Usman Khawaja (32*) and Aaron Finch (39*) combined for a unbeaten 72-run stand for the opening wicket when tea was taken on day four.
Usman Khawaja (32*) and Aaron Finch (39*) combined for an unbeaten 72-run stand for the opening wicket when tea was taken on day four.

Australia made a steady start in chase of daunting target of 462 runs set by Pakistan in the 1st Test at the Dubai International Stadium, Dubai on Wednesday, with Usman Khawaja (32*) and Aaron Finch (39*) combining for an unbeaten 72-run stand for the opening wicket when tea was taken on day four.

After Pakistan declared their second innings at 181/6, playing just 7.5 overs in the second session Khawaja and Finch, who had put on a 142-run stand in the first innings, negotiated 23 overs in the session to reduce the target.

Australia still are a long way away, needing another 390 runs and four more session to play out. It was in the final session of the day three that Australia lost five wickets for just 22 runs with Bilal Asif and Mohammad Abbas extracting enough from the pitch to derail Australia.

Earlier, Pakistan, resuming on 155/5 post lunch, managed 25 runs in 7.5 overs before Asad Shafiq came down the track in a bid to hoist Nathan Lon over the cow corner. However, he was caught by Mitchell Marsh for 41, and Pakistan skipper Sarfraz Ahmed declared the innings, with having taken a lead of 461 runs.

In the first session, Pakistan made 110 runs in 33.4 overs at the expense of two wickets with Imam ul Haq scoring 48, while Haris Sohail made 39. Jon Holland finished with 3 for 83 in his 30 overs in the second innings, while Nathan Lyon claimed 2 for 58 in his 25/5 overs.

Brief Scores: Australia 72/0 (Aaron Finch 39*, Usman Khawaja 32*) & 202 (Usman Khawaja 85, Aaron Finch 62; Bilal Asif 6/36) trail Pakistan 181/6 (Imam ul Haq 48; Haris Sohail 39; Jon Holland 3/83) & 482 (Mohammad Hafeez 126, Haris Sohail 110; Peter Siddle 3/58) by 389 runs