Pakistan vs Australia – Aamer and Asif tear through Aussie top order
Mohammad Asif and Mohammad Aamer took three wickets each on the opening day of Pakistan’s Test match with Australia at Lord’s to leave the ‘away’ side floundering on 229/9 at stumps.
Pakistan are regarded as the hosts due to terror threats on the subcontinent and have moved to 7/4 to win the match, just behind Australia on 5/4. With wickets tumbling freely a draw looks unlikely at 9/4.
Pakistan took six wickets after tea to leave Michael Hussey, on 39, and bowler Doug Bollinger on 0, as the men left at the crease and the Australia first innings on the brink of being a surprisingly low total.
Hussey averages 52.16 in Tests, though, and his trademark resilience could make backing a final score of over 239.5 runs a worthwhile bet.
Earlier in the day, Simon Katich and Michael Clarke had built a century third-wicket stand as Australia recovered from the loss of two early wickets to reach tea on 171 for three.
Mohammed Aamer dismissed Shane Watson and Ricky Ponting as Pakistan sought to capitalise on winning the toss under gloomy skies at Lord’s, which delayed the 10.30am by one and a half hours.
The 18-year-old dismissed Watson with a ball that nipped back to thud his back pad and hit the stumps and then Ponting, going on to collide with the Australia captain while celebrating.
Mohammad Asif unleashed a devestating spell either side of tea. He got his first wicket by trapping Clarke LBW on the last ball before tea and then sent Katich and Michael North (out for a duck) packing in his first over after the break.
Pakistan then took four wickets for 25 runs with Australia on 205. Umar Gul had Tim Paine caught behind, Danish Kaneria trapped Steven Smith LBW, then bowled Mitchell Johnson, with Aamer finishing the day’s play by bowling Ben Hilfenhaus.
Looking ahead to the Pakistan innings, it would be wise to put money on Salman Butt to be the team’s top scorer.
The opener made a century in the first innings of the final Test match between these two in January and is 4/1 to be the highest run-getter again.
Fancy 20-year-old Umar Akmal to continue the youthful success of Aamer and top score? He has a Test average of over 48 and is 4/1 to be Pakistan’s top scorer.