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January 16, 2010
Kat call works a treat
Simon Katich's wrist spin is usually described as underused and he has a happy knack of breaking partnerships. A three-hour stand between Salman Butt and Shoaib Malik was causing Ricky Ponting some grief, so he threw the ball to Katich midway through the second session. Katich struck with his ninth ball when he had Butt caught at slip and he followed with another wicket in his third over. Another came in his sixth, allowing him to finish with 3 for 34, his second-best bowling in a Test innings.
Teasers and the fiery Kat
Katich can sometimes be a little volatile but he took with good humour the ribbing from within the squad about his bowling before he came on. "I ran off the field just before I bowled, to rip that Gatorade tracker thing off my chest," Katich said. "I joked to the coaches saying how am I going to get a wicket here? All of them said just the regulation half-tracker or full toss which normally comes out, but thankfully I got it with a genuine legspinner that actually spun a bit." A shoulder problem limited Katich's ability to bowl earlier in the summer but after having injections to deal with the trouble in Melbourne, he said all the pain he felt when bowling had now been eliminated.
How much is a hundred worth?
Butt deserves to be commended for his third Test hundred, especially after ne needed to repay the team for running out Mohammad Yousuf and Umar Akmal on the second afternoon. However, a cynic might suggest that since he caused three dismissals (including his own) and scored 102 runs, his average for the innings was a reasonable 34.66.
Mohammad Aamer is in his eighth Test and is already developing an extremely useful habit: the ability to get a wicket in his first over. When Aamer's second delivery was spooned in the air to mid-off by Shane Watson, it was the fifth time that he had broken through in his first over. If only his catching was as reliable.
The Brady hunch
Australia's 12th man Clint McKay has headed off for Victorian duties so the team called in a local Tasmanian player, Brady Jones, to be their spare fielder. The strange thing is Jones is a wicketkeeper, the state's backup gloveman for Tim Paine. But with the Tasmanian squad playing on the mainland, there were few options remaining. As it turns out, Jones has not always worn the gloves at club level and his out-fielding was perfectly fine.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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