Wednesday 14 July 2010 

Watson An Unlikely Hero As Australia Build Lead Of 205

Watson The Unlikely Hero As Australia Build Lead Of 205
Watson The Unlikely Hero As Australia Build Lead Of 205
© Action Images / Paul Harding Livepic
 

Australia 253 (Katich 80, Hussey 56no) & 100-4 (Katich 49no) v
Pakistan 148 (Salman Butt 63, Watson 5-40)
First Test, Lord's, day two

Shane Watson emerged as an unlikely bowling hero and Simon Katich proved a less surprising star with the bat as Australia closed day two of the opening Test against Pakistan at Lord's with a lead of 205.

On another day dominated by bowlers, Australia were bowled out for 253 in their first innings after a last-wicket stand between Michael Hussey (56 not out) and Doug Bollinger (4) was ended, Pakistan were then dismissed for 148 with Watson returning five for 40 and Australia ended on 100 for four after a late flurry of wickets.

15 in all fell and Watson picked up a third of them and three of them in as many overs in a remarkable spell which saw him trap both Umar and Kamran Akmal in front, for five and nought respectively and then have Shahid Afridi caught by Mitchell Johnson at mid off for 31.

The Pakistan captain had faced just 15 balls and hit four fours and two sixes in a whirlwind innings - the brunt of most of which was taken by Watson.

Watson went on have the resilient Salman Butt, who made a classy 63 in 94 balls, bowled with a dipping, inswinging yorker and then Danish Kaneria (14) caught by Steve Smith behind the wicket as he drove at a wide ball.

Watson's career-best figures earnt him the distinction of being the first bowler on the all-new honours board for neutral Tests played at the home of cricket and saw Pakistan cede a first-innings advantage of 105 as they were bowled out in just 40.5 overs.

Bollinger and Ben Hilfenhaus, who began the procession by having both Imran Farhat (4) and Azhar Ali (16) caught by wicket-keeper Tim Paine, returned two wickets apiece and Johnson had Umar Amin (1) dismissed in a similar manner.

The day had started well for Australia as Hussey and Bollinger added a further 24 runs for the final wicket to frustrate Pakistan with Hussey reaching his 21st Test half-century before Bollinger was bowled by Mohammad Amir, who returned four for 72.

It wasn't too long, despite a number of delays for rain and bad light, before Amir was first batting, albeit briefly during a two-ball duck, and then bowling again as Australia looked to extend their advantage.

Watson and Katich added 61 for the first wicket with Watson bringing up the half-century partnership by hammering Kaneria for a big six but his dreams of appearing on the honours board twice evaporated when he edged Mohammad Asif to Imran Farhat at second slip for 39.

Ricky Ponting, whose career-best score at Lord's stands at 42, failed to even get off the mark before he was struck on the pad offering no stroke to Asif and was sent on his way.

Also offering no stroke, to Umar Gul this time, was Michael Clarke, who had his off stump removed having made 12. One ball later, Hussey was on his way back to the pavilion having edged a brute of a delivery to Farhat, who reacted well to take his second catch.

Katich was unflustered at the other end and he made a solid unbeaten 49 in 93 balls to prop up Australia's innings just as he had in the first innings, when he top scored with 80.

Alongside him at stumps was nightwatchman Johnson, who made two from six balls.

Despite struggling with his run up and delivering three no balls, Gul returned figures of two for seven from five overs and Asif two for 30 from nine, which included a spell of two for 17 from his last seven overs.

© Cricket World 2010

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