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

Nathan Hauritz meets demands

Peter English at the SCG

January 6, 2010

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The Australians flock to Nathan Hauritz after his return catch, Australia v Pakistan, 2nd Test, Sydney, 4th day, January 6, 2010
Nathan Hauritz was in pain after catching Mohammad Yousuf © Getty Images
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The selectors demanded fourth-innings wickets from Nathan Hauritz and in back-to-back Tests he has provided 10 of them. While Michael Hussey and Peter Siddle set up the victory with a century stand for the ninth wicket, Hauritz delivered the win with a career-best 5 for 53 that swept aside Pakistan for 139, 37 short of their target.

Hauritz was seen by the Pakistanis as the bowler to attack and when Mohammad Yousuf planted him for three boundaries in an over the tourists' charge on the moderate total grew. Ricky Ponting kept Hauritz on because he felt the mood could change quickly and he watched the bowler accept a thundering caught-and-bowled chance that thudded into his chest. "Haury catches their skipper and their most experienced player, things like that can be the difference between winning and losing a game," Ponting said.

The fierce drive also forced Hauritz's left thumb to bleed and the power of the shot pushed the bowler to the ground. When his team-mates arrived to pull him into the celebrations Hauritz just wanted to lie down. The grimace and the treatment soon turned into pain-free revelry as he picked up Misbah-ul-Haq two balls later after a poorly-chosen cut shot.

With the main batsmen gone, Hauritz survived the threat of Umar Akmal and finished the game by removing the tailenders Mohammad Sami, Danish Kaneria and Umar Gul in three overs. He was mobbed by his team-mates again and this time he danced and jumped, knowing he had played a significant role in Australia's 2-0 series win.

"Melbourne last week was a really good learning experience for him," Ponting said. "To back himself again in a crucial situation like we had today and to come away with five wickets is a great reward again. That's what you want from your spin bowler, to stand up and back himself and get a couple of wickets. Maybe he goes for a few runs here and there but he ends up winning a game of Test cricket, so that's special."

Peter English is the Australasia editor of Cricinfo

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