June 23, 2001

Pakistan struggling after falling for 152

Pakistan's innings, in the presence of a full house at Lord's, could be regarded as an anti-climax for the NatWest Series final. The combined pace and spin attack of Australia dismissed them in just 42.3 overs for a modest 152.

Pakistan failed to match the flying start they got off to in their previous match when they had 61 on the board without loss. This morning they lost four wickets before reaching that score with Australia striking important early blows. The opening batsmen were both dismissed in the first hour's play within fifteen overs.

Despite choosing to bat first in fine condtions - it was sunny and warm - on a pitch which had a tinge of green on it and offered some pace and bounce, Pakistan batsmen were unable to settle in.

Salim Elahi was the first to fall, with the total on 28, getting an outside edge to a ball from Glenn McGrath which appeared to be lifting a little. After the addition of 19 runs, Saeed Anwar played a poor shot, lofting the ball to mid-off and Pakistan were two wickets down for 47.

There was further disasters for them when, with the total on 60, two wickets went down. Yousuf Youhana was sent back by Inzamam-ul-Haq, who has never been renowned for his running between the wickets, and Youhana had little chance of getting back as the direct hit came from Ricky Ponting.

Four balls later, Brett Lee had Younis Khan caught low at first slip without scoring. Halfway through their knock - 25 overs - Pakistan were 78 for four and battling hard to steady the innings.

Abdur Razzaq's aggressive strokes brought him four quick boundaries but with Pakistan on 92, he mistimed his pull to be caught at short mid-wicket.

With Inzamam and Azhar Mahmood going within eight runs of each other, both falling to the leg spin of Shane Warne, Pakistan were 110 for seven and any hopes that they may have held of a recovery were rapidly diminishing.

Yet the highest partnership of the innings followed, with a 41-run stand. It ended with Rashid Latif being bowled by Warne for 23 with the total on 151. A run later the last two wickets fell with 7.3 overs still remaining.