Australia 2009-10 January 3, 2010

A day for comeback kids

It was a day to join the folklore of Pakistan cricket
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Earlier versions of Mohammad Sami would have squandered the opportunity. The 2010 model was unbelievable © AFP
 

Sydney, the scene of emotional farewells to great Australian cricketers, kindly welcomed back two aspiring Pakistani bowlers to the limelight. It was a day to join the folklore of Pakistan cricket. Lord's might be the home of cricket but Sydney is the citadel, home to the mightiest power in cricket's history. It was a venue for Pakistan fans to savour.

Pakistan's success was delivered by three men, each of whom in their differing ways had fought to establish themselves in the last decade. First was Ricky Ponting, whose decision to bat was the decisive one on a cloudy, green-topped day of seam.

But the rest belonged to Messrs Asif and Sami, the comeback kids of Pakistan cricket. Asif has rarely disappointed, although this is his first great performance. Like Sami, Asif is a rare Pakistan fast bowler to rely on seam before swing. Unlike Sami, he has rarely struggled with his line. Like Asif, Sami was once the great fast bowling hope of Pakistan cricket. Unlike Asif, he rarely got it right. Earlier versions of Sami would have squandered the opportunity. The 2010 model was unbelievable, a flash of what might have been.

Can Pakistan's batsmen now turn the heroics of the comeback kids into a memorable victory?

Follow me on Twitter during the Australian tour: http://Twitter.com/KamranAbbasi

Kamran Abbasi is an editor, writer and broadcaster. He tweets here

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Khair ul Alam on January 6, 2010, 8:42 GMT

    There are several things that went wrong for Pakistan in this match but above all they lost it in the head. Most of the comments here seem to harp on selection issues bypassing the main issue which is that the team is unsuited for test cricket. Time and again players show their T20 and ODI attitude by trying to blast their way when the going gets tough instead of trying to consolidate and wear out the bowlers. It is all deja vu alas!

  • Brad on January 6, 2010, 6:56 GMT

    Man of the match was definately Kamran Akmal. Go Aussies !

  • Athar Sherwani on January 5, 2010, 17:55 GMT

    Kamran Akmal as a wicketkeeper for spinners has always been inept and accident prone but today he got even worse when he had the ball in his hand and forgot to knock the bails off! He has single handedly blighted Kanaria's career over the years. What's worse he stands there grinning! If this match gets away from Pakistan then he is the man responsible. Remember his shot selection when batting in the last Test.

  • mislam on January 5, 2010, 14:50 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi and Osman Samiuddin: Could you write why Pakistan Can not find another wicket keeper. The keeper dropped Hussay 2/3 times in the 2nd test at very crucial time. Two of those were simple catches. One occassion he was not looking at the ball after it hit his hand and dropped, rather he was looking at the batsman.

    In the run out chance, he had the ball thrown to him but did not care to remove the bells. What was he thinking? I have never seen this.

    I think this guy has serious problem more like the problems with the selectors. Why can't they find out a replacement? Your comments with data and analysis. He is not only missing chances for the team, he is destroying bowlers records and confidence.Thanks.

  • sajjad mohd on January 4, 2010, 15:50 GMT

    kamran bhai as far as crickting knowledge is concerned every one knows that it is hard to perform in asia rather then in australia. in asia pitches do not favour fast bowling sir they are flater and like sleeping beauties n if a bowler perform thier then it is a great achivement for him. former pak greats bowl beautifuly in asia because they have pace which help them in getting reverse swing but asif is nt so pacy thenever he performed so wel then u must appreciate his performances .

  • Inty on January 4, 2010, 10:14 GMT

    Full marks to you Kamran for backing Sami above Rauf!

  • Rohit, India on January 4, 2010, 8:14 GMT

    I think Pakistan lost a great chance to get a unreachable lead in the 1st inning. Batsmen should have played thinking in mind that there are still 3 more days to go and should have targeted an inning defeat for Australia. I think there is still chance for Pakistan to wrap up the win within 3 days... Great performance...

  • dejavous on January 4, 2010, 7:53 GMT

    Australia has a fixed strategy.In every match they try and gain the upper hand in the first hour.Opposition teams are put under tremendous pressure.If they win the toss they bat and then pile up enough runs quickly and make the declaration timely to give their bowlers ample time to take the remaining 10 wickets.If they are made to field they are aggressive from the word go and create pressure for the batsmen with their terrific bowling and then more than average fielding .They don't miss chances at the slips.That in my opinion is why they win so any matches.But its a predictable strategy and if anything goes wrong the whole house crumbles as they cannot play when the pressure is being applied to them.Give them a mooving ball and that's it. The batsmen fall like dominos one after another.Now lets see if Pak has enough courage to make a timely declaration and get through the second innings like the first.I hope so.Its been a pleasure watching Pak bowlers who are legends in themselves!!

  • redneck on January 4, 2010, 4:36 GMT

    well done to asif and sami, it could have been worse for us aussies too if yousuf bought sami back on in the last session instead of the out of form gul!

  • qamer - Canada on January 4, 2010, 4:33 GMT

    Great bowling by Sami and asif.Pak need an allrounder like afridi or abdulRazzaq in the squad.

  • Khair ul Alam on January 6, 2010, 8:42 GMT

    There are several things that went wrong for Pakistan in this match but above all they lost it in the head. Most of the comments here seem to harp on selection issues bypassing the main issue which is that the team is unsuited for test cricket. Time and again players show their T20 and ODI attitude by trying to blast their way when the going gets tough instead of trying to consolidate and wear out the bowlers. It is all deja vu alas!

  • Brad on January 6, 2010, 6:56 GMT

    Man of the match was definately Kamran Akmal. Go Aussies !

  • Athar Sherwani on January 5, 2010, 17:55 GMT

    Kamran Akmal as a wicketkeeper for spinners has always been inept and accident prone but today he got even worse when he had the ball in his hand and forgot to knock the bails off! He has single handedly blighted Kanaria's career over the years. What's worse he stands there grinning! If this match gets away from Pakistan then he is the man responsible. Remember his shot selection when batting in the last Test.

  • mislam on January 5, 2010, 14:50 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi and Osman Samiuddin: Could you write why Pakistan Can not find another wicket keeper. The keeper dropped Hussay 2/3 times in the 2nd test at very crucial time. Two of those were simple catches. One occassion he was not looking at the ball after it hit his hand and dropped, rather he was looking at the batsman.

    In the run out chance, he had the ball thrown to him but did not care to remove the bells. What was he thinking? I have never seen this.

    I think this guy has serious problem more like the problems with the selectors. Why can't they find out a replacement? Your comments with data and analysis. He is not only missing chances for the team, he is destroying bowlers records and confidence.Thanks.

  • sajjad mohd on January 4, 2010, 15:50 GMT

    kamran bhai as far as crickting knowledge is concerned every one knows that it is hard to perform in asia rather then in australia. in asia pitches do not favour fast bowling sir they are flater and like sleeping beauties n if a bowler perform thier then it is a great achivement for him. former pak greats bowl beautifuly in asia because they have pace which help them in getting reverse swing but asif is nt so pacy thenever he performed so wel then u must appreciate his performances .

  • Inty on January 4, 2010, 10:14 GMT

    Full marks to you Kamran for backing Sami above Rauf!

  • Rohit, India on January 4, 2010, 8:14 GMT

    I think Pakistan lost a great chance to get a unreachable lead in the 1st inning. Batsmen should have played thinking in mind that there are still 3 more days to go and should have targeted an inning defeat for Australia. I think there is still chance for Pakistan to wrap up the win within 3 days... Great performance...

  • dejavous on January 4, 2010, 7:53 GMT

    Australia has a fixed strategy.In every match they try and gain the upper hand in the first hour.Opposition teams are put under tremendous pressure.If they win the toss they bat and then pile up enough runs quickly and make the declaration timely to give their bowlers ample time to take the remaining 10 wickets.If they are made to field they are aggressive from the word go and create pressure for the batsmen with their terrific bowling and then more than average fielding .They don't miss chances at the slips.That in my opinion is why they win so any matches.But its a predictable strategy and if anything goes wrong the whole house crumbles as they cannot play when the pressure is being applied to them.Give them a mooving ball and that's it. The batsmen fall like dominos one after another.Now lets see if Pak has enough courage to make a timely declaration and get through the second innings like the first.I hope so.Its been a pleasure watching Pak bowlers who are legends in themselves!!

