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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Two wickets in first over seal Pakistan's fate: T1 D5

Australia 5/454 d & 8/225 d beat Pakistan 258 and 251 (72ov, Mohammad Yousuf 61, N Hauritz 5/101) bt 170 runs: T1 D5 at MCG.

Pakistan were never in the hunt after losing Umar Gul and Misbah-Ul-Haq to successive Mitchell Johnson balls in the first over of the morning. Captain Mohammad Younus tried to put a less bad face on impending defeat with 61/140b (7x4), but nobody stayed with him long enough to resist Johnson, Doug Bollinger and Nathan Hauritz, whose subtle variations earned him his best Test figures of 5/101.

The Australian attack is good at working its way through an batting lineup of variable quality like Pakistan's. While far from perfect, the Australian fielding was appreciably better than the sub- Test quality butterfingered Pakistan fielding (exemplified by the dropping of Shane Watson on 99).

Can Pakistan improve enough to beat Australia? Despite their deserved reputation for inconsistency it's difficult to see this happening. If Danish Kaneria comes into the side for Sydney the bowling should be stronger (especially if, repeat if, the fielding lifts. The batting on paper looks good but needs to be able to post totals much great than 250. As for Australia, Ricky Ponting hasn't had a big innings for some time....


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