Pakistan vs Australia – Farhat turns screw after Aussie batters humbled
Pakistan’s batsmen built on their bowler’s success to give the ‘home’ side a sizeable lead in the first innings of the second Test against Australia.
Imran Farhat and Salman Butt began by putting on an opening partnership of 80, just eight runs shy of Australia’s total from earlier in the day.
Pakistan made it to 148/3 before bad light stopped play – a lead of 60 that justifies odds of 4/9 for a Pakistan win, in from 6/1 before the start of play at Headingley.
Pakistan bowlers Mohammad Aamer, Mohammad Asif and Umar Gul had caused carnage in the Australia batting line-up all morning, leaving Ricky Ponting’s team on 67/7 at lunch.
Australia are 5/2 to stage a comeback victory.
Aamer picked up where he’d left off at the beginning of the next session, taking two wickets from the first two balls back.
Steven Smith played across the line to an inswinger and was bowled, before Mitchell Johnson had his off stump knocked back after also failing to play straight.
Aamer narrowly missed out on a hat-trick when Ben Hilfenhaus fended inside a ball angled across but the end was nigh.
Hilfenhaus was needlessly run out going for a third run before Paine was caught behind off Asif attempting to hit out.
88 all out left Australia needing early wickets, but they never looked likely as Butt and Farhat rushed through to tea without any concern.
25-year-old Butt is captaining the side for the first time, after Shahid Afridi’s resignation, and can’t have wished for a better start.
Pakistan’s top scorer from the first Test was eventually out for 45, bowled by Ben Hilfenhaus. Shane Watson then picked up the wicket of Farhat, out for 43 lbw, before also claiming Azhar Ali for 30, caught behind.
With the umpires meeting to discuss the light, Umar Akmal hit a six in the next over, which turned out to be the last before the end of play.