  • redneck on January 4, 2010, 4:36 GMT

    well done to asif and sami, it could have been worse for us aussies too if yousuf bought sami back on in the last session instead of the out of form gul!

  • qamer - Canada on January 4, 2010, 4:33 GMT

    Great bowling by Sami and asif.Pak need an allrounder like afridi or abdulRazzaq in the squad.

  • Abhishek Satya Vratam, CNBC Awaaz on January 4, 2010, 4:29 GMT

    Pakistan has always been one of my favourites team when they are not playing against the team india. And what i like the most abt pakistanis is their bowling. From pace, swing to aggression there is all the variation in the bowling dept to make the team a winning combination. but the controversies never let them go on winning track for some good moments. No player looks consistent to make it into the team. this is somehow because of their performances and to a great extent it is because of disparity in selection process and internal politics as well as groupism. If they overcome on these things, no can stop them to go on top.

  • Farhan Arif on January 4, 2010, 4:25 GMT

    After yelling my throat to death and bleeding my heart watching Pakistan's loss from the stands of the MCG, Day1 and Day2 so far in Sydney have been the right medicine delivered just in time for a fan who might next be seen supporting them in Bellerive oval.As people I do not think much of these 11 men, but whatever the team composition, I always will vociferously support Team Pakistan.

  • Ketan Mayecha on January 4, 2010, 3:51 GMT

    Cricket would be different story if the pakistani bowlers normally bowl to their talented potiential. Its been a treat not only to watch them bowl like this but also to bring the australians on their knees. Though i daresay, if a world XI was to be picked currently - you probably wouldn't find any of them in it...Though thru and thru i am an indian fan - i get a real "high" seeing the pakistanis bowl their hearts out..Keep it up Pakis.... I think the best combination to watch is the Indian batting and the pakistani bowling...

  • Pankaj on January 4, 2010, 3:30 GMT

    I hope to the decade is called the 3M's ( three mohammads) for Pakistan. Mohammad - Asif, Sami and Amir

  • N Pegg on January 4, 2010, 1:53 GMT

    Pakistan has always had a decent side, but made poor selection decisions, suffered in-fighting etc. If they can prevent such problems recurring, there is no reason why they cannot make every team struggle, except for India in India. Australia on the other hand has been a spent force for a little while now, but it is only starting to be accepted. They are missing Hilfenhaus from their bowling attack, but they seem to be unable to bowl consistent swing bowling for any length of time. Their batsmen have been ordinary for a while, relying on a good opening stand and poor fielding. Hussey is past it, Hughes can't cut it, Ponting has been ordinary for a while (but they can't give the captaincy to anyone else yet, particularly as Clarke is out of form) and the others don't have much class or an ability to grit it out when facing good bowling for a consistent period (excluding Katich, who they are certainly missing in this game). There is a bit of a tail & still not convinced with Watson...

  • A on January 4, 2010, 1:26 GMT

    I can not fathom why Pakistan were so passive at Melbourne . Rauf was the worst selection. He is simply not test cricket material. Test cricketers need to have an attitude and passion. The ability to bowl helps, but it is the will and the desire to give your best that matters. I was disappointed to see Rauf lacked both. Seemed he was ready to break down on his knees and his looks said it all. Pakistan need to go all out with aggression in Hobart test. Aamer, Asif and Sami as the pace trio woth Kaneria for spin. Younis should return. Pakistan wins matches with their bowling. I am an Indian and a keen follower of Pakistan cricket. For the sake of asian cricket, they have to win this series. If they show enough aggression at Sydney and Hobart, there is no reason why they can not do it time . n

  • M Saeed on January 4, 2010, 0:01 GMT

    we all know it,Pakistan has got it all. we witnessed the best bowling after a long time. our bowlers cripled the best team in the world. if the right players are given a fair go, we can beat any team in the world. Let us hope our batting line would maintain the pressure and lead a 400 score Insha Allah and hope for a equalizer!!!!

  • Nadeem Mirza on January 3, 2010, 23:36 GMT

    It is never too late SAMI!

    Hang in there kiddo! Good things come to those who wait.

  • ATTA REHMAN on January 3, 2010, 23:27 GMT

    Mr Kamran, why us pakistani so hyped up with one performance.this is 4 innings game. we just forget our batting.do you think that can pakistan batsman able to play Aussies in the same conditions. i bet they will be bundle out within 127 or most probably 10-20 runs lead. this test match remind me last test match between pak-india at karachi,which was won by pak .although irfan got hattrick. this time it will be appear to be pakistan toward the loosing side. please dont hope too much with these bunch of loosers(misbah/faisal/farhat/salman)everytime team goes to australia,we hope we will beat them.this time we really have chance but we didnt select good batsman and allrouders like younus/afridi/arafat. i think only asian team which cannot beat aussies from here would be pakistan. so please give up hope. i canot forget the 1st over of last day at melbourne,every thing ended. unfornately this pak batting has no talent at all.yousuf is out of form.pakistan barely made 250 on easy wicket

  • Nadeem Mirza on January 3, 2010, 23:23 GMT

    Lets see iff Pakistan could bat out 3 to 4 sessions at least. This could bring their total in the range of 260 to 340. Outfield is faster. They need to bat the way they batted on the fourth day of 1st test. Need to focus on rotating the strike and built partnerships. No need to be over cautious. One BIG century from anybody could put them in the driving seat. First session will be very crucial and from then on wicket will start to ease off.

    Aussies back is against the wall. Pak needs to be positive and keep the momentum going. Aus will try some funny stuff. Mitchell Johnson again will be their key bowler.

    Hope Pak batsmen won't spoil the game set up perfectly by their bowlers. Even though they gave away about 40 extra runs. Thanks to Gul and Kaneria. Releived to see Pak taking their catches, actually. Gul's catch of Ponting was a beauty.

    Go Pak kick some butts. Aussies are in this position after a very long time.

  • mislam on January 3, 2010, 23:17 GMT

    Until the test is 3rd day completed, no one knows who will win. Pakistan got this position for the poor decision of Ponting to bat first. If they would bowl, this score could be the pakistan's score.

    The history of Pakistan's batting collapse in last one year gives me a fear that they might do that again. It all depends on how the inconsistent batsmen (openers and Akmal brothers) do on 2nd day. Ausis will come hard on both bowling and fileding. And I would not be surprised to see them scoring 350 plus in the second innings. So the game remains wide open at the end of day one. Excellent job by Pakistan on day one. Enjoyable cricket indeed by two great teams without some exciting players of course.

  • M.Tahir from springfield on January 3, 2010, 23:07 GMT

    I am getting tired of seiin some folks putting Sami down even after one of the most ferocious spells we have seen in along time. Furthermore he is an excellent fielder (add runs he will be saving AND Will not put down catches ) that has benn the main reason why we never win..and by the way he is quite handy with the bat too.ALSO I heard that yousuf thinks Razzaq is just a one day player and should not play tests.Let yousuf remember that on australian grounds any pakistani batsman who can score runs should be an automatic choice for any format.AFRIDI SHOUL ALSO BE INCLUDED BECAUSE HE IS A VERY INTELLIGENT BOWLER AND AVERY HANDY BATSMAN.AS FOR YOUNUS he should be playing for pakistan in tsests only but he should NEVER>>>>>>>>> AGAIN BE GIVEN THE CAPTAINCY AGAIN EVEN IF WE LOOSE TO BANGLADESH>>>because he had started to think he was Imran Khan.In order to earn that status u have to first become Imran Khan..JUST play as a player U wil do yourself and pakistan alot of favours. GOOD LUCK

  • Dawar on January 3, 2010, 23:00 GMT

    For Sam Swaminathan , they compared Imran Farhat action with Shane Warne. When they said "he would be on test cricket soon." they mean he will bowl in that test match. He is old and already in the playig eleven, only style can not make u great. Otherwise there are many salman khan and sharuq khan on the street of karachi.

