DUBAI - Spinners bowled superbly to steer Pakistan to 221-run thrashing triumph over Australia in the first Test here Sunday and helped take unassailable 1-0 lead in a two-Test series.

It was the biggest victory against Australia by Pakistan by the margin of runs and seventh time in the Test history that Pakistan defeated a team by 200-plus runs. Pakistan’s biggest victory in terms of runs stands against India, whom they defeated by 341 runs in Karachi in 2006. Pakistan’s captain Misbah-ul Haq also at 40 years also became the oldest Test captain to in against Australia in 115 years. This victory as 13th Test win for Misbah as captain and he is just one win short of the record of most Test wins by a Pakistan captain at 4 jointly held by Imran Khan and Javed Miandad.

Pakistan are now in a pole position to win the Test series to end a 20-year drought against Australia and also their first one since 2011-12. It was also Pakistan’s second consecutive victory against the Kangaroos as Pakistan won the last Test match played between the two teams in Leeds in 2010 to level the two-match Test series 1-1.

A maiden five-wicket haul for left-arm spinner Zulfiqar Babar and four-wicket performance by debutant leg-spinner Yasir Shah was enough to erase the Australian batting as well as the fears of Pakistan suffering in absence of prime spinner Saeed Ajmal. Zulfiqar and Yasir both finished the match claiming seven wickets each. In contrast, Australian spinners could manage only seven wickets in the Test, which proves the big difference at the end of the day. History-maker Younus Khan received the man of the match award.

Australian were surely looking to miss the services of Shane Watson and Ryan Harris as both Peter Siddle and Mitchell Marsh proved a disappointment in terms of their performances. The Australian tale resisted and extended the Pakistan’s wait for the victory, somehow aided by some poor fielding, but they could not compensate the failure of the top six batsmen and succumbed to some quality bowling at last under hot conditions.

Steve Smith (55) and Mitchell Johnson (61) earned some respectability for the Australia but it were the Pakistani fielders who ensured that the match would be dragged into the last session.

Debutant fast bowler Imran Khan gave Pakistan the spark they needed in the morning session when he beautifully rattled the stumps of Chris Rogers by spearing in a very full delivery on middle and off stump with a hint of little reverse swing. Rogers totally missed the line and the ball zoomed past his bat hitting the deck and then sending the bails go flying. Rogers made 43 off 131 balls and added 41 runs for the fifth wicket along with Smith,

And now it was Zulfiqar’s turn ho just took three balls in his second stint with the ball on the day to remove Marsh. Azhar Ali did some brilliant work and showed some sharp reflexes to take his catch at the silly point and Mrash was going in his second innings of debut after just facing eight deliveries and making three runs.

Zulfiqar struck again in the 48th over when his straight delivery deceived Brad Haddin and rattled his defence as well as the wickets. Haddin was too slow on the forward defensive and brought his bat around his front pad giving ample gap for the ball to skid on and ram into the stumps. Haddin went for a duck.  And then started the session when Pakistan had to toil hard to get rid of the Australian tail. Poor fielding was key to success for Smith and Johnson as both batsmen were given numerous chances and were able to hit half-centuries. Zulfiqar was the most successful but most unlucky bowler too as all the chances were missed off his bowling. First Sarfraz was not alert enough to stump Smith who ran down the track and failed to connect the ball. Then Ahmad Shahzad dropped a simple catch offered by Johnson at deep square leg boundary. Next it was Yasir’s tun to deny Johnson wicket to Zulfiqar after misjudging a catch at square leg. Smith, who reached at 40 without hitting a boundary, then hit three fours to reach his half century. At last Yasir ended Smith’s resistance when he was on 55 off 175 balls when Asad Shafiq took a terrific catch at short leg. Smith and Johnson added 65 runs together for the eighth wicket.

After tea, when Pakistan were a bit panicked and under pressure as Johnson had reached hi half century mark off 104 balls hitting five boundaries and a six and Siddle was also staying solid. It was Sarfraz who did some excellent work behind the stumps to caught Johnson wrong-footed off Yasir. The ninth wicket consumed 13 overs and scored 43 runs and also brought Pakistan under pressure too. Then Zulfiqar struck one last time for his first maiden five-wicket haul when Azhar took the catch of Siddle and Pakistan players went ecstatic, but their moment of joy was punctuated as Siddle went for an unnecessary review and was given out by the third umpire eventually.

Scoreboard

PAKISTAN IST INNINGS: 454

AUSTRALIA 1ST INNINGS: 303

PAKISTAN 2ND INNINGS: 286-2 dec

AUSTRALIA 2ND INNINGS:

(OVERNIGHT: 59-4)

C Rogers b Khan    43

D Warner st Ahmed b Babar    29

A Doolan lbw b Babar    0

M Clarke lbw b Shah    3

N Lyon lbw b Shah    0

S Smith c Shafiq b Shah    55

M Marsh c Ali b Babar    3

B Haddin b Babar    0

M Johnson st Ahmed b Shah    61

P Siddle c Azhar b Babar    15

S O'Keefe not out    0

EXTRAS: (b4, lb1, nb2)    7

TOTAL: (all out; 91.1 overs)    216

FOW: 1-44, 2-44, 3-49, 4-49, 5-92, 6-101, 7-105, 8-170, 9-213

BOWLING: Khan 7-2-22-1, Rahat 13-4-36-0, Hafeez 15-4-29-0, Babar 31.1-7-74-5, Shah 25-6-50-4

TOSS: Pakistan

UMPIRES: Richard Kettleborough, Marais

Erasmus

TV UMPIRE: Nigel Llong (ENG)

MATCH REFEREE: Ranjan Madugalle (SRI)