Pak v Aus, 2nd MCC Spirit of Cricket Test, Headingley, 2nd day July 22, 2010

Australia chase another great escape

24

It's 103 years since a team won a Test having been bowled out for 88 or less in the first innings of the match. It's only six months since Pakistan last squandered a lead that should have been match-winning.

The Australians are not looking back a century as they embark on the third day at Headingley, where, remarkably, they became the bookmakers' favourites a day after being skittled for their lowest score in 26 years. Shane Watson dragged Australia back into the match with a six-wicket haul before Ricky Ponting led a batting counterattack, and despite taking a 170-run first-innings advantage, the ghosts of their Sydney meltdown could still haunt Pakistan.

"We have seen it before and it might bring back some memories to Pakistan of the Test match in Sydney a few months ago," Watson said. "They know exactly our fighting spirit as a team and what we are able to really turnaround from that Test in Sydney.

"I think that will really start to creep into their minds over the next day or so especially with Ricky and Michael [Clarke] batting very nicely at the moment. We know there is still a lot of hard work to go in this Test and hopefully we will continue to do that over the next couple of days and get the result like we did in Sydney."

The SCG result will certainly be on the minds of the seven Pakistan players in this match who were also present in January. It was certainly being considered by their coach Waqar Younis, who was not in charge back then, and he is confident that with early wickets his men can avoid a repeat.

"We had such a Test match back in Sydney recently so we don't really want to get into that sort of situation," Waqar said. "We don't want to lose this Test match. We're still 34 runs ahead of them, they have to start getting runs on top of us, so it's still very much an open game for us. Tomorrow, first session is a very important one. If we fetch a couple of wickets it'll do us good."

The key for Australia is Ponting, who survived a close lbw shout from his first ball when he offered no shot to Mohammad Aamer. Ponting dug in to register the first half-century of the match and by the close of the second day, he and his vice-captain Clarke had delivered Australia a sniff of victory, although Waqar knows removing Ponting will spark the Pakistan bowlers.

"If you look at the last Test he struggled against the swing bowling but [today] he managed to get out of that period where we were looking to get him out," Waqar said. "He's got 12,000 runs, you've got to give him credit. He's a class act, and he's looking good, definitely a danger-man for us. If we can fetch him early morning it will be a different story."

Brydon Coverdale is a staff writer at Cricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dmqi on July 24, 2010, 11:16 GMT

    Ha, Ha. How is my prediction above written on day3, I said Australia will give a tough fight and Pakistan will win by 1-3 wickets. They did win by 3 wickets but the Australian caused their hearts to come to their mouths. I think I am getting some secret feedback from the Octopus about predicting results. In the first test I said on day 2 that australia will win by 145 runs.They won by 150. Should i start a prediction business instead of my teaching profession?

  • Agnar on July 23, 2010, 17:56 GMT

    Did Cricinfo chose the head line "Pakistan face anxious overnight wait" to scare Pakistan team. Australian team is an excellent cricket team, but they are not gods. Why couldn't the head line be "Pakistan closing in on Australia" or "Pakistan hope to level the series"?

  • on July 23, 2010, 17:46 GMT

    Not this time. Inshallah we will WIN.

  • cricpolitics on July 23, 2010, 17:42 GMT

    The better team will win and so far it's been the Pakistanis who have played better cricket than Australians in all the departments in this match.

  • Aussasinator on July 23, 2010, 17:08 GMT

    Wishful thinking! The perennial Australian optimism.

  • pickateamonform on July 23, 2010, 17:00 GMT

    When are the australian selectors going to pick a team on form? m north has to be struggling? he only averaged 24 from 12 inns at state level against misely grade cricket bowlers (p george ave 30 with the ball and somehow is on holiday in england....?) give a young bloke a go...Khawaja made 700 runs @ 63 in shield but will watch from the sidelines and we continue to ignore young talent!!! speaking of young talent, how do b cutting(qld) and t copeland(nsw) get overlooked for a free holiday when george,with no exciting statistics boards a flight to london! Cutting took 46 wkts @ 24 and copeland 35 @ 17 in just 5 matches compared with george, unmarketable and averaging over 30 at state level! Surely a test cap is worth more than a mediocre season in state cricket...

  • dmqi on July 23, 2010, 14:44 GMT

    Alright, the stage is set. Australia takes a lead of 179 runs. Tha paniky Pak team forgot how to bowl to Smith. The last 4 australian players scored 129 runs. If the top 4 Pak players can score that many runs, they might have a 50:50 chance as the australian fielding will be extremely good. Butt can take a lesson from this. Bowling will be tough too. If pak can match the australian fire works, and stop throwing wickets to catch the plane, they can win by 1-3 wickets. That is my prediction before the start of the final Innings.

