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Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Australia looking down barrel despite Pakistan fumblings: T2 D3

Australia 127 and 8/286 (87ov, S Watson 97, M Hussey 73*, Danish Kaneria 4/117) lead Pakistan 333 by 80 runs with 2 2nd inns wkts in hand: T2 D3 at SCG

It didn't take long for Doug Bollinger to take his fourth, and Pakistan's last, wicket giving him 4/72 and the visitors a lead of 206 on the first innings.

When Shane Watson and Phil Hughes started Australia's reply they had a couple of tentative moments and, in Watson's case, a let off, but settled in to bat more assuredly than they'd done in the first innings. For a time a combination of good batting, loose bowling and sloppy fielding made it seem as if the vigorous Australian response many were expecting would wipe off the deficit with relative ease.

But when after lunch Hughes was caught off his own bowling by Danish Kaneria for 37 the wheels wobbled. 1/105 became 3/199 (including Ricky Ponting for a modest 11) at tea. Then they fell off to 8/257 before Mike Hussey, the beneficiary of some slapdash wicketkeeping, and Peter Siddle effected a minor repair job and restored a smidgin of respectability to the Australian total. But a lead of 86, even on a wearing D4 pitch, should not raise local hopes too much. Pakistan should win tomorrow, and deservedly so.


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