Pakistan vs Australia – explosive Smith revives Australian hopes
Pakistan need 180 to win the second Test, after a fiery knock of 77 from Steven Smith gave Australia a fighting chance at Headingley.
Australia were teetering on 217 for six when Smith came to the crease, and the all-rounder’s pugnacious 100-ball innings dragged his side into contention with Australia eventually all out for 349.
At 9/4 to win, Australia have dug themselves out of a hole, and Pakistan could find it tough going to reach their target of 180 on an unpredictable Headingley pitch.
Pakistan are 1/3 favourites to win the match, but as they showed at Lord’s in the first Test, they are a side with an almost peerless capacity for self-destruction.
Teenage seamer Mohammad Aamer had earlier grabbed three morning-session wickets to steal the initiative for Pakistan on the third day of an absorbing second Test.
Australia began the day 34 runs in arrears but with skipper Ricky Ponting and Michael Clarke at the crease threatening to build an unlikely lead after they were bowled out for just 88 on the opening day.
But 18-year-old Aamer removed three Australians, including Ponting, in the space of 16 balls before they could get into the black.
Clarke remained to keep alive Australia’s hopes of building a defendable lead as he reached 77 – the joint-highest score of the match – and with Tim Paine he seemed to have stabled the Australian innings.
Wickets continued to fall, however, with Danish Kaneria joining Aamer and Mohammad Asif among the Pakistani wicket-takers.
Smith then saved face for the Baggy Greens, setting Pakistan the tricky total of 180 to chase.
Pakistan have a reputation for throwing games away, but can they come good this time? They are 1/3 to beat Australia. See the full Pakistan vs Australia market.