  • Shariq babar on January 3, 2010, 22:41 GMT

    Pakistan are in strong position specially the great spell from Asif and Sami. Even at this position we should seriously take this match. Pak batting needs to be consistent, I think they should give chance to Shahzaib and include farhat in T20 squad.

  • Sam Swaminathan on January 3, 2010, 22:37 GMT

    During the Melbourne Test, the Aus TV commentary team showed the profile of a Pakistan leg spinner who has identitical ( absolutely identitical) bowling action of Shane Warne. While I watched it on the screen, I did not pick up his name. The commentators were of the opinion that he would be on test cricket soon. Could some readers please enlighten me as to who this youngster is? thank you in advance.....

  • Farrukh on January 3, 2010, 22:35 GMT

    I think Pakistan team read the blog of Kamran Bhai and its comments lolz. Great work of Art that was. finaly we may have a smile about our team. "Lose fighting Don't fight losing".

  • Gary Dhillon, Punjab, India on January 3, 2010, 22:08 GMT

    Great Bowling. Pakistan always have great fast bowling attack. I grew up watching Sarfaraz, Imran and later Wasim and Waqar. Both and Asif are new addition to this great tradition. Hope Pakistan batsmen back them up this time.

  • Omar Mir on January 3, 2010, 22:04 GMT

    sami's inclusion in the side was a brilliant move, he has genuine pace, is a nifty fielder and can bat better than any of the quicks, but theres no way one performance can cement his place in the side, even though i would love to see him as a fourth pacer in my Test 11 and here it is pakistans Squad for the next test and tests to come.. Imran farhat and Salman Butt, Mohammad Yousaf, younis khan, Misbah , Umer Akmal , kamran akmal, Mohammed Amir, Mohammad Sami, Mohammad Asif and Umar Gul or Danish Kaneria based on the opponent and players current form. Faisal has a test temperament but Younis Averages 50 in this format which should automatically give him a place when the selectors feel he is ready, Also a side note; Shahid should make him self available for Real Cricket. For the Sydney Test the batsmen need to Score quick and value their wicket. At the end of Day 1 Pakistan is in a very good position to level this series, and start the new decade with some respect on the cricket field.

  • Umer on January 3, 2010, 21:45 GMT

    Great bowling by Asif and espically Sami who took the initial 3 wickets.Now Pakistan should just bat 2 and a half days take a substantial lead, so they don't have to bat in fourth innings and bowl AUS out.(Just what AUS does in every other test match!!!)

  • Sam Swaminathan on January 3, 2010, 21:44 GMT

    I dont want to put the horse before the cart...but having seen the pak batters, I seriously doubt if we will cross Aus score. Our two batsmen just survived the first 4 overs played yesterday. Unless between Yousuf and Umar we make a 250 or so, we will find ourselves in the same position as in Melbourne. In conclusion, my two cents worth...

    Umar...a great find for pakistan - could be the future Tendulkar

    Ameer - a brilliant fast bowler, a gem - please nurture him carefully

    And finally, if Pak cricket to shine brilliantly, as it can be, get rid of the politicians who are bent upon ruining cricket for Pak.

  • wrigleys_gum on January 3, 2010, 21:06 GMT

    lol@ "parchi" Abdul rauf, fawad alam,even younis khan in the beginning of his career........are all big time "PArchis" .....hmm but doesnt that make Mohd amer a parchi too?(wasim's)

  • Hassan Farooqi on January 3, 2010, 20:57 GMT

    I hope Mr. Abbasi is eating his words privately. Publicly he would not admit he was wrong ... once again ... due to his prejudice against Karachi players. I had predicted Sami would be awesome. His problem Shoaib Akhter is not there. But then agains, as usual, my proving Mr. Abbasi wrong again will not be published.

  • Humayun Khan Afridi on January 3, 2010, 20:54 GMT

    Imagine the following in the current team, Replace Umar Gul with Mohammad Aamer, Imran Farhat with Abdulrazzak, Faisal Iqbal with Mohammad Younis, Danesh Kaneria (sorry danish you are a very good bowler but Afridi is no less) with Shahid Afridi.... You have just added 3 decent batters to your team and two very good bowlers. Look at Afridi's performance in the KFC big bash on Australian wickets, He is man of the match in two out of two matches. Seeing the inconsistency of Pakistan batting, the only solution i see is to lengthen the batting line up by adding more batsmen, so hope is not lost even at 7 down. and thats only possible by adding Afridi and Razzak to the line up. Now i will list the team so you realize how strong it sounds on paper, Salman Butt, Kamran Akmal , Mohammad younis, Mohammad yousaf, Umar Akmal, Misbah ul haq, Abdul razzak, Shahid Afridi, Mohammad Aamer, Mohammad Asif and Sami, wow, 5 full time bowlers , with 5 seamers and a great spinner, and 8 full time batsmen

  • Irfan Hasan on January 3, 2010, 20:51 GMT

    As much as I like to, lets not get carried away with a single event of brilliance. We alwasy thought that Sami (and Shoaib) had been victims of Pak fielding with dropped catches and it almost became too costly this time as well. We need to see some kind of consistency before calling anyone... 'come back' kids. Asif we always know has the dicipline but to be destructive like this it takes a bowling wicket. This kind of wicket is a rarity in world cricket, even other aus picthes. There is a strom brewing up for Pak batsmen on second day. If they are not up to it, all this might be in vain. As far as Sami, as much as we all like to see him succeed, he has to get some thing other than pace in his arsenal too. I am surprised in the land of Imran, Waseem and Waqar; how come he still cannot learn to deliver things to the batsmen where they cant just throw their bats on it thru the line....

  • AJ on January 3, 2010, 20:20 GMT

    Kamran Bhai, Whilst I respect your opinion, I must add that Asif took 19 wickets at an average of 18 against SA in SA in January 2007. He almost singlehandedly (from a bowling point of view) won us that series! That's outside Asia versus quality opposition. He got 2 5-fors in the series!

  • Nabeel on January 3, 2010, 20:13 GMT

    I agree with Danish!!!!!!

  • Rasheed on January 3, 2010, 20:12 GMT

    Kamran Bhai why are against Yousuf? The only change I think we need is bring Afridi back to test squad it should not be his wish while he is still young.Farhat better improve his fielding his dropped catches costs Pakistan more than he scores,but we were happy to see him even taking a easy catch.For Sami, one match is not enough to prove his ability, We hope he make it a regular. Without good fielding no team can be number one.Pakistan has the potential.

  • Sami Syed on January 3, 2010, 20:07 GMT

    Although his average isn't great, Sami has always had a big heart. Even when he was previously around so many catches were dropped for him than any other bowler... I bet if someone can pull the stats on bowling and dropped catches then Sami would me amongst the highest.

    Take back for a second the first dropped catch by Umar Akmal, that should've been a catch... Sami was lucky this time to get the wicket after anyway...

    Here is a man with big heart and huge talent but just missing some luck...

  • safwan on January 3, 2010, 19:54 GMT

    they have bowled exceptionally well on a seaming wicket, having said that, pakistan still need to bat really well to set up a win in this game. the first two sessions on the second day will be of tantamount importance, if Pakistan can overhaul the australian total and press on without losing more then 2-3 wickets then it gives them a substantial chance to set up a victory charge. The worry of course is our chronic unpredictability with the bat, another slip up here and a golden opportunity of reviving our test cricket will go begging.

