Five-wicket Watson gives Oz edge over Pakistan

London: Shane Watson took five wickets in a Test innings for the first time as Australia edged ahead in their series opener with Pakistan at Lord`s here on Wednesday.

Medium-pacer Watson`s return of five wickets for 40 runs helped Australia dismiss a largely inexperienced Pakistan side for just 148 in reply to their first innings 253.

That gave Australia a lead of 105, and come stumps on the second day of this two-Test series, they were 100 for four - an overall advantage of 205.

Umar Gul took two wickets in two balls late on with Michael Clarke, not for the first time, bowled playing no stroke.

Then Michael Hussey, who made an unbeaten 56 in the first innings, was caught by Imran Farhat at first slip off the seamer, who took two for seven in five overs.

But left-handed opener Simon Katich, who made a painstaking 80 on Tuesday, was 49 not out and Mitchell Johnson, in as nightwatchman ahead of Marcus North, two not out.

And unless Pakistan bat significantly better in their second innings, Australia could already have enough runs on the board.

Opener Watson`s batting didn`t quite match his bowling when he was caught by Farhat off Mohammad Asif for 31.

And Australia captain Ricky Ponting -- who has never made a Test century at Lord`s -- was lbw for nought padding up to Asif`s inswinger in what could be the 35-year-old batting great`s last innings at the ground.

Watson, in his 19th Test, surpassed his previous best figures of four for 42 against India in Nagpur in 2008, when he had Danish Kaneria caught in the slips by Steven Smith.

The 29-year-old Queenslander became the first bowler to win a place on the newly-created honours board for `neutral` Tests at Lord`s.

Australia`s batsmen had struggled under overcast, swing bowler-friendly, skies on Tuesday.

But similar conditions proved even tougher for Pakistan to handle, with Watson taking two wickets for no runs in four balls.

Only left-handed opener Salman Butt resisted with a determined 63 before Pakistan`s vice-captain was bowled by a Watson inswinger.

New-ball duo Ben Hilfenhaus took two for 38 and Doug Bollinger two for 37 as Australia chased a 13th straight Test win over Pakistan -- which would be a new record for successive Tests victories by one country over another.

Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi, playing his first Test for four years, took guard with his team in dire straits at 83 for five.

Afridi counter-attacked in typical fashion, flicking Watson off his pads for six and clearing the ropes again when he drove him over long-off.

But Watson had his revenge when Afrid mistimed a drive and was caught by Johnson at mid-off for 31 off 15-balls also including four fours.

The conditions would have been tough to counter for even experienced Pakistan batsmen Mohammad Yousuf and Younus Khan.

But they weren`t in the squad following the fall-out from bans imposed after Pakistan`s series loss in Australia earlier this year.

Their places went to debutants Azhar Ali and Umar Amin, in at numbers three and four respectively, who managed just 17 runs between them.

That was more than the combined efforts of the Akmal brothers, whose five runs included a duck for wicketkeeper Kamran, lbw when deceived utterly by Watson`s inswinger.

Butt though went to a 78-ball fifty when he elegantly cover-drove left-arm quick Johnson for his 10th boundary.

This series was being played in England because of security concerns in Pakistan.


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