  • on July 23, 2010, 10:09 GMT

    The chasing a total is always a problem for Pakistan (what so ever chasing total) and on very few occasion they were able to chase a good total. I remember once Pakistan has to chase against England probably at Karachi and score was just around 70 and Pakistan lost 7 wickets in chasing that total. In my personal opinion, Pakistani team needs more training on how to keep nerves in tense situation like Imran and Javed Miandad did several times.

  • miv1 on July 23, 2010, 9:05 GMT

    Akmal brothers should learn something from afridi and retire from tests. Afridi can be more reliable than umar akmal while kamran cant keep the wickets beyond 30th over.

  • justroundthecorner on July 23, 2010, 8:51 GMT

    It was good while it lasted....but expecting this Pakistani team to win was asking for a little too much, sanity reigns again.

  • dmqi on July 24, 2010, 11:16 GMT

    Ha, Ha. How is my prediction above written on day3, I said Australia will give a tough fight and Pakistan will win by 1-3 wickets. They did win by 3 wickets but the Australian caused their hearts to come to their mouths. I think I am getting some secret feedback from the Octopus about predicting results. In the first test I said on day 2 that australia will win by 145 runs.They won by 150. Should i start a prediction business instead of my teaching profession?

  • Agnar on July 23, 2010, 17:56 GMT

    Did Cricinfo chose the head line "Pakistan face anxious overnight wait" to scare Pakistan team. Australian team is an excellent cricket team, but they are not gods. Why couldn't the head line be "Pakistan closing in on Australia" or "Pakistan hope to level the series"?

  • on July 23, 2010, 17:46 GMT

    Not this time. Inshallah we will WIN.

  • cricpolitics on July 23, 2010, 17:42 GMT

    The better team will win and so far it's been the Pakistanis who have played better cricket than Australians in all the departments in this match.

  • Aussasinator on July 23, 2010, 17:08 GMT

    Wishful thinking! The perennial Australian optimism.

  • pickateamonform on July 23, 2010, 17:00 GMT

    When are the australian selectors going to pick a team on form? m north has to be struggling? he only averaged 24 from 12 inns at state level against misely grade cricket bowlers (p george ave 30 with the ball and somehow is on holiday in england....?) give a young bloke a go...Khawaja made 700 runs @ 63 in shield but will watch from the sidelines and we continue to ignore young talent!!! speaking of young talent, how do b cutting(qld) and t copeland(nsw) get overlooked for a free holiday when george,with no exciting statistics boards a flight to london! Cutting took 46 wkts @ 24 and copeland 35 @ 17 in just 5 matches compared with george, unmarketable and averaging over 30 at state level! Surely a test cap is worth more than a mediocre season in state cricket...

  • dmqi on July 23, 2010, 14:44 GMT

    Alright, the stage is set. Australia takes a lead of 179 runs. Tha paniky Pak team forgot how to bowl to Smith. The last 4 australian players scored 129 runs. If the top 4 Pak players can score that many runs, they might have a 50:50 chance as the australian fielding will be extremely good. Butt can take a lesson from this. Bowling will be tough too. If pak can match the australian fire works, and stop throwing wickets to catch the plane, they can win by 1-3 wickets. That is my prediction before the start of the final Innings.

  • on July 23, 2010, 10:09 GMT

    The chasing a total is always a problem for Pakistan (what so ever chasing total) and on very few occasion they were able to chase a good total. I remember once Pakistan has to chase against England probably at Karachi and score was just around 70 and Pakistan lost 7 wickets in chasing that total. In my personal opinion, Pakistani team needs more training on how to keep nerves in tense situation like Imran and Javed Miandad did several times.

  • miv1 on July 23, 2010, 9:05 GMT

    Akmal brothers should learn something from afridi and retire from tests. Afridi can be more reliable than umar akmal while kamran cant keep the wickets beyond 30th over.

  • justroundthecorner on July 23, 2010, 8:51 GMT

    It was good while it lasted....but expecting this Pakistani team to win was asking for a little too much, sanity reigns again.

  • Perplexed on July 23, 2010, 8:12 GMT

    This article sums up what the cricketing world thinks of Pakistan and Australia. If SA, England, India or Sri Lanka had had Australia in this position there would not be any talk of victory for Australia, but rather how long they can stave off defeat.

    I wish Pakistan could return to such standing on world cricket; we all need them to.

  • azhar_hassan on July 23, 2010, 8:05 GMT

    Pakistan lost the first test with a poor batting display on the second day. And in the second test, after getting AUS all out for 88, they gifted back the intiative to the Aussies with yet another spineless batting display on day 2. And you don't have to give the Aussies a second inivitation to get back into the match. What can one say, PAK just don't have the attitude, mental toughness and discipline to win despite all the talent and potential.

