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Aussies target series clean sweep; Pakistan 55-1 at stumps

Associated Press logo Associated Press 6/01/2017 KEIRAN SMITH, Associated Press
Australia's David Warner hits a six against Pakistan during their cricket test match in Sydney, Australia, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft) © The Associated Press Australia's David Warner hits a six against Pakistan during their cricket test match in Sydney, Australia, Friday, Jan. 6, 2017. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft)

SYDNEY — Australia moved within nine wickets of completing a series clean sweep as Pakistan reached 55-1 — chasing 465 for victory — at stumps on the penultimate day of the third test.

After skipper Steve Smith declared Australia's whirlwind second innings at 241-2 midway through Friday's last session, Nathan Lyon broke through four overs from stumps by removing opener Sharjeel Khan for 40.

In-form opener Azhar Ali (10 not out) and nightwatchman Yasir Shah (3 not out) will resume Saturday when Pakistan will try to bat out the day to prevent a 3-0 series defeat. Pakistan was skittled for 163 on the last day of the second test, failing to bat out the day.

"We want to finish this test series on a good note, so it will be better for us if we show some fight," veteran batsman Younis Khan said.

Australia's batting changed the complexion of the game. David Warner hit a blistering 23-ball half century and Smith (59) and Usman Khawaja (79 not out) also had half-centuries as Australia scored at a run-rate of 7.5 over the 32 overs to set up the chance of a final day victory.

"The position we're in is pretty good, the way the guys batted today, especially Davy of course, to get those runs as quickly as possible and do some pretty unselfish batting," paceman Josh Hazelwood said. "The wicket's still pretty good, but I think there's enough there to create nine more chances."

Warner recorded the second-fastest fifty in test history, just three days after he became the first Australian to hit a century in the first session of a test.

He was dismissed four balls later for 55, with eight fours and three sixes, bowled by Wahab Riaz as he attempted a heave over mid-wicket.

Khawaja and Smith accumulated easy runs against a tiring Pakistan attack that was missing spearhead Mohammad Amir, who was off the field having a scan for a side strain picked up during the morning warm-up.

Khawaja, opening for the concussed Matt Renshaw, raised his 50 off 74 balls. Smith brought up his half-century the next over in just 38 balls with six fours and a six but was adjudged to be caught behind off Yasir Shah (1-124) by the television umpire after Misbah-ul-Haq called for a review. Smith has scored 443 runs, with two centuries, for the series at an average of more than 110.

Earlier, Hazelwood (4-55) took the remaining two wickets in Pakistan's first innings to bowl the tourists out for 315, a 223-run deficit, but Smith opted against enforcing the follow-on.

Younis made 175 not out off 334 balls, with 18 fours and three sixes, including a huge six over long-on off Nathan Lyon (3-115) to reach his 150, the 13th time in his test career. He joined India's Rahul Dravid as the only player to score hundreds in each test playing country.

"It's a little bit late this time, but I am a proud Pakistani and at least I have made a hundred in Australia, because the previous time I was out for 87 in the 2004 Boxing Day Test," he said. "My wish has come true and I am a happy man at the moment."

The 114-test veteran Younis is likely to have the opportunity Saturday of making the 36 runs required to become the first player from Pakistan, and 13th overall, to score 10,000 test runs.

"I can't feel that I'll be the greatest Pakistani (player)," Younis said. "That list, you see Javed Miandad is there, Zaheer Abbas is there, Inzamam (ul-Haq) is also there.

"When I leave the field and ultimately retire this is my wish (that) they all remember me like 'he is a fighter and he played hardest for his country and his team mates'."

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