Butt leads Pakistan's fight but Australia still on top
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 15th July 2010
If the first two days play was always in balance Australia for the first time asserted their dominance in today's play. The Pakistani bowlers today looked toothless and without any ideas as the Australian batsmen led by Katich dominated the proceedings. For the first time in the Test the sun came out and the pitch flattened thus making batting easy. The Pakistani batsmen too in reply did not face much difficulty as they batted with ease.
Any hopes for removing the nightwatchman Mitchell Johnson evaporated quickly as the southpaw batted resolutely. The overnight pair of Katich and Johnson frustrated the Pakistani bowlers with some stodgy defence as well as some aggression thrown it to unsettle the bowlers. Johnson was the aggressor of the two as he latched onto some loose offerings to show that he was no muck with the bat. Finally it took a special delivery from Umar Gul to remove Johnson from the middle. If Katich was dreaming of a century at Lords' that dream was soon shattered as he was caught behind of an out-swinger which he nibbled through to the keeper. North once again disappointed with the bat while Smith was trapped leg before by Kaneria.
At 208 for 8, the Pakistani side must have hoped that the Australian innings would fold in quick time but they were in for a huge disappointment. First Tim Paine made a stubborn 47 before Ben Hilfenhaus scored his maiden Test fifty from number 10. Even the usually unreliable Doug Bollinger made an entertaining 23 as the Australians side set a humongous target of 441 for the Pakistani side to win.
The Pakistani openers, Salman Butt and Imran Farhat, was undaunted by the task before them as they batted with great amount of freedom. The pair did not have any bone of negativity in them as they pouched on any loose offerings from the Australian bowlers. Though Farhat never looked entirely convincing in his stay at the crease, Butt was a picture of elegance. The southpaw played some beautiful shots to all parts of the ground to drive the Australian bowlers to distraction while Farhat powered the balls to the fence. Finally Steven Smith got a ball in the Test and he removed Farhat with a long hop. The pair of Salman Butt and Azhar Ali then ensured that Pakistan ended day three on some positive note.