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July 15, 2010
Talk about tail-end resistance. Australia's last four batsmen in the second innings each made their highest Test score. Admittedly, two of those players were on debut, so all they had to do was beat their effort from Monday. Steven Smith's 12 was good enough, as was Tim Paine's 47. Ben Hilfenhaus finished unbeaten on 56, which easily outdid his previous highest of 20, and Doug Bollinger's 21 was the first time he had reached double figures. Not a bad effort, considering Ricky Ponting's comments before the game. When asked if he could remember boasting a deeper batting line-up than Steven Smith and Mitchell Johnson at Nos. 8 and 9, Ponting replied: "The two after that aren't great".
Cutting in front of the captain
"Great" they may not have been, but Hilfenhaus has achieved something Ponting has not. The Australian skipper has never made a Test half-century at Lord's, although don't expect Hilfenhaus to start teasing his captain. "I don't think Hilf is smart enough to recognise that sort of stat," his great mate and fellow Tasmanian Tim Paine said. "I might let him know later on, so he can get into him if he wants. Hilf is certainly not one for stats, I wouldn't have thought." Hilfenhaus looked almost embarrassed when he registered his fifty with a flick through midwicket for three off Danish Kaneria, raising his bat barely above waist height. But he certainly won the crowd over with one of his strokes - a magnificent six cut over point off Mohammad Asif. He's now made two first-class half-centuries in the past month, after posting his first for Australia A in Brisbane last month.
Not quite the ball of the century
Shane Warne's first Test delivery on English soil will forever be remember for spinning the width of Mike Gatting, but Australia's newest legspinner didn't have exactly the same lasting impact in his first spell. Smith's first over of Test cricket was tidy, and he didn't have to wait long for his maiden wicket. The moment came with a short ball that Imran Farhat pulled generously straight to Shane Watson at midwicket. The Australians mobbed Smith, who was thrilled to get his first victim, even if it was arguably his worst ball of the over.
Tim pained by Umar goolies blow
It's always humorous when it happens to someone else. Early in Paine's innings he received a difficult delivery jagging back in from Umar Gul and the way the batsman folded in half left no doubt as to where he was struck. A good three or four minutes of deep breaths and squats followed, including a visit from the physio, who couldn't very well give any hands-on assistance, before Paine was finally able to resume.
Finding his feet - he lost them, you know
Paine looked composed in his 47 in the second innings, which combined with four catches has been a solid haul from his debut Test so far. It wasn't so easy as he battled to 7 on Tuesday. "My first innings as a batsman in Test cricket was a bit nerve-wracking," Paine said. "I couldn't feel my feet. I can't remember a great deal about it. I couldn't remember if I had marked centre, I had to ask Huss at one stage if I had. It was a bizarre feeling. I debuted last year in one-day cricket but I think Test cricket was a big occasion. I had some of my family here, so it probably got the better of me for the first 20 or 30 balls of my innings."
Gul raises century
Umar Gul troubled the Australian batsmen all innings, and not always by hitting them. He finished with 4 for 61 and his first wicket for the day was his hundredth in Tests. It was an inswinging low full toss that Mitchell Johnson was unable to keep out. When the stumps rattled, Gul had become the 14th Pakistan bowler to reach 100 Test wickets.
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