  • Nauman on January 3, 2010, 19:49 GMT

    Can someone please praise Yousuf for his captaincy.He no longer is the lazy man on the field waiting for things to happen.A bouncer to Ponting with 2 men waiting for the miscue at the boundary on 1st ball was not mere confidence.The aggression to risk a review on Sami's hat-trick ball was another hint that Yousuf wont just hide in his shell.The consistent chatting and encouraging of Asif after North's LBW was turned down (still wonder HOW) that kept him going.He is finding his groove.I think our boys are used to of following a senior,calm,down-to-earth,Allah-wala (Godly) man.I know thats not the correct definition of a captain,but if thats where the comfort zone of players lies, then let that be it.They used to back Inzi,they are backing Yousuf.I guess we need to get over the debate of Younis as captain,he may be a better captain,but may be not a better captain for Team Pakistan. His energy and aggression prabably brings pressure and burden on these players. Good Luck to them

  • OQ on January 3, 2010, 19:48 GMT

    Credit to the selectors for sending in Sami who made a very mature return to international cricket.

    mr Kamran i really dont understand your articles. One day your blasting the board, selectors and captain and the next day you are savouring the team's performance yet you cannot give credit where its due. I think its for your own benefit to have more rational and balanced comments for or against all stakeholders in Pakistan cricket. Perhaps you should take a leap out of Osman Samiuddin's book.

  • JIbran Baig on January 3, 2010, 19:38 GMT

    Well something has changed in Sami, before he just couldn't think a batsmen out. Over he was bowling to a plan. He gave a wide one to Hughes to cut, coz he cuts in air quite a lot. He pitched short to him just like Flintof and then the sucker drive ball to get him. The short ball to Ricky Ponting is a Pakistan Plan to keep him hooking and Pulling, worked again. And there was a lot of buzz that Sami has lost the deadly outswing he displayed on his debut. Well it was all there today, we saw it, Sami saw it and very much sure Watson saw it. I think Captain Karachi Blues has done quite a bit for his brain. Like Umar Gul he is a team man and really works hard in the field. Pakistan can use such characters, I hope he can keep it up.

  • shahzad yaqoob on January 3, 2010, 19:30 GMT

    crciket is all about your current form not so much records.sami was in very good bowling form and he proved his worth.pakistan should bat with postive intent if ball is there to hit they should go for it end of the you need runs also to win the game im think if they score 275+ it will be very hard for aussies.

  • SachinForLife on January 3, 2010, 19:27 GMT

    Go Pakistan! Show these arrogant Aussies where they belong at the moment. Height of stupidity in electing to bowl under such conditions against one of the best fast-bowling line ups in the world!

  • Tamil on January 3, 2010, 19:00 GMT

    Staistics PAK Bowlers wins 1 point in 1st innings PAK Batsmen need to win 1 point in 1st innings PAK Fielders wins 1 point in 1st innings So total of 3 points will fetch a win for PAK

    AUS Bowlers or Batsmen loses 1 point in their 1st/2nd innings But AUS Fielders will score 1 point in 1st innings So total of 3 for PAK 2 for AUS will get PAK win

    A Big BUTTTTTTTTTTTT

    If PAK Batsmen fails in the 1st innings, just expect AUS win @99% rate. Staying at the wicket in 1st innings is the key for the run of 250-300 otherwise AUS will ease if any lead less than 100 easily because that gives morale and mental boost for them.

    67-7 is better than 127-10, hence PAK leaked extra 40-50 runs here, so be careful.

  • Tamil on January 3, 2010, 18:53 GMT

    BATSMEN need to stay at crease even if they could score under 2 per over because loose deliveries, pitch will settle down then with handful of wickets make some extra runs.

    Forget PAK chasing even 100 runs in second innings, my 100th sense says that they will fail for any total under presssure.

    First innings batting is the key to win this match Second innings bowling we have lots of hope, even if Aus score 250-350 should not bother if PAK 1st innings posts a good score

    This is one of the unexpected possibility for a PAK win which will shut all the previous bad records at Aussies and create a series win, guess what a first series win

  • Imtiazuddin on January 3, 2010, 18:46 GMT

    Great performance by both sami and asif, i was thinking sami could easily wipe out the tail if he were bowling those last over but unfortunately he was not introduced by the captain, i m hoping the last 30 to 40 run not cost us much bcoz v never knows how our batting line up gona perform tomorrow. keep ur finger cross n hope for the best.

  • Rajesh on January 3, 2010, 18:33 GMT

    Only Pakistan can prove to be this upredicatable, confounding their wisest commentators and followers!!!! One week they let Nathan Hauritz nearly score a century, next week they bundle out the entire Aussie lineup for just over 100!!A crazy crazy team!!! That's why we need them back in the thick of world cricket.

  • Luqman on January 3, 2010, 18:30 GMT

    Would some kindly mention the brilliant captaincy of Mohammad Yousuf? His field placing was excellent, especially in the case of Ponting's dismissal. His encouragement of Asif from midoff is the repetoire of the best of captains.

  • Manoj on January 3, 2010, 18:17 GMT

    Good Work! I am not a great fan of Pakistan cricket. But I don't like the sleazy ponting and his Aussie team. This wil show them where they stand. You can't just win the toss and decide to bat with the kind of team he has. Overconfidence and stupidity, something which Ponting is known for. Unless the Pakistani's screw up during batting, they should be able to make the kill here! I don;t think they need more than 300. Manoj

  • Merit on January 3, 2010, 18:09 GMT

    In past Sami was mostly given chances on the flat wicket only.When Paksitan played on fast wickets board gave chances to "PURCHI". Same treatment going on with Fawad Alam, Khurrum Manzoor, Khalid Latif, when we played on batting track/flat surface board gave chance to Misba, Butt, Malik, Farhat but when its a fast track board given chance to Fawad, Manzoor or latif. If they do not play well in a single match borad kick them out but some players got continous chances regardless of their performaces. Current examples of Misba, Butt and Malik (still in the team). on other hand board is asking Younis Khan to prove his perfomace in domestic. Younis Khan has over 50 average in the test where Malik , Misba and Salman Butt together cannot reach his average and total runs. Shame on U board.We lost great Asim Kamal in past.

    Merit

  • desihungama on January 3, 2010, 18:06 GMT

    what an atrociously ferocious bowling spell.

    Thank you for all the Indian support!

  • Salman Mahmood on January 3, 2010, 17:56 GMT

    I hope to see Sami, Amer and Asif in next test match. I have a feeling that Sami may be dropped for Gul. Why? Beacuse there is too much politics. At the end of Australia's first innings, Sami deserved the 4th wicket but he was not given the ball because Gul badly wanted a wicket. Gul knows he is in trouble after Sami's performance. I just hope that selectors are fair and put the best three bolwers in next test match. Pakistan will win this match (Inshallah) and next match will be the opportunity to win the series. Good Luck team!!

  • ali on January 3, 2010, 17:48 GMT

    well, pakistani bowlers can be exposed by time only..one performance because of wet grassy pitch does not make bowler great !!!! so we will see how they're doing down the road or they might be just like pakistani batting !! nobody knows..

  • Ray on January 3, 2010, 17:35 GMT

    Mr Abbasi - after Kaneria, now Sami proves himself. Good to see you acknowledging it. Only if Farhat can prove us wrong.... Otherwise we should have Malik, Kamran, Afridi or Yasir open with Butt. Wonder where , Wasti, Waseem and Taufiq Umar are?

  • wrigleys_gum on January 3, 2010, 17:30 GMT

    well, this is the time that everything should be coming together for this pakistan side, remember half of our cricket team was banned because of the icl fiasco and india's internal poliics of the ipl and the icl. sami and yousuf were a part of that. pakistan has not had a full strength bowling attack for yrs now!, i wished it woulda be below 100 , that woulda really ground pontings nose in it.

    but well done asif and sami, i just hope the pakistanis remember how the australians got out and play sensibly, its gonna be a hard hard day tomorow!.

  • a.khan on January 3, 2010, 17:18 GMT

    Congratulations Pakistan. I would like to discuss the umpire review system.It always used to be that umpires in the past used to favour Australia against all visiting teams and now I think that umpires are doing the same thing with the tecnology.I cannot understand how that ball would have gone high when North was hit blumb middle stump below knee.same way Sami's hatrick ball was hitting the stumps and not given out.I don't think technology will help the Asian countries nor the elite pannel of umpires.I remember once steve bucknor mentioned how the camera man have manipulated the angles and views and used to show only those angles which would suit them.Can the tragectory of the ball be changed by altering the speed? somebody needs to look into it.

