Saturday, December 26, 2009
Australia sort of comfortable against below par Pakistan: T1 D1
Australia 3/305 (90 ov, S Katich 98, S Watson 93, R Ponting 57) v Pakistan: T1 D1 at MCG
A good day for team Australia if a slightly disappointing one for Shane Watson and Simon Katich. Both were out - yet again - in the 90s, after putting on 182 for the first wicket against some modest Pakistan bowling and frequently slapdash fielding. No doubt the kerfuffle which produced the run out will be shown on TV and YouTube (follow the link below to watch the Foxtel highlights if you're in Australia). TV adjudication was required to send Watson, the crowd's preferred survivor, on his way for 93/191 b (11x4) .
Katich had started less confidently, was dropped early, but rode his luck well enough to nudge his way yet again to the brink of a century before being caught at backward point, where he'd been dropped early on, for 98/226b (5x4).
Ricky Ponting had cast aside any doubts about his fitness and took his place in the side. After winning the toss and electing to bat on what looked like a good typical MCG drop in wicket he came to the wicket with 182 on the board and peeled off a quickfire 57/60b (7x4), latterly in partnership with an assured looking Mike Hussey who on 38* is well placed to resume on D2 with nightwatchman Nathan Hauritz, another who had a temporary cloud over his fitness before play.
Pakistan were disadvantaged by an injury to leg spinner Danish Kaneria, who was in good form in the recent series v New Zealand. Unlike Ponting and Hauritz he was left out. Whether it was also wise to omit Umar Gul, who was not in good form in New Zealand, remains to be seen. His replacement Abdur Rauf didn't exactly set the world on fire today.
Australia can feel comfortable, well sort of comfortable, with today's effort. It would irritate the team that the curse of the 90s has struck in so many ways this season, but 99.99% of cricketers at all levels would, once they'd regrouped after being dismissed, be pleased enough with a score in the 90s.