Pakistan Start Strongly After Being Set 440 To Win
Australia 253 (Katich 80) & 334 (Katich 83, Hilfenhaus 56no) v
Pakistan 148 (Watson 5-40) & 114-1 (Salman But 58no)
First Test, day three, Lord's
Pakistan closed day three of the opening Test against Australia on 114 for one in their second innings having been set a target of 440 - more runs than have ever been scored to win in the fourth innings of a Test match.
The target would have far smaller but for a fine lower-order performance from Australia, whose last two wickets added 126 with Ben Hilfenhaus registering a maiden Test half-century and Tim Paine just missing out.
The day began with Australia on 100 for four - a lead of 205 runs - and positive batting from nightwatchman Mitchell Johnson (30) kept the runs flowing before he was bowled by a swinging Umar Gul full toss.
Simon Katich continued to grind out the runs and ended up top scoring, just as he did in the first innings, this time scoring 83 in 174 balls before Gul induced a nick to wicket-keeper Kamran Akmal.
Marcus North fell two balls later when he drove at Mohammad Asif and an edge again flew into the gloves of Akmal, who took a good low catch to his left to dismiss the left-hander for 20.
When Steve Smith departed, trapped in front by Danish Kaneria, 12, Pakistan would have been thinking about chasing 330 or so before Paine (47) put on 74 with Hilfenhaus and then Hilfenhaus added 52 with Doug Bollinger, who made a Test-best 21 before he was bowled by Kaneria heaving across the line.
Hilfenhaus hit six fours and a six in his 84-ball innings that frustrated Pakistan, for whom Gul finished with figures of four for 61, Asif three for 77 and Kaneria two for 74.
The other man to take a wicket was captain Shahid Afridi, who bowled Paine with a quick delivery.
Batting appeared easier as the day went on and conditions improved, which helped Pakistan close the deficit to 325 by stumps.
Imran Farhat (24) was the man to fall, when he was caught by Shane Watson off the bowling of Smith, who was able to celebrate a first Test wicket.
That was as good as it got for Australia with the ball as they were repelled by Salman Butt, unbeaten on 58, and like Katich passing a half-century for the second time in the game, and debutant Azhar Ali, who looked far more comfortable than he had in the first innings.
He had 28 in 58 balls by the close and was perhaps fortunate to escape a huge lbw appeal near the end of proceedings - on such strokes of luck can big games turn, and Pakistan, with history and form counting against them, need all of the luck they can muster if they are to run Australia close.
© Cricket World 2010