  • AL FROM OSLO on January 3, 2010, 17:11 GMT

    Brilliant performance by the bowlers, BUT why don't they change the batting line-up? its actually thats where Pakistanis are failing, sadly. And such steps as Fawad Alam was handed his passport, instead of (sifarshi) Faisal Iqbal, is rubbish. Now, if Fawad is young, so is the gem, Umar Akmal and Aamer. God bless Pakistan.

  • asif on January 3, 2010, 17:05 GMT

    pakistan zindabad

  • nawap on January 3, 2010, 17:05 GMT

    this was an amazing performance by pakistan and made my day...really enjoyed the incredible display of seam bowling after a long time....thanks to sami who started and finished by asif....it has to be understood that if pakistan play in this fashion they have the most talented pool of players in the world...problem is consistency..if it comes they can be the best side in the world...wow... i hope the batsman do justice to what these guys did today and take this test match to a winning position....hats off to u guys for this tremendous performance..it was not to rash shots of australian batsman but the beauty from both asif and sami..this is pure fast bowling which we missed nowadays...because of the type of pitches that are made today...well done!

  • Rashid on January 3, 2010, 17:04 GMT

    great performance by our bowlers lets hope the batting matches it. A 350 score will win us the test and i think its doable.

  • anser azim on January 3, 2010, 17:04 GMT

    To win a test match you need to have three good days. Out of the four remaining days Pakistan has to perform well in the remaining four days. Was great to see samis opening spell. A great find from the savings account. It was interesting to note that Sami never got the end from which he generated that pace and got his wickets!!!

  • SAPinfo on January 3, 2010, 17:04 GMT

    Great Come back Sami - I still remember his 16-ball-over. Inna Sami' Na Wa Ata'ana - Like a good fan:-) Welcome back Sami.

    Naved - NJ USA

  • masoom al-e-hassan naqvi on January 3, 2010, 17:00 GMT

    No doubt pakistani pace attack has done great job but things that worries me pakistani batting , because imran farhat no way near to international standard opening batsman lets hope he proves me wrong. Mohammad yousaf should give chance to Fawad Allam to open along salman butt or khalid latif. If mohammad amir will fit then they should drop umer gul. Sami is kind of bowler, he is very talented but according to imran he does not know the art of getting wickets , he does not apply his skills at right time. i am very glad that he came back and lets hope he will perform consistantly. one thing i want to say all indian they repeatedly saying no other teame can challenge austerlia apart from india that is very optismitic indian never been consistan look in recent serious they got out in 144 in india , as we all know indians cricket gournds are graveyards for fast bowlers but india were all out for 100 and some thing. so how you can say they are consistant.india won one t20 wc

  • A.R.Zaidi on January 3, 2010, 16:44 GMT

    Amazing! Astonishing! Unbelievable!Incredible! You can use all the superlatives for mercurial Pakistanis today. It was a performance par excellence by her two fast bowlers. Everydone went in favour of Pakistan on the first day of 2nd test. Decision to include Sami paid rich dividends and Asif did not let us feel non presence of Aamir in the team. Pakistan's bowling performance can only be described as magnificent. Though i feel that when Aussies were down with 4 wickets, the Pakistani skipper should have applied all sorts of pressures to skittle Australia out for a meagre total ( less than 80!). Even then, the score on Sydney score board is not big. Now Pakistani batsmen need to apply themselves to win a lead of at least 200 runs in the first innings. I vividly remember the last test of 1995 series at SCG when on the 5th day Pakistan trounced Australia in the test match. I was lucky to be at SCG to see Waqar Younis and Waseem Akram playing the role of Mohammad Sami and Asif. Well done!

  • Jawad Alam Khan on January 3, 2010, 16:41 GMT

    Asif has performed well in South Africa as well. But no doubt this was a remarkable performance by him against Australia. However, the key is consistency and if he continues to do it in the second innings and then lateron in the 3rd Test, then only his performance can be recokened as a great achievement.

    Now the test is skewed towards Pakistan. They will never get such a chance to beat Australia and square the series. Let's hope the batsmen show some courage and change the batting trend too. This the time to show character and determination. Seems difficult but not impossible. If bowlers can do it, which no one was expecting than batters can do it as well, inshallah.

  • Basant Kumar on January 3, 2010, 16:23 GMT

    A great bowling performance by these two bowlers specially bt Sami, playing test match after a period of 2 years, it was awesome come back by him. Asif had been one of the strike bowlers since his debut just required this kind of performance to proof his quality. Now pakistan just require some sensible batting and a lead over 150 odd runs will bring the aussies under a lot of pressure.

  • Kamran Abbasi on January 3, 2010, 16:03 GMT

    Some you are questioning why I say this is Asif's first great performance? I say this because (1) that's my view (2)it's the first time he's made a major impact against a genuine top side outside Asia (3) you can't get a greater achievement than against Australia in Australia, something many Pakistan greats have failed to deliver.

  • Ayaz on January 3, 2010, 16:02 GMT

    this is amazing what these two did today...really happy for both of them...lets just hope our batting does good the next two days and the bowlers come back and give them hell second time around...JEEVE JEEVE PAKISTAN...

  • Syed Ali on January 3, 2010, 16:01 GMT

    A great performance by Mohammed Sami and Mohammed Asif. I dont think that Pakistani batsmen can turn the things as Jhonson and Boolinger are really hard to handle. The first session will be very crucial like 5th day in the first day.. They should not loose more than 2 wickets in a session. Pakistani batting will mostly depend on Akmal brothers and Mohammed Yousef... Hope paksitan will break this loosing chain from australia..

  • Arsalan on January 3, 2010, 15:54 GMT

    Yea it was wonderfull to see such a "threatning" Mohammad Sami. Mohammad Asif is always outstanding! and today the combined force destroyed Australia. Had Mohammad Aamer been there instead of "out of form" Umar Gul, Austrlia Might well have been Humiliated a Little more!

  • Yousuf Zaman on January 3, 2010, 15:54 GMT

    Kamran ,Sami is fast bowling's next big thing .He was wasted or misused by woolmer. The fittest and one of the fastest shoulb never of out

  • Mazahir Abbas on January 3, 2010, 15:42 GMT

    It was really the very good day for Pakistan cricket from a very long time. Now is the point for PAKISTANI bating to take full advantage of what bowlers have provided. Many Many good wishes for Sami on his come back(having same dob as mine) and he has proved himself that he can be a lethal, and for ASIF, it is clear that he is one of the leading bowler of todays cricket. He is the kind a bowler who deserves the place in world 11. Hopefully Pakistan will win this match quite easily. Just Pak bats have to take time on pitch and just bat with +ve attitude.. Rest Best wishes for Pak Team ever and for ever.

  • sajjad mohd on January 3, 2010, 15:41 GMT

    dear kamran i want to remind u that it is not the first graat performence by asif what he had done in gale in srilanka when he bundled out srilanka on jst 71 odd runs in 2006.with the help of that spell pak beat lanka in lanka.pak is the only country to do so along with australia who did it in 05 .wel i still have doubt in sami because i think that it is just the green top that help him althogh i wish him best of luck

  • Dawar on January 3, 2010, 15:39 GMT

    Great performance by Sami & Asif. Selectors should be given credit to bring soem one in the team who performed well in domestic. Same led karachi to win Quaid-e-Azam trophy again. Selectors should give chnace to best batsman and best bowler of the Quaid-e-azam trophy. Merit make the difference. If we develop merit in our crietria no one can beat us. Now this is a time to say good bye to Malik, Misba, Butt, Faisal and give proper chance to top performer from our domestic cricket.

