Pakistan v Australia, 1st MCC Spirit of Cricket Test, Lord's, 2nd day July 14, 2010

All swinging from Afridi, no spinning from Smith


Afridi not afraid-i
Shahid Afridi walked to the crease for his first Test innings in nearly four years with Shane Watson sitting on the imposing figures of 2 for 0 from seven deliveries. But instead of going block-block, Boom Boom went bang-bang. Second ball, Afridi nonchalantly flicked a boundary over midwicket and followed with another four and a six. It was much the same in the next over, including a six over long-off, but Watson had the last laugh when Afridi was caught at mid-on trying to clear the infield again. It left Watson with the Twenty20-like figures of 3 for 30 from three overs, including a maiden, while Afridi departed with 31 from 15 balls in a 15-minute cameo. "That's probably the only way he knows how to play," Watson said. "That's the reason people love him but also people can get a little bit frustrated with him at times. I had no answers for a couple of overs. Every time I bowled a ball that I felt came out well he just hit it for four or six."

Able Tasmanians
This is the first time three Tasmanians have played in the Test team together, and they were in the thick of the action early on the second day. Ben Hilfenhaus started from the Pavilion End but was soon swung around to the Nursery End, and with his first delivery from that side he drew an edge behind from Imran Farhat. Tim Paine comfortably pouched the ball to register his first Test catch. Oh, and it was Ricky Ponting who switched Hilfenhaus to the Nursery End, where the slope worked in his favour.

Don't come in, spinner
There was considerable interest in how Steven Smith would bowl at Test level, but we'll have to wait until the second innings to find out. Such was the swing in the air and the success of Australia's pace attack that Ponting didn't require a single over of spin, as Pakistan were bundled out in the 41st over of their innings. Smith did manage a contribution in the field, though, when he stood at third slip and snaffled his first Test catch. It was the final wicket of the innings, which handed Watson a five-wicket haul.

Bollinger bubbles with enthusiasm
Doug Bollinger always charges in at full speed during his run-up, but he took his commitment to new levels with a chase off his own bowling. Danish Kaneria clipped the ball wide of the short-leg Simon Katich but there was nobody else in the vicinity, so Bollinger hared off (or should that be haired?) to haul the ball in himself. There's never a dull moment with Doug, and his ungraceful and unnecessary slide several metres inside the boundary, which the ball wouldn't have reached anyway, brought cheers from the crowd. He was left red-faced and puffing, but the tea break soon arrived and he had a chance to cool down.

Johnson banishes Lord's hoodoo
Lord's was the venue where Mitchell Johnson suffered an Ashes meltdown last year, at times struggling to land the ball on the pitch, but he exorcised some of those demons today. Johnson finished with figures of 1 for 31, but it didn't reflect his accuracy and the danger he posed to the batsmen. "He bowled beautifully today," Watson said. "You could see him working over the batsmen every single over. To see the control that he showed today, it was pretty special. He swung a few balls as well, when he got it absolutely perfectly. Just the way he was able to work over the batsmen with his bouncers, with his control of length and line, was pretty special to see. I got one of the best seats in the house fielding at first slip."

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • shoaib.shafique on July 15, 2010, 11:56 GMT

    After a long time i just hoped against hope that Pakistan's batting will click, as there are two new capped personals "Azhar" and "Amin" who should try to show their caliber, but eventually they failed to impress the young gun Umar Akmal was highly expected due to his form and approach to attach but again immaturity hasbeen deflected. What Kamran Akmal was doing to left a straight on, a mess. Afridi came and went in a quick firing fashion, is he playing T20Is or a test match? What impact will be on the youngsters in the team when he'll show this kind of approach in a tough situation. It has been consistent over the years the Pakistan's bowling giving more than 100 percent and batting just let us down on many occasions. I'll hope that Pakistan wouldn't been involved in a new test defeat history of all times 13. Still 2 1/2 days to go but i am not seeing that this test will last till the 5th day.

  • dummy4fb on July 15, 2010, 11:06 GMT

    Ricky Ponting is an absolute champion of the game who is not the batter he once is. He should stay in the Australian team and stay as captain but i think in order for him to keep performing he must drop down the batting order where there is less pressure on him to score. There are people who could replace him and do a good job, Shaun Marsh and Michael Clarke would be ideal replacements

  • Chris_P on July 15, 2010, 9:31 GMT

    @Lenin_Cricket. Tail? You mean Steve Smith who averages 50+ in first class and coming in to bat at number 9 or Tim Paine who averages 31 in first class cricket and has scored a ODI century for Australia as an opener and coming in at number 9? Not too shabby for tailenders I would suggest. And the Akmal brothers, whislt exceptional talent, are playing in conditions totally new to them and their technique against the swinging ball, based on the first innings, was very poor. All batsmen are struggling in the conditions due to exceptional bowling from both sides and the ball has dominated the bat totally to date. Can't see the conditions changing so any score over 200 is a plus.

  • jonesy2 on July 15, 2010, 9:18 GMT

    god you guys dont want to give last years lords test for johnson a rest do you. the way you exaggerate is ridiculous, he wasnt THAT bad i mean he was bad but if it was a pom it wouldve been a good performance haha

  • dummy4fb on July 15, 2010, 5:56 GMT

    Shahid Afridi had to take responsibility and bat for a longer time. In test cricket, in such situations, 20-run or 30-run cameos don't help much but if he'd stuck he could have got Pakistan nearer to Aussie total. Anyway, Afirdi is Afridi, and that won't change

  • Vivek.Bhandari on July 15, 2010, 4:21 GMT

    The Bollinger unfortunately was not mentioned in the commentary...which was sad to miss out...:-/

  • dummy4fb on July 15, 2010, 4:19 GMT

    Wonderful to watch Aamer swinging it both ways and nipping it around. What a player he is and certainly will become. Very sad to see one of the all-time greats in Ponting not to be up on that Lord's hounours board!

  • luv2smile on July 15, 2010, 4:00 GMT

    What I find hard to understand is why Pakistan continually persists with Imran Farhat? He's average is less than average for an opener and he had a shocking tour of Australia and yet he finds himself in the team! I mean are the Pakistani selectors that dumb or is this a big joke playing so many inexperienced players against a quality opposition and not one who averages over 50 in test cricket! Afridi was batting like he was playing a 20/20 match and there was no sense of maturity in his innings that one can say the youngsters in the team might learn from! I'm so disappointed because it will be the first time where Pakistan take 20 wickets and will lose this test match along with the series. The alarm bells are flashing already and if they want to do well against England then it might be time to recall at least Younis Khan back!

  • LENIN_CRICKET on July 15, 2010, 2:49 GMT

    It is going to be inexperienced Australians & Tail (Except Katich) going to bat on the 3rd Day.... Can't Expect Akmal Brothers flop once again....

  • LENIN_CRICKET on July 15, 2010, 2:46 GMT

    Wait and see 3rd Days play, and make your comments..........

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