AUSTRALIA 1-22 (PAKISTAN LEAD BY 548 RUNS)
In command: Younis Khan flicks a shot to the leg side on day two of the second Test in Abu Dhabi. Photo: Getty Images
Australia are fighting to avoid another Test whitewash in Asia, their campaign in the Middle East in tatters after a horror day during which Brad Haddin joined the casualty ward.
Just when it seemed Australia’s wretched series could not get any worse, the visitors lost their vice-captain to a shoulder injury during Pakistan’s continued onslaught on Friday.
Haddin bravely kept wicket for more than 42 overs after his injury, but was in noticeable discomfort and had to leave the field twice to seek treatment.
Brad Haddin receives attention during the first session. Photo: Getty Images
As inspiring as Haddin’s actions were, the second Test is close to irretrievable for Australia after another dominant performance from Pakistan run machine Younis Khan.
Younis was eventually dismissed for 213 after an epic eight-and-a-half-hour vigil as Pakistan batted itself into a near unbeatable position on a dusty track in Abu Dhabi.
Ominously for Australia, several deliveries have started misbehaving, which bodes ill considering the massive score Pakistan has banked.
After spending nearly two days in the field, Australia lost the wicket of Chris Rogers in the 32 balls it faced before bad light stopped play. Australia will resume on Saturday 1-22, still 548 runs shy of home side’s first innings total of 6d-570.
It was a day of milestones for Pakistan, whose total was their highest against Australia since 1998 when they made 9-580 on the Peshawar pitch where Mark Taylor made his historic 334 not out.
Fans climbed gates to see Younis hit his fifth double ton after becoming the third Pakistani to score 8000 Test runs, while captain Misbah struck his sixth Test century.
Haddin had good reason to put his feet up in the dressing room, out of the heat and away from the debacle in the middle of the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, but chose not to.
He came to grief in the sixth over of the day after landing heavily on his right shoulder taking a delivery from Peter Siddle.
The vice-captain stayed on the field for another 15 deliveries before leaving to receive more treatment from Cricket Australia’s medical staff.
To the surprise of many, Haddin returned to the field after lunch, but was clearly inconvenienced. He did not leave until the third new ball was taken, in the final session.
Even appealing proved painful for Haddin, though the lack of penetration by Australia’s bowlers was a blessing for him, and he was clearly favouring his right side moving to change ends between overs.
The gravity of Haddin’s injury is not yet known, but there must be question marks over his availability to play in the upcoming one-day international series against South Africa in November.
The second Test here in Abu Dhabi is not yet at its halfway mark but Australia needs a miracle to win the match and square the series, though a draw is shaping as a more realistic aim.
Although Pakistan was able to find a way to lose in Sri Lanka earlier this year after making 451 in the first innings, this side appears to be made of sterner stuff.
On that occasion Rangana Herath claimed six wickets in the second innings but Australia, based on the past seven days of Test cricket, do not have any bowler capable of inflicting such chaos.
Opportunities were few and far between for the Australian attack, who must be getting sick of the sight of Younis.
How they must wish the Pakistan veteran had made good his threat to skip the series.
Australia did not help itself in the field, giving Younis two lives on Friday,
The rising 37-year-old was put down by David Warner at gully off the bowling of Mitchell Johnson when on 112, and let off again by Warner when on 121.
This time Warner had the gloves on deputising for Haddin and missed what would have been a regulation stumping chance for any specialist wicketkeeper.
He was ably assisted by another grey-beard in Misbah. So comfortable at the crease was the 40-year-old skipper, who was closing in on his sixth Test ton, he was able to shape into a reverse sweep against Michael Clarke then switch to a regulation leg glance.
Australia managed just one breakthrough in the first 45 overs of the day and it came via a leg-side strangle.
Azhar Ali became Warner’s first Test dismissal after being caught down the leg-side off the bowling of Mitchell Starc for 109.
Starc was the only Australian bowler to claim multiple wickets.