A relieved Australia captured Pakistan’s last two wickets to win a captivating first day-night Test in Brisbane by 39 runs on Monday, but the touring side won huge admiration for their dogged fourth innings resistance.
Chasing a Test record 490 for victory, Pakistan had resumed the fifth and final day on 382 for eight, and paceman Mitchell Starc proved the game-breaker when he ended a stubborn 71-run ninth-wicket partnership between Asad Shafiq and Yasir Shah.
Starc struck with a searing delivery that pinged off Shafiq’s glove for an easy catch to David Warner in the gully, bringing to an end a heroic knock of 137.
Yasir fell moments later to seal the win, run out by home skipper Steve Smith with a direct hit for 33, having failed to ground his bat after an aborted single as Pakistan were eventually dismissed for 450.
Australia take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series but Pakistan showed impressive fight to turn the match into a cliffhanger and will head to the second game in Melbourne on 26 December with renewed confidence.
“I lost all my fingernails, I think,” joked Smith. “Some game of cricket, wasn’t it?,” Australia captain Steve Smith was quoted as saying after the match.
Well Smith wasn’t the only one who was awestruck by the quality of cricket that was put on display at the Gabba. Social media was abuzz with thousands of posts as Pakistan crept closer towards the target, and lauded them for their heroic effort after the last wicket fell.
Let us take a look at some of the reactions on micro-blogging website Twitter, where several former and current cricketers congratulated Misbah-ul-Haq’s Pakistan for the fightback they displayed in their second essay, after enduring humiliation in the first innings:
Pakistan legends such as Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and Shahid Afridi couldn’t help beam with pride at the fight shown by the team:
I have not seen Pakistan team performing like this before against Australia.No matter what the result they are really fighting hard.Welldone
— Wasim Akram (@wasimakramlive) December 19, 2016
— waqar younis (@waqyounis99) December 18, 2016
— Shahid Afridi (@SAfridiOfficial) December 18, 2016
As did other cricketers:
Fantastic Test Match .. Day/Night Test Cricket is the future .. In countries with the right climate .. Well done both teams .. #AUSvPAK
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) December 19, 2016
And so the excitement is over!! Brilliant test match from Australia and Pakistan, best team won but I am a big fan of this Pak team!🇵🇰
— Graeme Swann (@Swannyg66) December 19, 2016
Turned out to be a field day for sports writers. Let us take a look at how they reacted:
Well played Oz. Deserving win. Bravo Pak for a melodramatic fightback. Didnt deserve to lose. Among the greatest Tests ever!
— Cricketwallah (@cricketwallah) December 19, 2016
Never seen such a celebrated loss before by the Pakistani’s & the series is well and truly alive now!! #AusvPak
— zainab abbas (@ZAbbasOfficial) December 19, 2016
These ppl, who have only talked about “courage” & doubted this team – they still don’t have the courage to accept this team’s greatness
— Rehan Ulhaq (@Rehan_ulhaq) December 19, 2016
Not often someone from the losing side gets man of the match, but that’s a great call to go to Asad Shafiq. #AusvPak
— Geoff Lemon Sport (@GeoffLemonSport) December 19, 2016
With inputs from Reuters
First Published On : Dec 19, 2016 12:20 IST