Friday 16 July 2010 

North Bowls Australia To Emphatic 150-Run Lord's Win

North Bowls Australia To Emphatic 150-Run Lord's Win
North Bowls Australia To Emphatic 150-Run Lord's Win
© Action Images / Paul Harding Livepic
 

Australia 253 (Katich 80) & 334 (Katich 83, Hilfenhaus 56no) beat
Pakistan 148 (Watson 5-40) & 289 (North 6-55) by 150 runs
First Test, day four

Pakistan's unlikely victory hopes evaporated on the final day of their first Test against Australia at Lord's when they were bowled out for 289 in their second innings.

They collapsed from 152 for one as Australia wrapped up an unprecedented 13th straight win against them, who were undone in the end by a spell of six for 55 from off-spinner Marcus North.

North was thrown the ball when the third-wicket partnership between Salman Butt (92) and Umar Amin (33) was setting Pakistan up nicely and he struck immediately to have Butt well stumped by Tim Paine after overbalancing to a leg-side delivery.

Paine had been in the action earlier to take a simple catch to remove Azhar Ali for 42 to end a second-wicket stand of 102 when the batsman nibbled at a tempting Ben Hilfenhaus delivery just outside off stump.

Butt batted quite beautifully throughout the day, and indeed the match having hit 63 in the first innings, and looked set for a memorable century. Instead, he could scarcely believe his dismissal and he lingered long before eventually making his way back to the pavilion.

North was kept on and the move paid dividends when Umar Akmal's bright but brief knock of 22 was ended on the stroke of lunch when he nudged one that held up in the rough to Michael Clarke at slip.

Amin (33) fell after lunch when he was superbly grabbed at short leg by Simon Katich as he tried to flick North into the leg-side having shown far more composure, as had Azhar, than his first innings on debut.

Shahid Afridi, whose innings of 31 in 15 balls in the first innings came in for plenty of criticism, then earnt himself some more by scoring two runs and then being caught on the boundary by Michael Hussey for North's fourth wicket.

Pakistan, through Kamran Akmal (46) and Mohammad Amir (19) then attempted to rebuild with sensible, measured batting until Akmal appeared to lose his focus as he approached a half-century and one ball after attempting to heave leg-spniner Steve Smith over mid-on and failing to connect properly, he tried to hit a quicker ball over midwicket and didn't connect at all, the ball cannoning into his middle stump.

Five balls later, Amir added more farce to the proceedings when he pulled North straight into the hands of Hussey - who had just been moved to a deep midwicket position - and the bowler celebrated a maiden five-wicket haul in Tests and joining Shane Watson on the all-new honours board for neutral Test matches.

Smith then had Umar Gul caught by Ricky Ponting for one and North bowled himself to career-best figures in first-class cricket and finished the match when Mohammad Asif (2) drove him straight to Ponting at short cover.

North also became the first Australian off-spinner to take five wickets at the home of cricket since 1884 and Pakistan must feel as if they have been playing for as long without success against these particular opponents, such has been their dominance.

Katich (80 and 83) matched Butt's feat of scoring a half-century in either innings to help set up Australia's victory while Watson returned five for 40 to help Australia seal a first-innings lead before HIlfenhaus's maiden half-century saw them extend their lead.

The two sides meet again at Headingley, where the second and final match of the series gets underway on 21st July.

© Cricket World 2010

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