Pakistan eye sweep after Misbah’s feats

Captain smashes fastest 50 in Test cricket and equals record for quickest 100 as Australia left reeling on day four.

Misbah's half-century came off just 21 balls and his ton off 56 deliveries [Getty Images]
Misbah's half-century came off just 21 balls and his ton off 56 deliveries [Getty Images]

Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq equalled Viv Richards’s record for the fastest Test century while his team stood six wickets away from a memorable 2-0 series win against Australia.

Misbah and Azhar Ali hit their second century in the Abu Dhabi run-feast before declaring their second innings on 293 for three on the penultimate day of the second and final Test.

Chasing an improbable 603-run victory target, the Australian top order surrendered, not for the first time in the series, to the Pakistani spinners to slump to 143 for four at stumps.

Among the top four, only David Warner (58) offered some resistance before falling to off-spinner Mohammad Hafeez.

Left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar (3-65) was the pick of the Pakistani bowlers and took the rest of the Australian wickets to fall on Sunday.

Steven Smith (38), one of the better players of spin in his team, and Mitchell Marsh (26) will return on Monday to continue their battle against a Pakistan team on the verge of their first test series win against Australia in 20 years.

The day belonged to Misbah, who hit a blistering 101 not out, belying his reputation as a ponderous batsman as he added 141 quick runs in 17 overs with Azhar (100) for the unbroken fourth wicket.

Dropped by Peter Siddle on four, Misbah took just 21 balls to race to his half-century.

Needing eight runs from two balls to reach his hundred, he hit paceman Mitchell Starc for consecutive boundaries to match West Indies great Richards’s 1986 record of a 56-ball century against England at St John’s, Antigua.

The right-hander hit five sixes – including three in one Smith over – and 11 boundaries in his stunning 57-ball knock at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium.

Source : Reuters

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