Dangerous Warner fires Australia towards clean sweep
Pakistan 315 (Younis 175*, Azhar 71, Hazlewood 4-55) and 55/1
Australia 538/8 dec and 241/2 dec (Khawaja 79*, Smith 59, Warner 55)
Pakistan need 410 runs to beat Australia
Australia were nine wickets away from a clean sweep of the three-Test series and Pakistan an improbable 410 runs from victory at stumps on the fourth day of the third and final Test in Sydney on Friday.
Nathan Lyon picked up the wicket of Sharjeel Khan, the debutant, who was caught by David Warner for 40 in 38 balls at midwicket shortly before stumps as Pakistan finished on 55 for 1. At the close, Azhar Ali was unbeaten on 11 with Yasir Shah, the night watchman, on three.
Steven Smith called a halt to Australia’s second innings at 241 for 2 with 16 overs left on the fourth day and the tourists facing the massive task of scoring 465 for victory. Usman Khawaja was left unbeaten on 79 off 98 balls and Peter Handscomb was on 40 off 25 balls.
Smith was out in a review after HotSpot detected a faint edge off his glove and he was caught behind off Yasir for 59 off 43 balls to finish the series with 441 runs at 110.25.
Earlier, Warner smashed the second fastest half-century in Test history to give Australia a flying start in their chase for quick runs and a declaration. The explosive Warner smashed Yasir for 6, 6, 4 and 4 in the fourth over of the innings, and then clouted Imran Khan for four consecutive boundaries in the seventh over.
His breathless half-century came off 23 balls with seven fours and three sixes and ranked only behind Misbah-ul-Haq’s 21 balls against Australia in Abu Dhabi in 2014.
Warner perished when he missed connecting a lusty swing to be bowled by Wahab Riaz for 55 off 27 balls.
In the afternoon, Younis Khan was left unconquered on 175 as Pakistan lost their last two wickets in an hour’s play after lunch following a washout of the first session.
Younis was dropped on 141 by Matthew Wade, who got his right glove to the chance but could not cling on, much to bowler Mitchell Starc’s annoyance. Wade was forced off the field during Thursday’s play with a stomach illness but returned to the game on Friday.
Yasir gave Smith his ninth catch of the series when he was picked up in the slips off Josh Hazlewood for 10 before Imran Khan was bowled two balls later for a duck.
Younis remained unbeaten off 334 balls with 17 fours and three sixes, and was given a big ovation from the SCG crowd as he left the ground after his 34th Test century.
Pakistan scored 315, finishing 223 runs behind the hosts, but Smith did not enforce the follow-on as he sought to give his bowlers a rest and let his batsmen put more wear into the SCG pitch for a fourth innings-push for victory over the concluding sessions of play.
Hazlewood finished with 4 for 55 and Nathan Lyon bagged 3 for 115.