  • Badreshian on July 23, 2010, 7:47 GMT

    Vikki Bhai (Waqar) please get rid of these insensible players like akmals and shoaib as they dont deserve a place in the test side. Look what they have done to my country as the whole fans were desperately looking for a win against Ozs. Our bowlers have done wonders by getting rid of them in the first inning but still we are in a terrible position. Even with this batting line I am not sure that we get the 150 mark; if given by the Ozs. I have played cricket at the district level, but even I can understand the situation and could have better responded. They were crazy, coming out and hitting the ball from ball one and eventually got out. We were discussing among the friends that they would soon be out and extactly that happened. Come on this is not street level cricket, you are playing for Pakistan. Its better for us to leave watching this cricket other wise we would get some mental or heart problem. As a Pak fan, I am extremely disappointed and heart broken......

  • cricpolitics on July 23, 2010, 5:24 GMT

    Australians should be reminded that they did not turn around the Sydney test, it was the fragile Pakistan team who did the honors.

  • natmastak_so-called on July 23, 2010, 5:23 GMT

    its being habitual to aus to find themselves in such condition,though it is not hurting them as they hav got players to overcome that.

  • PW-Roolz on July 23, 2010, 5:18 GMT

    >>>"We have seen it before and it might bring back some memories to Pakistan of t>>>the Test match in Sydney a few months ago," Watson

    There I was in my naivety thinking it was the "Bookies" who decided the result.

  • Omarrz on July 23, 2010, 4:39 GMT

    Dream on Pakistan... we don't deserve to win this one at all... after another miserable display by the batsmen...!

  • on July 23, 2010, 4:27 GMT

    I pity Pakistan, looks like another Sydney that is imminent. Hussey is going to take the game away from Pakistan.

  • dmqi on July 23, 2010, 3:05 GMT

    Ponting escaped a close call at the very first ball he faced and that could be the difference. If he had to leave, aus could be in trouble. Pak batsmen after the opening pair, specially the experienced or semi-experienced ones failed to score. The Pak bowlers did not do what one australian bowler was able to do. So the writing is on the wall. Waker's assessment may be proved to be wrong if Australia can get a lead of 160-170 runs. This Pak team may not have the nerves to score that target. Pak only hope is the new comers and the in form Captain, when it comes to score runs. But cricket is unpredictable. And we look forward to an exciting finish.

  • 68704 on July 23, 2010, 3:00 GMT

    Surely not again! Australia deserves to lose this one, for Ponting"s disastrous decision to bat first. I think Ponting needs to be told that there is no Warne who needed to bowl on the last day to turn the tide. There are no Haydens, Gilchrists,Martyns and Langers around to bat first and revive even after being 80 for 5. If this team is 60 for 5 as it was that day, it will be 88 all out and that is what happened. It is too dependent on katich and when he fails the team comes down like a pack of cards.Australia have been well served by Watson with the ball and the Pakistanis with their madness. If only they had the right batsmen in place, with their phenomenal bowling in English conditions at least, there will be no more jailbreaks. A lot will depend on the weather , If it starts sunny then Australia can still swing it, but if it is like the first day then Australia will come a cropper and the person to be blamed is their captain for his foolhardy decision to bat first! sridhar

  • obstreperous on July 22, 2010, 23:44 GMT

    I find the current situation a riotous joy. Australia is effectively two for nothing in its second innings, after scoring its lowest first-innings score since the 1980s. The Pakistan bowlers are bending the ball like a banana, Ricky Ponting is supposed to be ready for the scrap-heap and there's oodles of time left in the game. Yet the commentary today is all about whether Pakistan can stop Australia from winning! I just love it. I think Pakistan will probably win but it's nice to know that my team, down on one knee and looking shaky, has still got them worried. To become consistently good at Test cricket, Pakistan has to remember how to play well for four innings in a row. In contrast, Australia just can't forget it.

  • Tansah on July 22, 2010, 23:33 GMT

    Get R. Ponting out! He's good... really good at taking the game away from the opposition. 12,000 Test runs gives you a good idea of why I said that. I think more wickets fell in the morning sessions than in the afternoon/evenings sessions... it swings more.

    COME ON PAKISTAN!!!

