Australia, Pakistan test hangs in balance

Published: Saturday, November 20, 1999, 5:30 [IST]
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Hobart: The second cricket test between Australia and Pakistan was delicately poised at lunch on the third day at Hobart's Bellerive Oval. Pakistan, trailing Australia by 24 on the first innings, were 148 for three today in their second innings, holding an overall lead of 124 runs with seven wickets in hand.

Pakistan scored 87 runs in the session for the loss of two wickets after starting the day at 61-1. Nightwatchman Saqlain Mushtaq went for eight followed by opener Saeed Anwar for 78. Ijaz Ahmed was 23 not out at lunch with Izamam-Ul-Haq unbeaten on 11.

Australian leg spinner Shane Warne picked up both wickets. He dismissed Saqlain, who took six for 46 on Friday to bring Pakistan back into the game just as it seemed to be slipping away, when he trapped him leg before wicket with a top spinner. He then snared the vital wicket of Anwar with a superb delivery that pitched outside off stump and spun back onto his leg stump.

Anwar, who scored 61 and 119 in Pakistan's first test defeat, survived a stumping chance on 36 when he played forward and missed to Warne. Wicketkeeper Adam Gilchrist dislodged the bails just as Anwar stuck his toe on the line to get the benefit of the doubt from the third umpire.

Anwar shrugged off his close call to punish Australia's bowlers on a flat wicket offering little assistance to the pacemen. He reached his half-century -- his eighth against Australia in 13 test innings -- when he drove Glenn McGrath through mid-off for two and cleverly shepherded the strike away from Saqlain.

Together, they put on 50 valuable runs for the second wicket before Saqlain was deceived by Warne with the total on 100.


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