Aussies decimate Waqar's men inside two days
Australia inflicted on Pakistan the country's first-ever defeat in less than two days by winning the second Test by an innings and 198 runs to take an unbeatable 2-0 lead in the three-Test series at the boiling Sharjah Stadium Saturday.
And for the second day running, Pakistan were bowled out for lowest-ever total of 53 with Abdul Razzaq unable to continue his innings due to a fractured wrist.
As the mercury soared to 51 Celsius inside the stadium Pakistan batsmen found out both the surroundings and the Australian attack too hot to handle as the second innings lasted just 24.5 overs.
In the first innings Pakistan batted for 31.5 overs in making 59.
In two innings Pakistan occupied the crease for a mere 56.4 overs which shows the total capitulation of batting.
To describe Pakistan's display especially by the batsmen anything but shameful, gutless and nothing better than a club side would not be an exaggeration or outlandish. It was simply pathetic that too on a wicket favouring batsmen.
It was a similar story in the second innings. The rot started with a horrendous run out of opener Taufiq Umar, who in the process bagged a pair. To set the tone for worse to come after Pakistan bowlers did a commendable job to restrict Australia to 310, conceding a lead of 251.
From then on it was a procession as the wickets fell like nine pins as only Misbah-ul-Haq and Imran Nazir managed to reach double figures.
Pakistan for the second time failed to come to terms with either the Australian pace attack or the spin wizard Shane Warne who repeated his first innings performance grabbing four for 13, two more runs than he conceded in the first innings, off just 6.5 overs. He had match figures of eight for 24 which illustrates his dominance over the leaden-footed and abject Pakistani batsmen.
Warne was simply unplayable and none of the Pakistan batsmen possessed the technique to counter his mixed-bag of flippers, googlies and sharply turning leg-breaks.
In two Tests so far Warne has captured 19 wickets and he is likely to haunt the Pakistanis in the third Test starting from Oct 19.
Earlier, the Australian innings was dominated by opener Matthew Hayden who went on to score his first century against Pakistan in his second Test against Waqar's men. The attractive left-hander was out for 119 having batted 255 minutes hitting nine fours and one six in a stay of 433 minutes. He was rightly named Man-of-the-Match.
Off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq again bowled well and was the only bowler to contain the Australians as he claimed the third four-wicket haul of the series. His four wickets this time cost him 83 runs in 34 overs. Razzaq captured three for 22 as he cleaned up the tail.
But the biggest disappointments were 'self-proclaimed best fast bowler of the world' Shoaib Akhtar and leg-spinner Danish Kaneria.
Shoaib at times reduced to bowling fast off-breaks took the wicket of Adam Gilchrist for 42 runs from 14 overs while Kaneria was too expensive as he gave away 116 runs for his one wicket off 26 overs.
With the series already decided and Australia having proved beyond a shadow of doubt, to be several notches better it will require something extraordinary from a demoralised and decimated Pakistan to come back and put up a decent fight in the third Test.