    Dawar

  • Shahzad on January 3, 2010, 15:37 GMT

    Very good comeback of Pakistan. Regarding batting I hope for the best but at the same time have scare for the worst. Pakistanies morale is boosted to peak, they should get at least 200 runs lead, which is not very difficult just two good partnerships. I welcome back Sami with marvelous spell. His speed is express, I think under the supervision of Waqar Younis, the greatest ever fast bowler, Sami can develop into an outstanding bowler by having control on line-length. This combination of 4 can be developed into the most lethel arsenal for world's batsmen. But the batting department remains deprived of any mentor, Alam is neither capable of supervising batting, nor making genral strategy and is withot any uderstanding of modern technology. I think, in the long run, PCB should manage the training of likes of Inzi, Saeed Anwar, Baast Ali or even older Miandad, Zaheer Abbas with modern coaching techniques and try to improve quality of domestic cricket. Good luck Pakistan. Pakistan Zindabaad

  • Rehan Saleem on January 3, 2010, 15:24 GMT

    gud luck pak ! ! !

  • Kamran on January 3, 2010, 15:18 GMT

    Lets not oversell that what bowlers have done. They should be doing in constantly. Why their outing is highlighted is that our bowlers were not performing before this series, but this is western society and home of cricket, so everyone is eager. All of a sudded Shahid Afridi is ready to comeback to cricket and our ex fragile captain Younis Khan finished his self exile. Remember, their salary is being paid from our taxes, so they need to perform in the best of interest of the country. The why you are filling air in the ballon, after sometime they will be just spoiled as Shoaid (well, one was already, and never can fly to Dubai) and after retirement they want to be in board or maybe politics. Its just a game and should be treated like a game. Today there is an article of great performance, tomorrow they might be totally different. THerefore, everyone calm down.

  • Ahsan on January 3, 2010, 15:18 GMT

    Fabulous fabulous bowling. Im badly caught up in flu since yesterday. When my eyes opened this morning, first thing I did was to open cricinfo on my mobile while still half asleep. When i saw Aus 127 and Pak 9/0, I couldnt believe. Thanx Asif n Sami helping me getting rid of my flu!!

    Seriously hope Pak batsmen dont fail now. Anything above 350 and same display of bowling in Aus 2nd innings would set up pak very nicely to level the series. They could not have found themselves in a better place after day 1 of 2nd test to comeback in the series.

    May ALLAH be with you guys, AMEEN

  • taimoor on January 3, 2010, 15:05 GMT

    tooday pakistanis really played to thier potentials toput up a show we all would remember for a long time against once mighty australians. Surely it was Ricky Ponting who gave this great opportunity to the pakistanis but that doesnot take the away the credit from non consistent but pacy sami and more accurate and dangerous than McGrath,M Asif.Just need to have this believe that they can defeat and humiliate the best of teams in cricketing world and the aussies would be gasping for air.Keep it up Pakistan.

  • Ahmad on January 3, 2010, 15:05 GMT

    I think Sammi is one of the unluckiest cricketers to have played the game. He has pace, he has a great yorker, he can swing and seam the bowl, he was one of our best and more reliable bowlers at one time and yet he has suffered a lot from our fielding lapses. Waqar and Wasim relied more on LBWs and bowled outs, Sami is more of a person who relies on catches and that means he is more reliable on the fielders. One catch was dropper off his bowling today as well, I hope his luck gets better because he is really great to watch. I would love to see Sami, Aamer, Asif all bowling together...in fact, throw in Gul as well and its the perfect quartet with 3 that can hold the bat as well as field well.

  • Abdul Mannan on January 3, 2010, 14:59 GMT

    On a pitch like this if Pakistanis can get a lead of 70 odd runs (for which they will have to make merely 200 runs) will be lot and I hope they will. Because they have a very big chance of coming in the series.

  • Shahid on January 3, 2010, 14:58 GMT

    Bowlers have been doing it 3 out of 4 times, be it in SL, NZ or here, Only if batsmen could do it at least 1 out of 3 times to cross 350 mark. I hope wicket changes to a bating paradise for one single day before getting to turn for Kaneria. My experience says that Pakistan will struggle to reach 200. To win this match Pakistan needs a lead of 200 because Pakistan will not be able to chase more than 150. I hope they won't let this chance go by to restore some respect for Pakistan cricket. They need to play good cricket for 4 to 5 days and not just in patches as they always do.

  • Raza Javed on January 3, 2010, 14:57 GMT

    Excellent bowling indeed! But i still doubt the Pakistani batting. I feel they will feel the pressure once Duggie and Mitchie bowl together and lets not under-estimate Hauritz!

    Batsmen like M.Yousuf don't need any backing of words. But this will be a crucial innings if he gets in early tomorrow morning.

  • Rohit, India on January 3, 2010, 14:50 GMT

    GREAT bowling....this really need lots of appreciation. I still don't remember any opposition has done such a damage to Australian batting in the recent past in their own backyard...Mohammed Asif has it in him to become a legend, that's what he has proved...Hope Pak batsman gives enough support for their bowlers to defeat over Australian....great come back by Pakistan after lagging by 0-1...I always enjoy seeing Ricky Ponting scratching his head...ha ha ha....Good luck to Pakistan Team and their fans..enjoy...

  • Shahbaz Hameed on January 3, 2010, 14:47 GMT

    Keeping our fingers crossed!

    But more importantly, we must take some long term lessons home from this series.

  • Ali on January 3, 2010, 14:45 GMT

    Pakistan have produced fast bowlers and dead pitches. May be it is time to change the domestic structure to produce batsmen for bouncy pitches and good fielders.

  • Talat Riaz on January 3, 2010, 14:40 GMT

    Unbelievable performance by Asif and Sami. Now let's hope the batsmen do their bit to get Pakistan on level terms with the Aussies. It's a known fact that Pakistan always come back harder at the opposition after their initial loss and this comeback just proves it. I was a bit perplexed at Sami's inclusion in this test but like you said in this article that strangers things have happened in Pakistan Cricket and this was one of them but sometimes all it takes to win a contest is an inspirational choice of a player. Asif is proven champion but Sami today was sensational. Good luck Team Pakistan!

  • Mazhar Dar on January 3, 2010, 14:35 GMT

    Yes Pakistan's batsmen will turn the heroics of the comeback kids into a memorable victory. They must believ them self can beat Australian.

  • Tahir Rashid on January 3, 2010, 14:29 GMT

    I sincerely hope batsmen score at least 350 runs to back the bowlers. This could be the come back game for Pak against the Aussies.

  • Grant East on January 3, 2010, 14:27 GMT

    A great day for Pakistan and test cricket. The solution for Australia is simple: Warne for captain.

  • Farhan on January 3, 2010, 14:17 GMT

    One good performance on a very helpful pitch after a zillion bad performance does not earn redemption. He should be dropped immediately once Aamer gets health.

    Also - I dont understand one thing, why has the bowling line-up been changed when actually it was the batsmen who did not deliver on an easy track in Melbourne?

  • Nadeem Mirza on January 3, 2010, 14:15 GMT

    Mr. Abbasi: Put up or shut up!

    One day you are singing praises for a player and the next day you start bashing him. Whats up with you? Yousuf is trying his best with the quality of batsmen he has. He was right-on when he said 20-20 is destroying Pak cricket. Look at the dismisals of Pak's batsmen. It requires an experienced and established batsmen to adjust to all format. Look what 20-20 did to Gul and Ajmal, have made them single dimension player. If you want to enjoy longer version of the sport, you may have to select and prepare specialist for each version, unless you have Shewag. Prime example is that players like Ponting, Younis and Tundulkar retiring from 20-20.

    Pls give Yousuf some time. He seems to be doing a decent job. His predecessor YK, your favorite all time captain, ran from this team with his tail between his legs. Now he wants to sneak-in when Yousuf brought some calmness to the sail.

    Golden opportunity for Pak in Sydney. Hope they could bat. Good Luck!

  • karthik on January 3, 2010, 14:03 GMT

    i think this has to be one of the brightest days in the history of pak cricket the onus in on the pak cricketers to maintain the momentum and record a famous win.otherwise other than india no other country has ever challenged australia in their own den consistently now it is left to the utilise the opportunity and prove themselves worthy of playing test cricket because they have performed very poorly losing to srilanka very badly and also in new zealand. they are the reigning champions of T20 cricket to prove their aura they have to challenge australia in their own den which will be a good start. their senior stars have to come to the party to guide the youngsters for a famous win.

