary and was unbeaten on 12 at the break.

He reached 8,000 runs in 151 Test innings, one quicker than the record held by Kumar Sangakkara. Smith is the seventh Australian to the mark. Khawaja has been prolific on tour in the country of his birth.

The left-handed opener missed made 97 in the drawn first Test at Rawalpindi, and 160 and 44 not out in the drawn game at Karachi.

Despite being ill on the opening day of this Test in Lahore, he scored 91 in the first innings as Australia racked up 391.

Pakistan, which conceded a massive first-innings lead of 123, could chip out only one wicket each in Australia’s two sessions as Khawaja batted resolutely to raise their hopes for a series win on a worn-out pitch.

Khawaja combined in a 96-run opening stand with David Warner, 51, who was clean bowled by Shaheen Shah Afridi in the penultimate over before lunch.

Marnus Labuschagne, with 36, then shared another brisk 65-run stand with Khawaja before he swept hard at left-arm spinner Nauman Ali and was caught at deep midwicket in the second session.

Nauman gave Labuschagne a reprieve after lunch when he couldn’t hold onto an overhead catch at point off a top-edged sweep.

Earlier, in an eventful morning session, Pakistan missed out on an opportunity to dismiss Warner early; Khawaja escaped on 31 after he was bowled off Naseem Shahs no-ball and then umpire Aleem Dar was involved in an animated conversation with Warner likely about how and where the veteran batter was running on the deteriorating pitch.

Warner removed his helmet and gloves, exchanging words with Dar before play resumed after nearly three minutes.

Video suggested Hasan got a thin edge off Warner’s bat in his second over of the day, but Pakistan didn’t appeal.

Warner showed Australia’s intent to score quickly when he hit Afridi for three boundaries in the day’s first over.

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