Melbourne [Australia], Dec. 19 : After escaping a 39-run victory over Pakistan in the Gabba Test, Australian skipper Steve Smith on Monday said the "game was a bit close for his liking".
The hosts struck Pakistan's last two wickets quickly to clinch win before tea on day five of the opening day and night Test of the three-match.
"I've lost all my fingernails, I think," Smith was quoted as saying by news.com.au. "It was a bit too close for my liking. Some game of cricket wasn't it?" The Australian skipper also credited the visitors for the way they played, especially after they managed to surrender the first innings in the meekest of ways.
"A lot of credit has got to go to the way they (Pakistan) played. I thought our bowlers stuck at it all day, we bold a lot of overs, our quicks just kept coming back," Smith said.
"That wicket of Asad (Shafiq) showed the class of Starcy to come in with a ball 6 it 0 overs old, quite soft to get it up like that, to get that wicket and crack it for us shows his real class," he added.
When asked about not enforcing the follow on in the first innings, Smith said, "No, I think I'd go the same plan." "Our bowlers have bowled a lot.
It gave them a chance to have a little bit of a rest and to bowl at night. We have seen in day-night Test cricket most wickets fall in the night with the new ball." "I thought their top order played well, Ali was good in the first innings, we didn't get the wickets we liked.
If we got those wickets it could have been a little bit different. Credit has got to go to the bowlers. They really stuck at it and happy to get over the line," he added. Chasing a world record target of 490 runs to win, Pakistan's ninth-wicket partnership between Asad Shafiq (137) and Yasir Shah (33) delayed Australia's victory and made their side's impossible chase look easy.
However, pace spearhead Mitchell Starc stepped up to break the 71-run stand between the duo and end Shafiq's magnificent knock featuring 13 boundaries and a six.
Soon a precise throw by Australian skipper Steve Smith ran out Yasir Shah, thus putting an end to what would have been a record chase.
The Misbah-ul-Haq-led side were eventually bundled out for 450 runs. Meanwhile, proud of Pakistan's performance, skipper Misbah-ul-Haq said he was very happy seeing the fighting spirit of the team.
"I'm happy, because after the first inning, we got out 142. It was looking very difficult for us to come back in this game," Misbah said. "But the way all the team, all the batsmen showed their character, that was wonderful, and we got some special knocks from the tail-enders." "I always believe in this team.
That's why we have been performing so well in the previous six years, because I know all the individuals are like that.
They can give you something special at any time," he added. With this win, Australia have taken a 1-0 lead in the series. They will next lock horns with Pakistan in the second Test at the MCG on Boxing Day..