Usman Khawaja hit his second successive century, and Steve Smith became the fastest batter to 8,000 test runs as Australia extended its lead to 325 runs against Pakistan in the third test on Thursday.
Khawaja batted for the entire two sessions on day four to reach 100 in the last over before tea off 169 balls. Australia was 202-2 and aimed to set up a challenging target in its first tour of Pakistan since 1998.
Smith, needing seven to reach the milestone, drove Hasan Ali through covers for a boundary and was unbeaten on 12 at the break. He reached 8,000 runs in 151 test innings, one quicker than the record held by Kumar Sangakkara. Smith is the seventh Australian to the mark.
Steven Smith reached his 8,000 Test runs at an average of over 60. No one in history had an average of above 60 apart from Smith while achieving this feat.
Khawaja has been prolific on tour in the country of his birth. The left-handed opener missed made 97 in the drawn first Test at Rawalpindi, and 160 and 44 not out in the drawn game at Karachi. Despite being ill on the opening day of this test in Lahore, he scored 91 in the first innings as Australia racked up 391.
Pakistan, which conceded a massive first-innings lead of 123, could chip out only one wicket each in Australia’s two sessions as Khawaja batted resolutely to raise their hopes for a series win on a worn-out pitch.
Khawaja combined in a 96-run opening stand with David Warner, 51, who was clean bowled by Shaheen Shah Afridi in the penultimate over before lunch.
Marnus Labuschagne, with 36, then shared another brisk 65-run stand with Khawaja before he swept hard at left-arm spinner Nauman Ali and was caught at deep midwicket in the second session.
Nauman gave Labuschagne a reprieve after lunch when he couldn’t hold onto an overhead catch at point off a top-edged sweep.