Australia close in on series win over Pakistan after Warner blitz

Batsman reached half-century from only 23 deliveries, the second fastest in Test history

 

Pakistan face a fight to save the third Test on the final day after another David Warner blitz helped give Australia time to attempt to secure a 3-0 series victory.

The dynamic left-hander – who scored his 18th Test ton off just 78 balls before lunch on the opening day – reached a half-century from only 23 deliveries, the fastest by an Australian and second fastest in Test history.

Warner was bowled by Wahab Riaz in the next over for 55 from 27 balls but Usman Khawaja (79 not out), Steve Smith (59) and Peter Handscomb (40 not out) carried on his good work to allow Australia to declare on 241 for two off just 32 overs. That left Pakistan – in their pursuit of a nominal target of 465 – with 16 overs to see out the end of another rain-affected day.

Nathan Lyon dismissed debutant Sharjeel Khan for an enterprising 40 before nightwatchman Yasir Shah – who was earlier taken for 124 off his 14 overs – saw out the day alongside Azhar Ali as Pakistan reached 55 for one. After rain washed out the morning session in Sydney, the tourists were bowled out for 315 in their first innings with Younis Khan unbeaten on 175.

Australia opener Matt Renshaw was ruled out of the final two days after being hit on the helmet twice during the match, while a side strain meant Mohammad Amir could not bowl for Pakistan.

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