Captain Tim Paine has saved Australia from certain defeat in the opening Test against Pakistan.
The Tasmanian in just his second Test as the national skipper hit an unbeaten 61 off 194 balls when he faced out the final over.
The 33-year-old played a straight bat to four of legspinner Yasir Shah’s deliveries – even running for a pair of twos – and left a sharp turning leg-break before stumps were pulled.
He had earlier survived a strong leg before appeal when Pakistan had run out of reviews, but replays indicated that Paine had got an inside edge onto his pad.
The memorable knock will go down as his best and has rewarded the faith of national selectors for choosing Paine as the side’s new leader after Steve Smith’s involvement in the ball tampering scandal earlier this year.
“It was extremely tough Test match,” Paine said in the post-match interviews.
“I thought Pakistan played outstandingly well.
“They had us under the pump for the first three days, so I am really proud of our team to fight back the way we did.”
Paine had earlier joined Usman Khawaja with still 50.5 overs remaining on day five and just five wickets in hand.
The pair batted for a further 218 balls before Khawaja’s epic knock of 141 off 302 balls came to an end – caught in front leg before trying to sweep Shah.
Khawaja’s dismissal after more than 125 overs sparked a collapse when Australia lost three wickets in the space of 13 balls.
As Pakistan zeroed in, Paine knew he had to stand up with just Nathan Lyon and Jon Holland to come.
“I was nervous – I was very nervous then,” Paine said.
“That’s how it happens over here [in Dubai] that batters can get in and get set, and it can be a little bit easier, but Pakistan bowled really well and were patient.
“They just wait for you to make that one mistake, bring the field in and the spinners are all over you and they’re really hard to play
“So once again I was really proud how our tail stuck at it.”
Lyon survived with Paine in a nailbiting final 73 balls to draw the match.
The pair put on 29 runs, as Paine also notched up his fifth Test half-century