  • Mubee on January 3, 2010, 13:59 GMT

    personally i think that pak gave up hope on sami a bit 2 early and i always thought he had it in him,as far as asif is concerned i think he bowled awesomely in nz aswell so this day was surely sami's comeback but not as much as asif's. but under all these celebration's what we have to ponder is the fact that another catch was dropped today by a youngster, back in the day when hafeez and malik came in, youngsters were the best feilders, what's happened to that now?!? over all lets keep our fingrz crssed and insh. pakistan will win!!! p.s bring younus back :D

  • Tanweer Bukhari on January 3, 2010, 13:59 GMT

    An overwhelming victory or an embarrassing loss both possible depending on the unpredictable moods of our batsmen !!!

  • fizul on January 3, 2010, 13:58 GMT

    It's up to the batters now. The Pakistan team has responded well to the adversity. The pressure of the Australians and moreso the dissapointment of the fans from all over the world who demended more from them, oh how well they have responded. This goes to show they care too and we must understan that, as much as we belittle them when they play badly, we must also commend them when they do well. Let's not get carried away thoguh, they still have to bat to put the Australians under pressure and we can only hope and support them. Well done MoYo and boys.

  • zahid malik on January 3, 2010, 13:57 GMT

    what a performance by mohammad sami and mohammad asif today at sydney and it reminds me 1977 when sarfraz and imran destroy the australian stong batting line up.today pakistani fast bowled beautifully on green top wicket and i did not surprised at all as i was suspecting that these kids will do something in this test. now our batsmens turn to show their determination and try to play positively and try to get maximum lead on this pitch to put pressure on australia kaneria can help pakistan to level the series. this is big oppertunity and pakistan must grab it and if our batsman did not play good then it will be difficult for pakistan to level the series. dont forget australian have very good attack and they have the ability to do the same as what our bowler did with their batting. i am sure with the bowling performance our batters morale rasied up also and they will play positively and solidly. all the nation is praying for them.

  • Roamer on January 3, 2010, 13:55 GMT

    I think Pakistani batsmen really need to apply themselves, and the thing which is missing in batting and bowling is application and staying focussed for a longer duration. They should bat out hour by hour if not session by session and build a lead. This is the best opportunity for all the batsmen to make their name, best of luck and hope they bat well tomorrow.

  • khurram on January 3, 2010, 13:49 GMT

    lets hope we can make anything in the slot of 250 + and then come back here to celebrate....

  • EAMiran on January 3, 2010, 13:43 GMT

    Ok Sami got it off the straight. Asif got a green top. Pakistan in a great position to force a win. Humble pie never tasted so good. The cattle prod seemed to have worked for Sami. Gul needs more violent coaxing as he is a tough walnut to crack.

    Million dollar question: Will Pakistan's batsmen @&*$ it up? Expect a palpably tense first session tomorrow.

  • adnan on January 3, 2010, 13:38 GMT

    100% agree with u kamran abassi..............thiz test r in hands of pak batsman....

  • Syed Jaffery on January 3, 2010, 13:36 GMT

    Great performance by Pakistan on the first day of the Sydney Test. It could have been worst for Australlia if Mohd Aamir is playing. I want to mention one old timer Rana Naveed as On this green top wicket he could be very handy too. But still there is a long way to go in this test and Australlia will be comming very hard on us. If we survive pre-Lunch session and take the score past 300 than it'll become really intresting. Pakistan have shown some determination on the first day and if they take it to the second day they can put Australlia under pressure. I hope the very best for the team and Congratulation to Mohd Asif on this Awsome performance.

  • Sami on January 3, 2010, 13:34 GMT

    i'm thinking 300 total so that we don't have to chase more than 100. weather forecast for tomorrow is good and the wicket will ease out in the next couple of days. i personally think Australia will touch 350 in the second inning.

  • Mehreen on January 3, 2010, 13:33 GMT

    Passion streamed like moonshine along a dreary sky of despair! A silken stroke of revenge indeed....kudos to our heroes!

  • Abdul on January 3, 2010, 13:27 GMT

    Very well come back by Sami. and very good bowling by him with Asif. we saw such a great spell by Pakistani bowlers first time after waseem and waqar.

  • Mustansar on January 3, 2010, 13:21 GMT

    Although conditions helped the bowlers, but they didn't get carried away and the disciplened bowling has put them in a commanding position.

    It'll be a very tough day for the batsmen. The pitch still has plenty in it for the bowlers. If Pakistan score 230, they'll have a substantial lead of 100 plus. A bit of patience, application and determination can help them clinch a phenomenal victory.

    Watson, Clark and Hauritz dismissal will stay in my memory forever. What an awesome bowling effort!

    Good Luck Pakistan.

  • Hasib Rahman on January 3, 2010, 13:19 GMT

    MJ North was plumb. Billy Doctrove raised fingers only to be turned down by faulty Video Umpire. Asif was the bowler and it was too frustrating for him. Moments like this can entirely demoralize the bowler and the very knowledgeable TV commentator Ian Chappel did mention the importance of keeping the bowler not breaking apart. Yousef did just that – helped Asif got through this stage. The result, we all know now. Point is Yousef has been great in this series so far, which doesn’t seem like will get any attention of one Kamran Abbasi who lives in the glory days of cricket when autocrat Imran used to rule.

  • Nasir Ulhaq on January 3, 2010, 13:12 GMT

    It is not the first time that the bowlers have done their job, this occasion has come many times before. It is only the batting that has let us down, it will be a miracle if our batsmen can do anything on this grassy wicket.

  • danish on January 3, 2010, 13:12 GMT

    Sami has always had the talent,no doubt. I feel that maybe playing alongside shoaib akthar never helped much. Sami was over agressive in his earlier days, but on day one of the sydney test, he seemed more collected and mature. Keen to prove his worth,and thats what he did! Also in Sami we have a brilliant fielder and a useful batsment number 6-8.

    p.s. hope to never see the likes of Adur Rauf ever again! take farhat out to he is not test material.Bring back Afridi,Younis,Asim and Razzaq. Pakistan will become a much stronger side! you will see inshahallah!

  • Nasir Ulhaq on January 3, 2010, 13:11 GMT

    It is not the first time that the bowlers have done their job, this occasion has come many times before. It is only the batting that has let us down, it will be a miracle if our batsmen can do anything on this grassy wicket.

  • Shaukat Ali from Dubai on January 3, 2010, 13:08 GMT

    Short but wonderfull article, We shall hope that our jackal become tiger by tomorrow and bat for whole day. I m sure if u get a lead of 200 odd runs then u'll win the match. I've rarely seen if our bowolerlet us down. Only worry is batting, fielding and politics of PCCB. Now a days, I heard there r 3 coaches with the team, I don't understand if u have Waqar with u then wut's the use of Aquib. GOD save all the institutions of the country from corrupt, decoits & politicians. We should not let this position down as Ausies don't come in a sitution everytime. If Pakistan have to win the match then our batter should concentrate on partnerships. GOOD LUCK GUYS PAKISTAN ZINDA BAAD

  • Ehsan bhutta on January 3, 2010, 13:03 GMT

    it was great to see pakistani bowlers on song but can our batsmen survive to their average of 250 remains to b seen.however one has to admire the efforts of Asif and Sami.waqar younus coaching is perhaps behind both to deliver on right places.otherwise one can easily be distracted and excited to see a green topp wicket.

  • Asim Khan on January 3, 2010, 12:55 GMT

    What a great day to be a Pakistani Cricket Fan!! Lets hope our batters can take the initiative and follow up Sami & Asif's good work. Reputations are made in Austrailia lets hope we can rise to the challenge and cement a famous victory.

  • Dr.M.S.A.Iyer on January 3, 2010, 12:54 GMT

    Great to see the two pacers rocking Aussies. 2 years back it was Ishanth. Last year Steyn. Now Asif. Also seeing the Aussies n SA struggling its good for Cricket as competition increases. Only thing that seperates the so called Big Three - Ind, SA & AUS from others is the consistency of good play. England, Sl and Pak have to try being consistent.

