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Thursday, January 14, 2010

Captain rides luck & with deputy leads Australia to strong position

Australia 3/320 (90 ov, R Ponting 137*, M Clarke 111*) v Pakistan; T3 D1 at Hobart.

Well as Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke batted for their respective 137*/240b (17x4) and 111*/223b (11x4) the fact that Pakistan fielded below parklands standard at crucial moments - especially one crucial moment - left me feeling disappointed at the waste of their opportunities, not to mention talent. Perhaps they were distracted, as I was on occasion today, by the continually developing news of the earthquake in Haiti .

Ricky Ponting, who's just been IMO deservedly voted (by a jury of 38) as Cricinfo's Player of the Decade, played a lofted pull shot and should, deservedly, have been caught in the deep by Mohammad Aamer off Mohammad Asif for a duck. But he wasn't.

For a time Pakistan persisted and, despite rueing the chance of having Australia 2/34, fought back to take the real second wicket at 52 and the third at 71. Thereafter Ponting and Clarke gradually imposed their authority on proceedings, staying together for the last two sessions, adding 231 and in doing so landing a series of heavy blows on Pakistan. Whether these amount to a knockout remains to be seen.

What can be said about Pakistan's folding fielding? I'm at a loss for words so will just link to Cricifo's Osman Samiuddin (who despite his veneer of stoicism must be near his wit's end).


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