Australia’s fast bowlers brought their side three wickets closer to a series clean-sweep as Pakistan wobbled under cloudy skies at Bellerive Oval. Following Simon Katich’s century and Ricky Ponting’s 89, Australia set Pakistan 438 for victory and the visitors lost both openers within their first ten overs and then Mohammad Yousuf just before tea to significantly dent their chances of saving the game.
The first-innings centurion Salman Butt failed to keep out a Doug Bollinger delivery and was bowled for 9, before Peter Siddle drew an edge behind from Imran Farhat (14). Pakistan’s best batsman, Yousuf, was trapped lbw for 23 by Shane Watson and at the break Pakistan were on 3 for 67 with Khurram Manzoor on 17 and Umar Akmal on 3. Although they had four sessions still to bat some light rain meant all parties were watching the horizon closely.
Ponting’s declaration at 5 for 219 came after Australia lost 3 for 19 in a 15-minute period after lunch as they sent out pinch-hitters Brad Haddin and Mitchell Johnson in an unsuccessful attempt to quickly increase their total. Haddin was run out for 8 when he didn’t fully stretch to make his ground and Johnson drove Shoaib Malik to cover, prompting the declaration with Michael Hussey unbeaten on 13.
Ponting failed to become the seventh batsman in Test history to score a double-century and a century in the same match when he departed to the fourth ball after lunch. He tried to sweep Malik and was taken down the legside by Sarfraz Ahmed, and the umpire’s not-out decision was overturned on review when Hot Spot showed the ball brushed Ponting’s glove.
He did finish with his best aggregate of runs in a Test match, scoring 298 and beating by ten his previous best set against India in Melbourne in 2003-04. Ponting combined with Katich in a 191-run second-wicket partnership that ended just after Katich finally posted the century that had eluded him all summer.
Katich and Ponting added 141 in a brutal opening session as Pakistan continued to set defensive fields and waited for a declaration. Katich has had trouble reaching triple-figures this season and had posted scores of 92, 80, 99 and 98. He hadn’t scored a hundred since the Ashes opener in Cardiff and when he moved to 99, Pakistan tried to increase the pressure, but he found an easy single behind square on the leg side to register his century from 137 deliveries.
In the next over, Katich holed out to deep midwicket off Danish Kaneria and departed for an even 100, his ninth Test century. Playing with the freedom of having a hefty buffer, Katich took a more aggressive approach than normal and struck 13 fours in his 138 balls. Ponting also went after the bowling and was happy to be inventive, driving in the air over fielders and taking balls from outside off to the leg side.
The lack of intensity from Pakistan helped both batsmen, and Katich was gifted a boundary when his drive sailed straight through the legs of the cover fielder Butt, who inexplicably failed to get a hand to the ball. The day didn’t get much better for Pakistan.
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Post InfoThis entry was posted on Sunday, January 17th, 2010 and is filed under Cricket, General.
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