  • Bilal Saeed on January 3, 2010, 12:48 GMT

    Yes i know many have already said that the pitch and the conditions played a big part but credit should be given to the Pakistani bowlers for exploiting those conditions. You still have to bowl right lengths and they did. Fielding is still something of a major concerned. Second catch umar akmal has dropped at the most important position on the field. You need to have your best fielder there and im not really sure that entrusting a 19-year old with such a vital role is a wise decision. Anyway, thoroughly enjoyed the bowling after a long time. I have already watched the match twice so far. As i stated in my previous match comments, our bowling rocks and if we are backed up by our batsmen and fielders, i think we easily a top-3 material in most regards. Too soon to jump the gun, take it easy guys, post 400, declare and rout them out for under a 100.

  • AJ on January 3, 2010, 12:46 GMT

    Salam 'First great performance?' You obviously were not in Karachi, Centurion or Kandy Kamran. That is a tad harsh!

    Well done to the two, lets hope the batters can capitalise.

  • Sekhar on January 3, 2010, 12:34 GMT

    One Mohammed (Aamer) got injured and another (Sami) stood up to the challenge.Great going.Hope these two continue to shine in the team for some time.

  • Amim Ehsan on January 3, 2010, 12:24 GMT

    Pakistan must include Sami for Hobart Test Match. Its hard to visualise Umar Gul reinventing the rich repertoire and pace we have often associated with him. They still need to take 10 more wickets and Kaneria & co. does inspire confidence given that Sami wasnt allowed to operate from his preferred end and thankfully Asif continued to make inroads into Aus batting lineup.

    Sami, Asif and Aamer (if fit) should be Pakistan's pace trio for the next Test match. If pakistan takes a lead of 200, they should be able to win this test match. Their bowling is resourceful enough to claim 20 wickets (i.e. 10 more wickets in this match).

  • Masood Ahmed on January 3, 2010, 12:22 GMT

    salam walikum dr saab ,apparently your prognosis of sami fast bowling health has gone wrong u nearly were vindictive or biased against him , hope he proves you wrong more times than less, the plan should be to bat out Aussies by scoring atleast 350 runs , i was disappointed in giving respite to tail of Aussies , why were not pakistan able to wipe out the tail , that might prove costly

  • Ghalib Imtiyaz on January 3, 2010, 12:20 GMT

    A lot has been said about Sami's inclusion in the squad ( let alone in playing XI ) and Umar Gul's exclusion from the first Test XI. On today's evidence, it was evident that Gul struggled to reach more than 139 kph and he struggled to maintain pressure when Sami reduced an over hyped Australian lineup to 10 for 3.

    Mohammad Sami has pace and this is something Pakistan missedly badly in Melbourne. Aamer wasnt employed enough perhaps but how could they let Hauritz score 75 (his personal best) is beyond me.

    Averages are deceiving .. in the bygone era, umpires used to favour Australian team by incorrectly giving LBW decisions to visiting teams and that seems to be distant memory now. Although hawk eye did offer a lifeline .. justice was done as batsmen departed without contributing much to a meagre total. Whether Pakistan wins or not will depend on their batsmen (some of them have been guilty of dropping catches and will need to make amends with their bat). They need to score 350 to win.

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  • Ghalib Imtiyaz on January 3, 2010, 12:20 GMT

    A lot has been said about Sami's inclusion in the squad ( let alone in playing XI ) and Umar Gul's exclusion from the first Test XI. On today's evidence, it was evident that Gul struggled to reach more than 139 kph and he struggled to maintain pressure when Sami reduced an over hyped Australian lineup to 10 for 3.

    Mohammad Sami has pace and this is something Pakistan missedly badly in Melbourne. Aamer wasnt employed enough perhaps but how could they let Hauritz score 75 (his personal best) is beyond me.

    Averages are deceiving .. in the bygone era, umpires used to favour Australian team by incorrectly giving LBW decisions to visiting teams and that seems to be distant memory now. Although hawk eye did offer a lifeline .. justice was done as batsmen departed without contributing much to a meagre total. Whether Pakistan wins or not will depend on their batsmen (some of them have been guilty of dropping catches and will need to make amends with their bat). They need to score 350 to win.

  • Masood Ahmed on January 3, 2010, 12:22 GMT

    salam walikum dr saab ,apparently your prognosis of sami fast bowling health has gone wrong u nearly were vindictive or biased against him , hope he proves you wrong more times than less, the plan should be to bat out Aussies by scoring atleast 350 runs , i was disappointed in giving respite to tail of Aussies , why were not pakistan able to wipe out the tail , that might prove costly

  • Amim Ehsan on January 3, 2010, 12:24 GMT

    Pakistan must include Sami for Hobart Test Match. Its hard to visualise Umar Gul reinventing the rich repertoire and pace we have often associated with him. They still need to take 10 more wickets and Kaneria & co. does inspire confidence given that Sami wasnt allowed to operate from his preferred end and thankfully Asif continued to make inroads into Aus batting lineup.

    Sami, Asif and Aamer (if fit) should be Pakistan's pace trio for the next Test match. If pakistan takes a lead of 200, they should be able to win this test match. Their bowling is resourceful enough to claim 20 wickets (i.e. 10 more wickets in this match).

  • Sekhar on January 3, 2010, 12:34 GMT

    One Mohammed (Aamer) got injured and another (Sami) stood up to the challenge.Great going.Hope these two continue to shine in the team for some time.

  • AJ on January 3, 2010, 12:46 GMT

    Salam 'First great performance?' You obviously were not in Karachi, Centurion or Kandy Kamran. That is a tad harsh!

    Well done to the two, lets hope the batters can capitalise.

  • Bilal Saeed on January 3, 2010, 12:48 GMT

    Yes i know many have already said that the pitch and the conditions played a big part but credit should be given to the Pakistani bowlers for exploiting those conditions. You still have to bowl right lengths and they did. Fielding is still something of a major concerned. Second catch umar akmal has dropped at the most important position on the field. You need to have your best fielder there and im not really sure that entrusting a 19-year old with such a vital role is a wise decision. Anyway, thoroughly enjoyed the bowling after a long time. I have already watched the match twice so far. As i stated in my previous match comments, our bowling rocks and if we are backed up by our batsmen and fielders, i think we easily a top-3 material in most regards. Too soon to jump the gun, take it easy guys, post 400, declare and rout them out for under a 100.

  • Dr.M.S.A.Iyer on January 3, 2010, 12:54 GMT

    Great to see the two pacers rocking Aussies. 2 years back it was Ishanth. Last year Steyn. Now Asif. Also seeing the Aussies n SA struggling its good for Cricket as competition increases. Only thing that seperates the so called Big Three - Ind, SA & AUS from others is the consistency of good play. England, Sl and Pak have to try being consistent.

  • Asim Khan on January 3, 2010, 12:55 GMT

    What a great day to be a Pakistani Cricket Fan!! Lets hope our batters can take the initiative and follow up Sami & Asif's good work. Reputations are made in Austrailia lets hope we can rise to the challenge and cement a famous victory.

  • Ehsan bhutta on January 3, 2010, 13:03 GMT

    it was great to see pakistani bowlers on song but can our batsmen survive to their average of 250 remains to b seen.however one has to admire the efforts of Asif and Sami.waqar younus coaching is perhaps behind both to deliver on right places.otherwise one can easily be distracted and excited to see a green topp wicket.

  • Shaukat Ali from Dubai on January 3, 2010, 13:08 GMT

    Short but wonderfull article, We shall hope that our jackal become tiger by tomorrow and bat for whole day. I m sure if u get a lead of 200 odd runs then u'll win the match. I've rarely seen if our bowolerlet us down. Only worry is batting, fielding and politics of PCCB. Now a days, I heard there r 3 coaches with the team, I don't understand if u have Waqar with u then wut's the use of Aquib. GOD save all the institutions of the country from corrupt, decoits & politicians. We should not let this position down as Ausies don't come in a sitution everytime. If Pakistan have to win the match then our batter should concentrate on partnerships. GOOD LUCK GUYS PAKISTAN ZINDA BAAD