Pakistan are the unpredictable side in world cricket. After being dismissed for 142 runs in the first innings against Australia in the first Test, they were always on the backfoot, but the visitors nearly did the impossible while chasing 490 runs to win the Test. They just fell 40 runs short to help Australia take 1-0 lead in the series.
With 490 runs to win, one of the biggest chases in cricket history, Australia were in the driver's seat to clinch the first Test. Pakistan, however, did not give up too easily, and their tail showed some great determination in the final stages of Day 4 as well.
Asad Shafiq, who was looking in great form, was strongly supported by the Pakistan tail, even though the umpires allowed half an hour of extra time for Australia to wrap up the game. Shafiq held his ground to take the game to the fifth day.
Shafiq, who completed his century in the final over of Day 4, and Yasir Shah resumed batting on Day 5, and Australia were just two wickets away from victory while Pakistan required 108 runs. Shafiq looked determined and the way he was batting made the once-impossible victory seem within their reach.
Australia players were also sweating it out in the middle as Shah was giving some solid support to Shafiq, who was finally dismissed by Mitchell Starc, after scoring a stunning 137 runs in a pressure cooker situation.
After the dismissal of Shafiq, the writing was clear on the wall as Australia could sense victory. They were just a wicket away. New batsman Rahat Ali and Shah only added one run as the latter was run out, handing Australia the 1-0 lead.
Though Pakistan lost the match, they never let their heads drop in the second innings. Australia were tested in the latter stages of the Test, which could have gone either way had Shafiq not lost his wicket in the 145th over.
Pakistan skipper Misbah Ul Haq, despite the defeat, was pleased after his team's strong comeback in the second innings. He praised Shafiq, who received the man of the match award as well.
"I'm happy because, after the first innings, the way we got all out, it was looking difficult for us to come back. Wonderful. Special knocks from tail-enders also. Amir showed resilience. That was a superb knock from Shafiq. I'm happy and proud the way we played in the fourth innings. I always believe in this team, that's why we've been performing well in the last six years," said the skipper during the presentation ceremony.
Scores: Australia first innings: 429 all out in 130.1 overs.
Second innings: 202/5d in 39 overs.
Pakistan first innings: 142 runs in 55 overs.
Second innings: 450 runs in 145 overs.
Overnight score: Pakistan: 382/8
Result: Australia won by 39 runs.
Series: Australia lead 1-0.
Bowling second innings: Australia: Mitchell Starc 38-10-119-4; Josh Hazalewood 42-11-99-0; Jackson Bird 33-3-110-3; Nathan Lyon 29-3-108-2; Nic Maddinson 3-0-9-0.
Fall of wickets: Second innings: Pakistan: 1-31, Sami Aslam (11.3 ov); 2/54, Babar Azam (26.2 ov); 3/145, Azhar Ali (59.6 ov); 4/165, Misbah-ul-Haq (69.5 ov); 5/173, Younis Khan (74.3 ov); 6/220 Sarfraz Ahmed (87.3 ov); 7/312, Mohammad Amir (106.4 ov); 8/378, Wahab Riaz (122.3 ov); 9/449, Asad Shafiq(144.2 ov); 10/450 Yasir Shah (144.6 ov).