Pakistan fall just short of history
Australia prevented a world-record, 490-run chase by Pakistan on Friday to win a gripping first Test by just 39 runs and preserve their 28-year unbeaten streak at Brisbane's Gabba ground.
Relieved skipper Steve Smith ran out Yasir Shah for 33 to take the last wicket and end Pakistan's brave attempt to reel in the mammoth target on the last day of the day-night Test.
"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 magnificent knock of 137, but he was caught shortly before Yasir's run out.
His superb innings came to an 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.
"That was one of the classiest innings I've ever seen.... in the context of the game, the way he handled the pressure, playing with the tail. He made a match out of nothing," Pakistan captain Misbah-ul Huq said about Shafiq.
"As a skipper, I'm happy to see the team playing like that, chasing 490 in the last innings after being out for 142 in the first innings. That was wonderful and that sets the tone for the series. At the moment, I could not explain how happy I am for the guys, especially for Asad,” said the Pakistan captain.
"There is energy, we have to go for the match here, so that's what I was aiming for, for the match," said Shafiq after the match.
Shafiq's tremendous innings enabled Pakistan to post their highest fourth innings total, surpassing their previous best of 382 for three to beat Sri Lanka in Pallekele last year.
The victory, in the first day-night Test at the Gabba, extended Australia's unbeaten record to 28 Tests at the venue since their last defeat in 1988.
It was also Australia's second straight win after Test series defeats to Sri Lanka and South Africa this year prompted a team shake-up.
Australia have now won all three of the pink-ball Tests they have played at home over the last 12 months.
SCORES IN BRIEF
AUSTRALIA: First innings 429
PAKISTAN: First innings 142
AUSTRALIA: Second innings 202 for 5 decl
PAKISTAN: Second innings 450 all out (Azhar 71, Younis 65, Shafiq 137, Sarfraz 24, Amir 48, Riaz 30, Shah 33; Starc 4-119, Bird 3-110, Lyon 2-108)
Result: Australia won by 39 runs.
Player-of-the-match: Asad Shafiq.