Pakistan press on after stunning Aussie collapse
Leeds: Pakistan dismissed Australia for just 88 on the first day of the second and final Test at Headingley on Wednesday before building on their bowlers’ work to be 148 for three at stumps.
Australia, after captain Ricky Ponting won the toss, collapsed in the face of accurate seam bowling to their lowest Test total since being bowled out for 76 by the West Indies at Perth in 1984.
Pakistan’s three main seamers shared the wickets, with left-armer Mohammad Aamer taking three for 20, including two in the first two balls after lunch, in 11 overs.
Mohammad Asif had three for 30 in 11.1 overs and Umar Gul two for 16 in nine in overcast conditions that aided movement, but not excessively.
Tim Paine, last man out, top scored with 17 in an innings where Australia failed to cope with the swinging ball.
Salman Butt, the new Pakistan captain, then strengthened his team’s position as they tried to win a Test against Australia for the first time since 1995.
Butt, who made Pakistan’s only two fifties in a 150-run first Test loss at Lord’s last week, shared an opening stand of 80 with fellow left-hander Imran Farhat.
However, Butt just missed out on his third successive half century. Butt struck eight boundaries, the best a backfoot drive off Ben Hilfenhaus through cover-point.
Hilfenhaus, who dropped a caught and bowled chance off Butt on 42, made amends by bowling him for 45 with a ball that swung back in sharply from around the wicket.
New batsman Azhar Ali, in only his second Test, started uncertainly but it was Farhat who fell next to end a second-wicket partnership worth 53.
Not for the first time Farhat, who batted for over two hours, failed to go on to a big score and was lbw for 43 to a full inswinger from Shane Watson.
And the medium-pacer, who took a Test-best five for 40 at Lord’s, made it two wickets for one run in 12 balls when Ali, on 30, edged an outswinger and was caught one-handed low down by diving wicketkeeper Tim Paine.
Ali’s exit ended a 79-minute innings and left Pakistan on 140 for three. Ponting brought on Steven Smith only for the leg-spinner to be slogged for six by new batsman Umar Akmal.
Umar Amin was one not out and Umar Akmal eight not when bad light forced an early close.
Earlier, Aamer and Asif reduced Australia to 20 for two in the space of eight balls.
Left-hander Simon Katich, who made 80 and 83 at Lord’s, shuffled across his stumps in typical fashion and was struck in front by Aamer.
Veteran umpire Rudi Koertzen, in his last Test before retirement, gave him out lbw for 13.
Fellow opener Watson (five) was plumb lbw to an Asif ball that cut back and Michael Clarke managed just three before he was clean bowled by Gul.
Even Ponting, who before this match averaged over 105 at Headingley, never looked at ease.
He struggled to six in 41 minutes when he was lbw, aiming across the line at an Asif ball that nipped back.
Gul then had left-hander Michael Hussey lbw for five.
Butt, promoted from vice-captain after former skipper Shahid Afridi quit Tests after Lord’s, saw his hunch in bringing on Amin rewarded when the medium-pacer had Marcus North caught behind for 16.
Australia were 73 for six at lunch.
Two balls later they were 73 for eight after Aamer bowled Smith and Mitchell Johnson with swinging deliveries before Hilfenhaus survived the hat-trick.
The innings ended when Paine, in for an hour and 24 minutes, was caught behind off Asif.