The board sent Sarfraz Ahmed and was staunch on their stance of wanting him to play. Meanwhile, Mohd Yousuf was in full favour of Kamran Akmal playing. As it panned out Akmal was left out leaving Ahmed to make his debut.
For the third time in a row Ponting won the toss and chose to bat again. Critics questioned whether Ponting was still good enough to bat at number three.
Only Ponting was confident in his abilities and a day prior to the test spoke out and maintained he is still the best batsman at 3 in his country. Ponting was having one of his worst home seasons.
He was about to change all of that. Australia lost Katich pretty early in the piece. In came Ponting; a wonderful reception from his home crowd.
Mohd Asif bowled a pretty decent bouncer to Ponting early on only to be dropped by Mohd Aamer at fine leg. Ponting had – had his moment. This was it.
His first fifty was one of the worst one could see Ponting at; nudges plays and misses and also getting hit on the head by an Umar Gul bouncer. Ponting survived all of that.
He then looked as flawless as ever. The drives were back, the pull was back—RICKY PONTING WAS BACK! Ponting went on to score a critic answering 209. He added 300+ with Michael Clarke who hit 166. Australia declared at 519.
Pakistan were off to a decent start before Farhat poked at one away from his body. Pakistan then lost 3 quick wickets and were left reeling at 84 for 4. Salman Butt (102) and Shoaib Malik made (58) the only sizeable contributions as Pakistan were bowled out for 301.
Katich made up for his first innings score by registering his 9th test match century. Ponting too resumed from where he left off in the first innings and the duo set Pakistan a target of 438. Pakistan collapsed for 206 with Khurram Manzoor making 77.
Australia had ended another season on a high.
5 wins out of 6 test matches—pretty satisfying. They would be hoping to replicate the same next time they are back on home shores.
What can Pakistan take out of this series?
Pakistan’s new found youngsters—Umar Akmal and Mohd Aamer—Umar Akmal confirmed in Australia –the trailer (in New Zealand) that his movie was to be a box office hit. On the other hand Mohd Aamer seems to be improving with every match and “fall”!
Pakistan have found back the old Mohd Asif. He is back to his swinging best and put on display a wonderful spell of bowling at the Sydney Cricket Ground.
Pakistan seem to have found a steady opening partnership at last in Salman Butt and Imran Farhat.
Note: Pakistan could surely do without their careless running.
No comments yet.