Pakistan vs Australia – Ponting’s decision was shocking, says Gul
Pakistan were on course to end their 15-year wait for a Test victory over Australia after just one day of the second Test at Headingley after they bowled out Ricky Ponting’s side for just 88.
Pakistan are 1/2 to defeat the Australia.
That measly total is their second lowest score ever against Pakistan and their lowest against anyone for 26 years – when an unrelenting West Indies attack skittled out the Aussies for 76.
Pakistan have lost their past 13 Test matches against Australia with their most recent success almost long-lost in the memory when they won in Sydney in 1995.
The knowledge of that record could inspire Australia to an unlikely victory – a 9/4 chance.
Their hopes of ending that losing sequence have never been greater, after 18-year-old left-armer Mohammad Aamer and Mohammad Asif claimed three wickets apiece, while Umar Gul chipped in with two.
After play closed for the day, seamer Gul described Australia captain Ricky Ponting’s decision to bat first at Headingley as “shocking”.
“The wicket looked a bit light this morning,” he said. “It looked a bit like a batting wicket. There was moisture under the wicket so I think it was a shocking decision.”
“When the clouds come it starts swinging and when the sun comes it is a bit flat and good for the batsmen. It all depends on the clouds when you can get some swing and seam.”
Australia subsequently crumbled to all out in just 33.1 overs and such a quick turnaround makes a draw, at 7/1, extremely improbable.
In reply Pakistan closed the day on 148/3, with captain Salman Butt making 45, Imran Farhat 43 and Azhar Ali 30. Umar Amin and Umar Akmal are at the crease on one and eight respectively.
Akmal hit a six over long-on from just the fifth ball he faced, before the bad light officially forced an end to an entertaining day’s play at 5.50pm.