Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Babar Azam just missed a maiden test century but Pakistan gave themsleves more than two days to win the short test series against Australia and made a good start on Thursday.
Azam fell for a career-best 99 and captain Sarfraz Ahmed added 81 before he declared their second innings over at 400-9 for an overall lead of 537 runs.
Pakistan delayed the declaration, mindful of Australia escaping defeat in the first test in Dubai last week. Pakistan declared there also, and gave themselves just under five sessions to bowl out Australia. But Australia, given an improbable 462 to win, held out with two wickets to spare.
This time, Pakistan have set Australia a monstrous 538 to win in more than six sessions, and already undermined that notion by taking out Shaun Marsh for 4 with an incredible delivery by debutant Mir Hamza.
By stumps on day three, Australia were 47-1, Aaron Finch was on 24, and Tim Head on 17.