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Test cricket has once again proved why it mesmerises like no other. As Shane Watson edged towards his maiden Test century and Australia's first of the summer, Pakistan tried to squeeze the life out his innings.
Adopting a bowling line wide of off stump and an 8-1 offside field, Pakistan's bowlers reduced Watson to scrambling the ten runs to his hundred, when it should have been a relentless march to seal a formidable innings. In the land of Bodyline, MoYoline was born, the greatest scheme that Mohammad Yousuf has brought to the Test arena.
Indeed, had Abdur Rauf held on at point, Watson would have fallen for 99, Mohammad Aamer would have had his sixth wicket, and MoYoline would have become unforgettable. Nonetheless, the moment that Watson clinched his century was one of those precious moments that only Test cricket can bring.
It would have been harsh for Watson to fall short again and Rauf's act of generosity was perhaps appropriate. Unfortunately, Pakistan's aspiring stock bowler is unlikely ever to be remembered for his bowling, but that drop will be replayed a million times.
Another classic Test match moment had transformed Pakistan's attitude to this match. Umar Akmal, reeling from a blow to the head from a bouncer that didn't really get up, was attempting to wrestle the advantage from Australia's bowlers. Pakistan were under the cosh as their teenagers fought to resuscitate a dying innings.
Up to then Pakistan fans had little to cheer, but in one over Akmal launched an all-out assualt on Peter Siddle, Australia's most aggressive bowler. Three fours and a six showed Pakistan's players what attitude could do, and Pakistan have never looked back.
The first two days were flat from Pakistan, but since that third morning they have competed strongly with Australia, and ultimately that is all their supporters seek. Two days later, Yousuf's team find themselves back in the match with an outside chance of victory. It is definitely an outside chance, and Australia are capable of finishing the match in the first session of the final day.
Pakistan have shown that with the right attitude they can go to Sydney with a couple of team changes and growing confidence. They must maintain this positive approach on the final day and plan for victory. That is their best hope of escaping defeat. Playing for a draw will only lead to failure. To assist them, the MCG wicket is now doing a fair impression of the Gadaffi Stadium. Pakistan have hope and an outside chance.
Can Pakistan's old hand and young buck combine to produce a famous victory?
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Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets hereFeeds: Kamran Abbasi
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He was the first Asian columnist for Wisden Cricket Monthly and wisden.com. Kamran is the editor of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. @KamranAbbasi