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Pakistan set 465 to win, reach 1-55 at SCG

NZN 6/01/2017 Rob Forsaith

Australia's batsmen embarrassed Pakistan's patched-up attack on Friday at the SCG, handing Nathan Lyon the perfect platform to shine on the final day of the three-Test series.

Australia declared at 2-241 late on day four of the third Test, setting the tourists a target of 465 after demoralising their bowlers in record-breaking fashion.

The hosts' run rate in their second innings was a record 7.53 from 32 overs when Steve Smith pulled the pin; previously the highest rate in a Test innings of 100-plus runs was 6.82.

Pakistan were 1-55 in response at stumps, with Lyon having taken the only wicket.

The veteran offspinner, who had been on the cusp of being dropped earlier this summer following a lean trot, will be asked to bowl Australia to victory on day five.

Confidence should not be an issue for Lyon, who starred in the Boxing Day Test and snagged three wickets at the SCG in Pakistan's first innings of 315.

"The second innings in Melbourne did him a world of good ... he's obviously brought that to a ground he's bowled a fair bit at and he's quite confident on," Josh Hazlewood said.

"It'll be a big day for him tomorrow to pick up a few more.

"Obviously the wickets have suited him more in the last two Tests and he's cashed in."

Smith is certain to bowl Lyon in long spells on Saturday, with star pacemen Mitchell Starc and Hazlewood exhausted after playing all six Tests of the home summer.

The spin-friendly pitch will offer the NSW tweaker some assistance, while Pakistan have been asked to achieve a record run-chase for the second time in the series.

"The position we're in is pretty good," Hazlewood said.

"The wicket is still pretty flat but there should be enough there to create normal chances, whether it's through reverse-swing or spin."

Younis Khan, who finished 175 not out in Pakistan's first innings, had not given hope of victory.

"We want to finish this Test series on a good note. It would be better for us if we showed some fight," Younis said.

"It's not going to be easy - a fifth day of a Test match in Sydney."

Quick runs were the order of the day after Smith opted against enforcing the follow-on in Sydney, where the morning session was washed out for the second day in a row.

Smith, David Warner, Usman Khawaja and Peter Handscomb didn't disappoint, feasting on the many loose balls dished up by the tourists.

Khawaja, opening in the absence of concussed Matt Renshaw, top-scored with 79 not out but it was Warner who stunned the SCG faithful with a quickfire knock of 55.

Warner set an Australian record by taking just 23 balls to reach 50. It was the second-fastest half-century in Test cricket history.

Only Misbah-ul-Haq's 21-ball effort against Australia in 2014 was faster.

The tourists resumed at 8-271 on Friday, frustrating Australia for 15 overs before Hazlewood removed Yasir and Imran Khan in the space of three balls.

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