  • Yassar on July 22, 2010, 21:49 GMT

    It's amazing the mental state Pakistan seem to have got themselves into when playing Australia. Here they are on top of Australia yet the talk is about Australia potentially winning this. This talk is absoloutly correct based on previous history but no way should it be. The key here of course will be Pakistan's batting not Australia's bowling. Pakistan's batting can self destruct without any help or prompts from the opposition bowling as we saw in this 1st innings here and in Lords where part timers rolled them over. We hear the Pakistan set up talking about in-experience and that has a part to play, but the real problem is none of the batsman bar Salman Buttt have the temparment to play test match innings. They need Younis and Yousuf and the young players to learn from them on how to play test match innings. Umar Akmal is a case in play..great talent but no temparement at the moment on playing test cricket.

  • on_the_level on July 22, 2010, 21:18 GMT

    The great escape will no doubt be facilitated by the back door being left open by Rudi Koertzen.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • on_the_level on July 22, 2010, 21:18 GMT

    The great escape will no doubt be facilitated by the back door being left open by Rudi Koertzen.

  • Yassar on July 22, 2010, 21:49 GMT

    It's amazing the mental state Pakistan seem to have got themselves into when playing Australia. Here they are on top of Australia yet the talk is about Australia potentially winning this. This talk is absoloutly correct based on previous history but no way should it be. The key here of course will be Pakistan's batting not Australia's bowling. Pakistan's batting can self destruct without any help or prompts from the opposition bowling as we saw in this 1st innings here and in Lords where part timers rolled them over. We hear the Pakistan set up talking about in-experience and that has a part to play, but the real problem is none of the batsman bar Salman Buttt have the temparment to play test match innings. They need Younis and Yousuf and the young players to learn from them on how to play test match innings. Umar Akmal is a case in play..great talent but no temparement at the moment on playing test cricket.

  • Tansah on July 22, 2010, 23:33 GMT

    Get R. Ponting out! He's good... really good at taking the game away from the opposition. 12,000 Test runs gives you a good idea of why I said that. I think more wickets fell in the morning sessions than in the afternoon/evenings sessions... it swings more.

    COME ON PAKISTAN!!!

  • obstreperous on July 22, 2010, 23:44 GMT

    I find the current situation a riotous joy. Australia is effectively two for nothing in its second innings, after scoring its lowest first-innings score since the 1980s. The Pakistan bowlers are bending the ball like a banana, Ricky Ponting is supposed to be ready for the scrap-heap and there's oodles of time left in the game. Yet the commentary today is all about whether Pakistan can stop Australia from winning! I just love it. I think Pakistan will probably win but it's nice to know that my team, down on one knee and looking shaky, has still got them worried. To become consistently good at Test cricket, Pakistan has to remember how to play well for four innings in a row. In contrast, Australia just can't forget it.

  • 68704 on July 23, 2010, 3:00 GMT

    Surely not again! Australia deserves to lose this one, for Ponting"s disastrous decision to bat first. I think Ponting needs to be told that there is no Warne who needed to bowl on the last day to turn the tide. There are no Haydens, Gilchrists,Martyns and Langers around to bat first and revive even after being 80 for 5. If this team is 60 for 5 as it was that day, it will be 88 all out and that is what happened. It is too dependent on katich and when he fails the team comes down like a pack of cards.Australia have been well served by Watson with the ball and the Pakistanis with their madness. If only they had the right batsmen in place, with their phenomenal bowling in English conditions at least, there will be no more jailbreaks. A lot will depend on the weather , If it starts sunny then Australia can still swing it, but if it is like the first day then Australia will come a cropper and the person to be blamed is their captain for his foolhardy decision to bat first! sridhar

  • dmqi on July 23, 2010, 3:05 GMT

    Ponting escaped a close call at the very first ball he faced and that could be the difference. If he had to leave, aus could be in trouble. Pak batsmen after the opening pair, specially the experienced or semi-experienced ones failed to score. The Pak bowlers did not do what one australian bowler was able to do. So the writing is on the wall. Waker's assessment may be proved to be wrong if Australia can get a lead of 160-170 runs. This Pak team may not have the nerves to score that target. Pak only hope is the new comers and the in form Captain, when it comes to score runs. But cricket is unpredictable. And we look forward to an exciting finish.

  • on July 23, 2010, 4:27 GMT

    I pity Pakistan, looks like another Sydney that is imminent. Hussey is going to take the game away from Pakistan.

  • Omarrz on July 23, 2010, 4:39 GMT

    Dream on Pakistan... we don't deserve to win this one at all... after another miserable display by the batsmen...!

  • PW-Roolz on July 23, 2010, 5:18 GMT

    >>>"We have seen it before and it might bring back some memories to Pakistan of t>>>the Test match in Sydney a few months ago," Watson

    There I was in my naivety thinking it was the "Bookies" who decided the result.

  • natmastak_so-called on July 23, 2010, 5:23 GMT

    its being habitual to aus to find themselves in such condition,though it is not hurting them as they hav got players to overcome that.