Close Australia 191 for 4 (Hayden 74*) lead Pakistan 59(Warne 4-11) by 132 runs
Sharjah is supposed to be Pakistan's home from home, but on a dramatic first day Australia took complete control of the second Test. Their bowlers countered the oppressive heat by taking only 31.5 overs to bowl out Pakistan for 59, their lowest Test total, before their batsmen took charge. They could even afford to lose Steve Waugh for a golden duck in his 150th Test.
The Australian bowling was outstanding, but some lacklustre batting certainly helped their cause. Less than a week after almost pulling off a remarkable win in Colombo, Pakistan were in tatters.
Waqar Younis won the toss and had little hesitation in batting on a pitch which he described as having "nothing in it", but Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee were superb from the outset. Within two overs they had dismissed both openers, who as in the first Test both recorded ducks. Imran Nazir's suspect footwork was exploited by McGrath, courtesy of a catch at first slip by Shane Warne (0 for 1), and then Taufeeq Umar lost his middle stump to Brett Lee (1 for 2).
The real panic set in, however, when Younis Khan, Pakistan's most experienced batsman, flashed at a ball from McGrath that pitched a foot outside off and seamed away, got a thick edge and Andy Bichel took the catch low at his ankle at gully. He had made just 5 and Pakistan were 8 for 3.
What followed thereafter was a procession, a minor recovery which took Pakistan to 41 for 4 being ended by Shane Warne. In 11 overs in the intense heat Warne took 4 for 11, unveiling his full repertoire against batsmen who had little clue and even less resolve.
Steve Waugh was at his shrewd best, using his pace bowlers in one-over bursts to conserve their energy while Warne sealed up the other end. Pakistan's innings was all over shortly after lunch, when Lee steamed in to bowl Danish Kaneria. Pakistan fell three runs short of their previous-lowest total, which was also against Australia: 62 at Perth in 1981-82. Only Abdul Razzaq, with 21, and extras (14) reached double figures.
Australia's openers soon set about putting the pitch in its proper context. Justin Langer smacked Kaneria for a big six, and his partnership with Matthew Hayden had reached 55 when Langer fell in unfortunate circumstances, run out backing up for 37. Hayden offered a simple return chance to Kaneria, who inadvertently fumbled it back onto the stumps, with Langer still out of his ground.
Hayden made the most of his reprieve, though, plundering Kaneria on the way to another half-century. He added 90 for the second wicket in 22 overs with Ricky Ponting, before Australia suffered another spectacular middle-order collapse: three wickets for three runs in eight balls.
Ponting padded up to a Kaneria googly and was lbw for 44 (145 for 2), and then the Waugh brothers fell to consecutive deliveries from Saqlain Mushtaq. Mark was lbw for 2, and Steve was distinctly unimpressed to be given out caught at silly mid-off by the substitute Imran Farhat..
Damien Martyn survived the hat-trick ball, and he and Hayden saw things through until bad light brought about an early close, by which time Australia's lead had reached imposing proportions. Before the match, Waqar spoke mischievously about what this pitch might do in the fourth innings. He fulfilled his side of the bargain by winning the toss and batting, but after one of Test cricket's more one-sided first days, he is unlikely to see the fruits of his labour.