| Steve Waugh en route to his unbeaten 103 on Day II of the third Test against Pakistan in Sharjah on Sunday. (Reuters)
Sharjah: Australian captain Steve Waugh roared back to form with a spectacular century as the world champions left Pakistan facing defeat in the final Test on Sunday.
Waugh hit an unbeaten 103, his 28th Test century and the first after 16 barren innings, as Australia amassed 444 and reduced Pakistan to 163 for six by stumps on Day II.
Pakistan, facing a 3-0 rout in the series, still need 82 runs to avert the follow-on with four wickets in hand.
Their hopes rest on the two batsmen at the crease, Hasan Raza and Saqlain Mushtaq, who have so far put on 63 for the seventh wicket.
At stumps, Raza, playing his third Test, was unbeaten on 37. Saqlain was on 27.
Leg-spinner Shane Warne, who claimed 19 wickets in the first two Tests, once again destroyed Pakistan with three for 57. Fast bowler Glenn McGrath picked up two for 29, taking his overall tally to 398 wickets.
Waugh struck timely form to hit 13 boundaries and two sixes. Stranded on 82 when last man McGrath joined him, the 37- year-old smashed leg-spinner Danish Kaneria for 20 runs in one over to race to his century.
The aggressive onslaught paid off as McGrath, who made three in a last-wicket stand of 26 with Waugh, was dismissed soon after by Pakistani captain Waqar Younis.
Pakistan, who were shot out for record lows of 59 and 53 in the second Test, once again faltered against the spot-on Australian attack.
McGrath removed opener Taufiq Umar and Younis Khan on either side of tea to give his team a perfect start. Warne then trapped Imran Farhat leg-before and had Faisal Iqbal caught behind as Pakistanís top order slumped to 76 for five.
Australia, who began the day at 298 for three, lost two wickets for the addition of just ten runs before Steve fought back to go past the 400-run mark.
Waqar, who took the second new ball soon after the start, removed Ricky Ponting and Damien Martyn off successive deliveries.
Ponting batted for more than six hours under the hot sun to compile 150 that included 14 boundaries and a six.
Adam Gilchrist, who denied Waqar a hattrick, hammered 34 in a sixth-wicket stand of 55 with Waugh before he was caught behind trying to cut Kaneria.
Australia lost three wickets for 15 runs after lunch as Kaneria picked up Warne and Andrew Bichel while Brett Lee was run out.
Younis finished with four for 55, while Kaneria had three for 128 from 36 overs.
Off-spinner Saqlainís two wickets in 45 overs cost 159 runs.