Australia prevented a world-record, 490-run chase by Pakistan on Monday to win a gripping first Test by just 39 runs and preserve their 28-year unbeaten streak at Brisbane’s Gabba ground.
“I think I lost all my fingernails. Some game of cricket, wasn’t it?” said Smith. “A lot of credit has got to go to the way they played. But I thought our bowlers stuck at it all day, we bowled a lot of overs, our quicks just kept coming back.” The highest ever successful Test run chase of 418 for seven was set by the West Indies against Australia in Antigua in 2003.
And Pakistan looked on course to beat that on the back of Asad Shafiq’s knock of 137, but he was caught shortly before Yasir’s run out.
His magnificent innings came to end when a Mitchell Starc lifter came off the shoulder of his bat and lobbed to David Warner in the gully for the crucial catch.
Man-of-the-match Shafiq faced 207 balls in 336 minutes and hit 13 fours and a six. While he was at the wicket, Pakistan’s hopes of a remarkable victory were still realistic. “There is energy, we have to go for the match here, so that’s what I was aiming for, for the match,” said Shafiq. In the process, Pakistan posted their highest fourth innings total, surpassing their previous best of 382 for three to beat Sri Lanka in Pallekele last year.