Pak v Aus, 2nd MCC Spirit of Cricket Test, Headingley, 1st day July 21, 2010

Chalo Headingley, and Gul's bunny

Chalo Chalo Headingley chalo ... one of the advertising boards. It was a good slogan, written in the green and white Pakistan colours, urging the fans to fill Headingley. It was fitting, too, considering the Pakistani domination on the first day. Sadly the ground remained 75% empty despite the heroics of Pakistan's fast bowling pack in the morning. Perhaps that had something to do with the tickets selling for a prohibitive 30 quid, a big deterrent for devoted fans across England.

Hilf, the hat-trick halter
When Ben Hilfenhaus strode to the crease to face the hat-trick ball from Mohammad Aamer, it was a familiar feeling. Hilfenhaus is in only his 11th Test but he had already needed to negotiate a hat-trick delivery, at The Oval last year when Steve Harmison was aiming to regain the Ashes with three wickets in three balls. On that occasion, Hilfenhaus blocked the ball solidly away and he also survived this time around, though with a little less conviction. Aamer had just knocked back the stumps of Steven Smith and Mitchell Johnson with the first two balls after lunch, and another delivery on line would have given him a great chance of the hat-trick. But Aamer angled it across Hilfenhaus, who played and missed.

Smart move
Salman Butt took a leaf out of Ricky Ponting's book of captaincy when he introduced Umar Amin, part-time medium pacer, five overs before lunch. It did seem a little strange considering Umar Gul's short spell lasted just five overs and Danish Kaneria was yet to bowl. But just like Marcus North had struck on the stroke of lunch at Lord's, Amin got the crucial breakthrough in the penultimate over before the end of the first session when he drew North forward and induced a thick edge off a neat outswinger which was snapped brilliantly by the steadily improving Kamran Akmal.

Gul's bunny
When it comes to long vigils, Michael Hussey has shown on several occasions that he has the mental fortitude necessary to cling, limpet-like, to the crease in a tough situation. But Umar Gul has managed to breach Hussey's supreme powers of concentration more than anyone else in the past year. Today Hussey was the victim of a rare bad decision by Rudi Koertzen after HawkEye predicted Gul's inswinging delivery, which hit Hussey flush on the front pad, would miss the leg stump. But in the past 12 months Gul has got the better of Hussey on five occasions across three formats and can proudly hold the Australian as one of his bunnies.

Nagraj Gollapudi and Brydon Coverdale are assistant editors at Cricinfo