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Pakistan vs Australia – Katich fifty keeps Aussies ticking

| 15.07.2010

Simon Katich scored his second half-century of the Test match as Australia stretched their lead over Pakistan to 293 by lunch on day three at Lord’s.

Katich, the crabby left-handed batsman, scored 80 in the first innings and was reached 83 second time round as Australia reached 188 for five.

The Aussie opener has now been dismissed for 83 by Umar Gul, but they still look a good cricket bet to get more than 256.5 runs, a 5/6 chance.

Gul had also claimed the only wicket of the morning – his 100th in Test cricket – when he bowled nightwatchman Mitchell Johnson for 30.

But Australia succeeded in steadily taking the game away from Pakistan, who had insisted that any second-innings target under 300 would be gettable despite being bowled out yesterday for 143.

That looks extremely hopeful and they have moved out to 6/1 to win the match, with Australia 1/12.

Johnson survived one close lbw appeal from Mohammad Asif before tucking into Mohammad Aamer with relish, clipping successive fours through the leg side before flat-batting another.

Gul initially attacked Johnson with a barrage of short-pitched bowling but it was against the swinging full delivery that the Australian struggled.

After having a strangled lbw shout turned down, Gul attempt at a yorker was over-pitched but Johnson never picked up the flight and his stumps were splayed by a dipping full toss.

Marcus North came to the wicket on a pair but Gul released the pressure with a soft leg stump delivery which he tucked away for a simple two.

North has now been caught behind off the bowling of Mohammad Asif, meaning Tim Paine and Steve Smith are at the crease. Paine is 11/10 to be out next, while Smith is 4/6.

Katich resumed unbeaten on 49 and anchored the second innings as he did Australia’s first, continuing his remarkably consistent form by scoring his 11th Test half-century in 17 innings.

Australia won all three Tests Down Under in January and this one looks to be going the same way. Or can Pakistan pull off the unlikeliest of comebacks? See the full Pakistan v Australia match betting market.



John Klee