Pakistan didn’t roll over as easily as many might have suspected they would when they resumed at 3-64 in their second innings on Sunday morning, still trailing by 276.
Their defiance was largely down to a superb 104 from Babar, whose 132-run partnership for the sixth wicket with gloveman Rizwan (95) kept Australia at bay until midway between lunch and tea on the fourth day.
It was only the third hundred scored by a Pakistan player at the Gabba and reinforced the 25-year-old’s standing as one of the most exciting batsmen in world cricket. Babar’s careless dismissal in the first innings hurt his team’s chances but he responded with an eye-catching century, his second in Tests, kissing the grass after reaching the milestone in mid-afternoon.
Rizwan, who bludgeoned two hundreds against Australia in a one-day series in the UAE in March, also refused to lie down, hooking prodigiously in what was his first Test half-century.
While the Australian quicks claimed the bulk of the wickets in Brisbane, it was Lyon who made the key breakthrough as Babar rocked onto the back foot and the fine edge off his bat was well taken by Tim Paine, one of four catches for the innings for the captain.
Cummins had earlier collected the first wicket of the day, that of an improved Shan Masood (42), who nicked short one he tried to hook before a gem from Hazlewood had Iftikhar Ahmed caught behind for a duck.
After Babar then departed Rizwan continued on with Yasir Shah, who again proved more handy with the bat than a career average of 11 suggests.
In only his second Test, a maiden hundred beckoned for Rizwan, who has assumed the job behind the stumps in the middle order after the dumping of Pakistan captain Sarfaraz Ahmed.
With Australia taking the new ball he came unstuck after tea, however, five runs short of the milestone when he tried to swat a short one from Hazlewood over the slips and spooned it to Lyon at deep backward point.
When Yasir then ballooned one from Hazlewood to Matthew Wade at extra cover the end was nigh and it came quickly as Pakistan were bowled out for 335.
Chris Barrett is Sports Editor of The Sydney Morning Herald.