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Friday, January 15, 2010

Australia flourish, Pakistan crumble

Pakistan 4/94 (35 ov) trail Australia 8/519 (142.5 ov, R Ponting 209, M Clarke 166) by 425 runs with 6 first inns wkts in hand: T3 D2 at Hobart.

What a one-sided day. Even more so than D1.

The match thus far has revealed a yawning chasm between the teams. caused as much if not more by deficiencies in Pakistan's ability, application and cohesion as by Australia's demonstrated strengths in those and other areas.

This is not to diminish the magnificent contribution of the 4th wicket stand of 352 between Ricky Ponting 209/354b (25x4) and Michael Clarke 166/328b (19x4) which enabled Australia to build on an already solid position. On the other hand Pakistan, as two run outs in the last part of the day which took the score from a shaky though not irretrievable 2/72 to a very brittle 4/94 attested, seemed to throw in the towel.

Pakistan's wilting under pressure yet again was most disappointing. It wasn't so much their failure to dismiss Australia for less than 400 (or 450 or even 500) but more the loss of those last two wickets. They can, and I hope will must, do bring this match back from the abyss of one-sidedness which reminds us that, recent matches notwithstanding, one sided Test cricket will give more ammunition to the advocates of the shorter forms of the game.

I concede that I've not done justice to the quality of Ponting and Clarke's batting, but if you can watch the highlights.


Update 16 January

As if Pakistan doesn't have enough problems on the field captain Mohammad Yousuf aired them off the field after the day's play, as ABC Grandstand (which includes an audio link to his interview) and Cricinfo report. Read beyond the ABC's headline "Yousuf preaches unity under pressure" and you may agree with me that the team is almost beyond redemption . For the sake of this match, and even more so Pakistan cricket, I hope I'm wrong.

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