Nathan Lyon, the Australian spin master, came within three wickets of joining the elite 500 club on day two of the first Test in Perth on Friday.
At stumps, the visitors trailed by 355 runs, with Imam-ul-Haq unbeaten on 38 and nightwatchman Khurram Shahzad on seven after losing skipper Shan Masood late on.
However, their runs came off 53 overs after Aamer Jamal took 6-111 on debut to help dismiss the hosts for 487.
Mitchell Marsh led the way with 90 after David Warner’s courageous 164 on the first day.
After grinding to 42, Abdullah Shafique was the first to fall in response, getting a massive inside edge from Lyon to Warner at leg slip.
It was the veteran’s 497th Test wicket, bringing him closer to 500 and joining a company of only seven other players.
On the other end, Haq remained composed despite a ferocious bowling attack from Mitchell Starc, Josh Hazlewood, and Pat Cummins on a ground that still had some zip.
It took him 85 deliveries before he hit his first boundary, a fine off his hip.
Shan Masood made 30 before his stay was cut short 10 minutes before the finish by Alex Carey off Starc on review.
Shan had taken a heavy blow to the back earlier when turning to escape a Haq drive, but he was able to continue after treatment.
– Revolutionary –
The visitors kept their hopes of a maiden Test victory in the country alive by dismissing Australia early in the second session, after the hosts went to lunch at 476-7.
Marsh was bowled for 90 on the first ball back by paceman Shahzad, and the tail fell with excellent quick Jamal in the middle of the action.
After dominating the first day, Australia resumed on 346-5, with Warner hitting 164 to silence his doubters.
Marsh started on 16 and Carey on 15, with Pakistan desperate for an early lead.
However, on another hot day, the tourists attempted to make an impression with some pedestrian bowling before Jamal arrived.
To set the tone, Marsh, Australia’s T20 skipper, hit successive boundaries off the first over he faced from Shahzad.
Cameron Green, the team’s all-rounder, brought up a 66-ball 50 with a brilliant pluck to the ropes, his seventh in 36 Tests, and looked certain to reach three figures.
After lunch, however, Shahzad dashed his hopes by knocking over his stumps while attempting a huge drive.
Jamal then immediately removed Cummins and Lyon, who were both apprehended by Agha Salman.
He had earlier trapped wicketkeeper-batsman Carey, who was desperate for runs after losing his place in Australia’s one-day team to Josh Inglis.
On the second ball of the day, Carey avoided a massive lbw call from Shaheen Shah Afridi, but he had no response for a lightning-fast Jamal delivery that rocked his off stump.
He was out for 34, bringing an end to a perilous 90-run partnership with Marsh.
Starc succumbed to Jamal as well, receiving an edge to another pacy ball that removed the bails.