Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Australia script miraculous turnaround to beat Pakistan

Nathan Hauritz helped Australia script a remarkable 36-run victory over Pakistan on Day 4 of the second Test, at the SCG, on Wednesday.
The off-spinner recorded figures of 5-53 in the second innings, including a tough caught and bowled to dismiss captain Mohammad Yousuf , as the visitors were dismissed for 139, chasing 176 for victory.
It was the 28-year-old's second five-wicket haul in successive Tests against Pakistan
Earlier, Australia, who trailed by 206 runs on the first innings, were dismissed for 381 in their second essay when Doug Bollinger was the last man out.
They had resumed on Wednesday on 286 for 8, a lead of only 80. But man-of-the-match Michael Hussey hit a fighting 134, his 11th Test century, and shared a ninth-wicket partnership of 123 with tailender Peter Siddle (38) to give their bowlers something to defend.
The partnership beat the 83-run stand between Bob Massie and John Watkins for Australia's ninth wicket against Pakistan in Sydney 37 years ago.
Pakistan started strongly in the chase, reaching 3-77, before Hauritz took two wickets in three balls.
He then dismissed Misbah-ul Haq for a duck two balls later to raise Australia's hopes of victory.
In an effort to step up the pace of their run-chase, the Pakistanis lost wickets regularly. Their lone hope Umar Akmal missed a half-century and a chance to take Pakistan through when he was caught by Mitchell Johnson (3-27) off Bollinger.
Thereafter, the last two wickets fell in a space of two deliveries and Australia scored a resounding victory.
The hosts have an unassailable 2-0 lead going into the third and final Test in Hobart, which begins on January 14.

Dew factor to blame for loss: Dhoni

Indian captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Tuesday attributed his side's five-wicket loss against Sri Lanka to the dew factor and said he has spoken to the match referee on the issue.
"Dew factor was the main reason for our loss. We scored 279 and it was a good total. Of course if we had got early wickets when we bowled we could have won but we were unlucky as there were some LBW shouts and the edges that did not carry," Dhoni said.
"After 10 overs there was nothing on the pitch for the fast bowlers and after that the spinners could not grip the ball due to the dew," he said.
"At the toss, I had made my views known to the match referee on this issue. It is up to him and other officials to take a call now," Dhoni added.
Incidentally, Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara had on Monday said that the officials could consider an early start to the match, even suggesting an 11 am beginning, which, however, may not be agreeable to the broadcasters.
Dhoni said it was tough for the bowlers to play under lights with heavy dew as they could not grip the ball properly and had to rely on variations only.
"It is very tough for the bowlers, especially the spinners. So I am satisfied with the performance of the boys.
"In such a scenario the only chance a team bowling second could win a match is to score a big total and then get early wickets. We were unlucky not to get some early wickets," Dhoni said.
The Indian captain said the wicket at the Sher-e-Bangla Stadium behaved differently in the two innings of the match.
"When we were batting, their fast bowlers were getting reverse swing and their spinners getting the turn. But when we bowled, the wicket has eased out and ball came nicely on to the bat. There was nothing for the fast bowlers after 10 overs and our spinners could not do much as the ball it wet. It was like we were playing on two different wickets," he said.
Asked whether he was satisfied with the bowling at the death, he said, "Under the current scenario scenario I am not disappointed with the bowling at the death today. What I am a bit disappointed about is losing the match. We have to improve, rest well tomorrow and win our next match.
"Generally regarding the bowling at the death I have said we can improve it gradually. It is not an overnight thing. We had done well in patches. We are trying to do that consistently," he said