North spins Australia to a comprehensive win
by CricketArchive Staff Reporter
DateLine: 16th July 2010
Marcus North must not have even in his wildest dream believed that he would have his name engraved on the Lords honours board for his bowling effort. T
North had a nightmare with the bat as he was clueless for most part of his innings but with the ball the off-spinner tore through the Pakistani middle-order. The last time an Australian off-spinner took a five wicket haul was in 1884 and North would be mighty proud of his achievement.
Salman Butt and Azhar Ali began the fourth day on a positive note as the overnight pair got the scoreboard ticking. As long as the pair was there in the middle there was some serious hope for the Pakistani side to record a win over the Australian side after 15 years. Salman Butt took toll on any loose offerings from the Australian bowlers while Azhar Ali displayed a quality that was never Pakistan's forte - patience. Off all the bowers employed by Ponting in the first session it was Hilfenhaus was the most threatening one as his perfectly pitched outswingers troubled Azhar Ali persistently. The pair added 102 in 31.5 overs before a perfect outswinger from Hilfenhaus removed an obdurate Azhar Ali from the middle.
Salman Butt was inching towards a well-deserved ton before tragedy struck for the Pakistani side. North was introduced by Ponting hoping against hope for a breakthrough and the first ball that the off-spinner bowled was an innocuous delivery but that had far reaching consequence. A flighted delivery drifting down the legs was the first ball that North bowled and Butt tried to flick the ball lazily and over-balanced. Paine was quick enough to collect the ball on the legside and whip off the bails in a flash thus stranding Butt who stood on the pitch for about 30 seconds or so cannot believing his luck.
It as the breakthrough that the Australian side was looking for and then Umar Akmal played some aggressive shots to try and put off the Australian bowlers before a top-spinner from North consumed him to leave Pakistan gasping at 216 for 4 at lunch. North continued with his dream spell as he removed Umar Amin via a brilliant one-handed take by Katich at short leg while skipper Afridi played a bizarre slog-sweep to be caught in the deep.
Kamran Akmal and Mohammad Aamer showed their team-mates as to how to handle the part-time spin of North and the leg-spin of Steven Smith. The pair defied the Australian bowlers for 19 overs as they added 54 runs before Kamran Akmal had a brain-freeze of sorts and was cleaned up. Mohammad Aamer swept one from North straight into the throat of Hussey at deep square leg to gift North his fifth wicket of the innings. The Pakistani innings soon ended at 289 when Kaneria lobbed one lamely to Ponting at short covers.