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Sunday, January 03, 2010

Pakistan's day: T2 D1

Pakistan 0/14 (4.1 ov) trail Australia 127 ( 44.2 ov, Mohammad Asif 6/41) on first innings by 113 runs; T2 D1 at SCG.

From a comprehensive defeat in Melbourne sunshine to a dominant first day in overcast Sydney. What a turnaround in form for Pakistan (and Australia).

After a start delayed by drizzle Mohammad Asif, 6/41 from 20 ov, and Mohammad Sami, 3/27 from 12, used the green pitch and overcast conditions well to trouble Australia, who had chosen to bat after winning the toss (Pakistan would have fielded). Phillip Hughes was dropped at slip off the first ball he faced but still didn't get off the mark, Ricky Ponting was out first ball to an agricultural version of his favourite pull shot while Shane Watson, who'd looked relatively composed, was caught behind for 6.

Australia never recovered from 3/10, though Mike Hussey hung around for 28, Mitchell Johnson slogged 38 and added 44 for the 8th wkt with Nathan Hauritz. 127 was better than had looked likely at one point but, even making some allowance for the conditions, it was a below par effort.

Just how much below par remains to be seen. Pakistan's batting mettle will, weather permitting, be tested tomorrow. They will be looking for a lead of 100 or so to maintain their advantage over an Australian team which surely can't bat as badly in the second innings as it did today.


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