The Boxing Day Test between Australia and Pakistan was disappointingly a dampener with one side – Australia – being completely in control and the other – Pakistan – always catching up, but only lagging behind.
It was hardly surprising then that the Asian side looked completely disillusioned in the match. While, it is true that the Pakistanis are fielding a rather inexperienced outfit, it is also a fact that this is not the greatest Australian side and hence Pakistan has a great chance of upsetting the Ausssie applecart.
Sadly, they blew away the opportunity rather deplorably at Melbourne and Australia had plenty to capitalize on.
There were a number of star performances from players of the home team, but none better than Shane Watson. The all-rounder, who finally found his feet in international cricket last year, was sensational with the bat in both the innings.
He was unlucky to miss out on a well-deserved ton in the first innings, getting run out in the 90s. But he did not repeat his mistake in the second essay and was the one who set up the victory path for Australia with his maiden Test century.
The beauty of Australia’s batting was that everyone contributed in the first innings to help their side put up a huge total.
Like Watson, his opening partner Simon Katich also fell in the 90s. However, the dismissals of the openers did not dispirit the middle-order.
They were only encouraged to carry on the good work. And they did exactly that with their skipper Ricky Ponting contributing an impressive half-century and Michael Hussey scoring 82.
To add insult to injury, Nathan Hauritz came in and registered a handy 75 to put Australia in a commanding position.
If the batters did their job, the bowlers weren’t far behind. Left-arm seamer Mitchell Johnson dealt the Pakistanis with some major blows at the top and in the middle, while the ever-improving Doug Bollinger took care of the lower-middle order as Pakistan collapsed in the first innings.
While Peter Siddle and Nathan Hauritz were not equally successful, they did a great job to back up the efforts of Johnson and Bollinger.
The bowlers continued their exceptional work in the second essay as well with Hauritz being particularly impressive, scalping his maiden five-for and ensuring that Pakistan’s late fightback was nullified.
On the contrary, Pakistan need to do some genuine soul-searching going into the Sydney Test. And for this their seniors need to put their hands up and show some fight.
The most disappointing aspect of Pakistan’s batting was that no one went on get a hundred in either of the innings. Misbah-Ul-Haq registered the highest score of the match for Pakistan – 65 not out.
He was unfortunate to be left stranded at the end of the first innings, with not much support from the lower order. Salman Butt and Imran Farhat have been around the international arena for a while now, bur have yet not learnt the art of constructing an innings, not a healthy sign for the future.
A lot was expected of Mohammad Yousuf. And while he did contribute in both the innings, it wasn’t big enough. For a change Umar Akmal could not capitalize on his start.
But the team did not worry about him as he has proved his mettle in his short yet feisty international stint. Ironically, it is up to the more experienced guys to follow the rookie’s act.
No comments yet.