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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Watson's bowling (not batting) gives Australia edge T2D2

Australia 253 (S Katich 80, M Hussey 56*, Mohammad Aamer 4/72) and 4/100 (29.3 ov, S Katich 49*) lead Pakistan 148 (40.5 ov, Salman Butt 63, S Watson 5/40) by 205 runs with 6 second inns wkts left: T#1/2 D2 at Lord's.

Shane Warne observed, a tad ruefully, from the TV commentary box that he'd never taken more than 4 wickets in an innings in a Lord's Test. He did give due credit to Shane Watson, nowadays billed as an opening bat who bowls a bit, for (my words) throwing away the script and demolishing the Pakistan middle order with 5/40 from 7.5 overs.

Only some stern resistance from Salman Butt 63/94b (12x4) and a characteristic T20 style 31/15b (4x4, 2x6) from captain Shahid Afridi (playing his first Test for 4 years) took Pakistan to 148 after Australia's last pair had taken the teams total to 253.


105 looked a very good lead in the situation, but the first two days been played in quintessentially English conditions, an irony which some of the players on each side would appreciate. Of course quintessentially English conditions aren't always present even in that country's high mid summer so if the sun really comes out, who knows what might happen. Not everyone would agree with the Fox Sports report headline "Mohammad Asif and Umar Gul keep Pakistan in Test with late wickets" but IMO it's not too far fetched.

Let's hope for a full day's play. If that happens the match could well be decided today.

Scorecard

Cricinfo Bulletin

Fox Sports report with link to video highlights.
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