News 12 october — 16:00

Australia win back respect in Dubai dust


 Leading a scandal-hit team dismissed as Australia's worst in 30 years, captain Tim Paine's pledge to win back hearts and minds seemed a fanciful, if noble, aspiration in the leadup to the test series against Pakistan, Euronews reports.

In the end, it took only five days of cricket before he could claim mission accomplished, having ushered his team to safety in Dubai in one of the bravest fourth innings escapes in the history of the game.

Anchored by a career-defining 141 by Usman Khawaja and Paine's unbeaten 61 on a pock-marked pitch, Australia survived 139.5 overs in enervating heat to ensure the series remains alive to the second match in Abu Dhabi.

For all the brilliant teams Australia has produced, none have prevailed for so long in a fourth innings on Asian pitches.

Only two visiting teams to Asia have ever scored higher in a fourth innings chase than the 362-8 scratched out with astonishing grit and defiance by Paine's men.

It followed a calamitous batting collapse of 10-60 in the first innings, which had appeared a terminal setback in the context of the match.

All that, and without the country's two best batsmen in former captain Steve Smith and David Warner, who remain suspended for their parts in the Cape Town ball-tampering scandal.

Latest news