Australia v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Sydney, 4th day

A tale of two keepers

Osman Samiuddin at the SCG

January 6, 2010

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Brad Haddin is thrilled after the win, Australia v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Sydney, 4th day, January 6, 2010
Brad Haddin's excellence behind the stumps played a crucial part in Australia's win at the SCG © Getty Images

Haddin takes off
Brad Haddin's keeping often comes under the scanner - although it is far better than Kamran Akmal's - but he can be extremely proud of his flying take to remove Salman Butt. Butt glanced and Haddin launched himself to right, intercepting the ball while airborne with his right arm at full stretch. It was a stunning effort and a photo of it should hang on his wall.

Lob for a yob
Doug Bollinger doesn't mind the pick-up-and-return-throw in his follow-through, but he tempered his approach after collecting a defensive shot from Imran Farhat. Bollinger wanted to have a fling at the stumps but Farhat was in the way, so he decided on a lob that cleared the batsman on the way to the keeper. He was less restrained after dismissing Farhat for 22, doing a modest impersonation of Shane Watson's infamous Perth send-off. Bollinger clenched his fist as Farhat walked off close by, and roared in the batsman's direction as he left the ground.

Anyone for tennis?
Michael Hussey was in survival mode when he padded up to Kaneria, only to see the ball balloon and threaten to hit the stumps. Hussey was taking no chances and swotted the ball down like he was playing a smash at the Australian Open. In the end, nothing but a lack of partners could stop Hussey as he brought up his 11th Test century - a match-winning effort.

Divided loyalties?
Geoff Lawson, the former Pakistan coach, has remained the most knowledgeable and sympathetic supporter for the visitors in the broadcast media here. Lawson has lived every moment of this series so far for his former charges, whether exulting in Mohammad Aamer's successes, defending their dropped chances or waxing eloquent about Umar Akmal. Today at the SCG, perhaps anticipating a famous win, he turned up wearing a PCB National Cricket Academy top. Not bad for a man the present board chairman called "useless."

After dropping three catches yesterday, Kamran Akmal walked on to the team bus, sad and forlorn, hoping that "tomorrow will be a new day." It was, though not for him, as he dropped his fourth catch of the Test, another sitter and this time from Peter Siddle.

Osman Samiuddin is Pakistan editor of Cricinfo

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Osman Samiuddin Osman spent the first half of his life pretending he discovered reverse swing with a tennis ball half-covered with electrical tape. The second half of his life was spent trying, and failing, to find spiritual fulfillment in the world of Pakistani advertising and marketing. The third half of his life will be devoted to convincing people that he did discover reverse swing. And occasionally writing about cricket. And learning mathematics.
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