Pakistan just ahead after the close of first day's play
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 13th July 2010
Pakistan and Australia fought tooth and nail to lay claim to the honours of first day's play but in the end it was even. It was shortened day's play but the intensity of the competition in the middle never waned even for a minute.
Under overcast conditions and on a pitch that sported some green grass, Afridi inserted the Australians in. Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif got exaggerated swing but credit should be given to the duo as they exhibited excellent control. Shane Watson was all at sea against the swing of Aamer and finally he was put out of his misery as he was cleaned up by a well directed inswinger. Katich and Ponting then ensured that they reached the lunch with no trouble. After Ponting went past Brian Lara's overall Test score but his innings was terminated the very next ball when he was brilliantly caught at short leg by Amin.
Katich found a willing ally in Clarke who was free-flowing. The vice-captain never held himself back as he took the attack to the Pakistani bowlers. Katich held fort at one end while Clarke displayed some excellent strokeplay at the other end. Boundaries came thick and fast and Afridi began to wear a worried look on his face. Katich got to well-deserved half-century while Clarke was approaching his before Asif removed the right-hander at the stroke of tea.
After tea it was Pakistan's session all the way as the Australian side lost seven wickets for 52 runs. Katich who looked largely untroubled in his stay in the middle edged a perfect out-swinger from Asif behind the stumps while Marcus North had no clue whatsoever to an inswinger from Asif three balls later. Tim Paine never looked happy in the middle as he was strangulated by the attacking field before an leg-cutter from Umar Gul consumed the debutant keeper.
Michael Hussey held fort as he mixed attack and defence well but his partners failed to follow his approach. The tail simply fell apart and Pakistan would have closed out the Australian innings had not bad light interrupted the day's play.