2nd Test, Abu Dhabi: Brilliant Mohammad Abbas keeps Pakistan on course for series win
Mohammad Abbas had Aaron Finch lbw during a four-wicket burst. @Getty

Four wickets to Australia’s tormentor this series, Mohammad Abbas, has put Pakistan two wickets away from wrapping up the second Test in Abu Dhabi.

Abbas extended his series tally to 16 with the wickets of Travis Head, Mitchell Marsh, Aaron Finch and Tim Paine in a crippling spell as Australia slumped to 78/5 on the fourth morning. Tasked with batting out two days after Pakistan declared with a lead of 537, Australia took lunch on 155/7 with Yasir Shah striking twice in an extended morning session.

With Usman Khawaja not going to bat after suffering a knee injury, Pakistan are two strikes from winning the series.

From 47/1 overnight, Australia lost their second wicket when Abbas drew an edge off Head’s bat which gave the substitute wicketkeeper Mohammad Rizwan his first catch at Test level (Sarfraz Ahmed was sent for precautionary scans after being struck on the helmet while batting). In his next over, Abbas won an lbw shout against Marsh after successfully reviewing Richard Illingworth’s not out verdict. At 77/3, the wobble was on.

The came a crushing double-strike in the following over from Abbas, as Finch (31) was also trapped lbw with an in-cutter that thudded into the batsman’s pads. Three balls later, Paine suffered a brain fade when he chose not to offer a shot to Abbas and had his off stump knocked back.

Marnus Labuschagne and Mitchell Starc (28) put on 67 for the sixth wicket before Yasir had Starc lbw and then added Peter Siddle for 3 in his next over. Labuschagne was on a Test-best 43 at the lunch break.

Lunch: Australia 145 and 155/7 (Abbas 4/53) need 383 runs to beat Pakistan 282 & 400/9 declared