For all the brilliant teams Australia has produced, none have prevailed for so long in a fourth innings on Asian pitches. Only two visiting teams to Asia have ever scored higher in a fourth innings chase than the 362-8 scratched out with astonishing grit and defiance by Paine’s men. Twinned with his team-high first innings 85, it was a stunning riposte for the critics who have long criticised his record on Asian pitches. “People overlook that sort of stuff and you don’t get to play at the highest level without putting in the hard yards. “It was also a personal triumph for Paine, left to pick up the pieces of a team brought to its knees by the scandal in South Africa.
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