Hobart: Inzamam-ul-Haq scored a brilliant unbeaten century to put Pakistan in the driving seat on the third day of the second cricket test against Australia at Hobart's Bellerive Oval today.
The 29-year-old middle-order batsman made 116 not out as Pakistan put Australia to the sword, piling on the runs to reach 351 for seven in their second innings for an overall lead of 327 with two days to go. Pakistan need to win the match to square the three-game series after losing the first test in Brisbane by 10 wickets.
Australia will probably need to post a record fourth innings total to clinch the series. The only time Australia have successfully chased more to win a home test was in 1977-78 when they made 342 batting fourth against India in Perth. Inzamam came to the crease before lunch with Pakistan on 122-3 after the Australians, who led by 24 on the first innings, had picked up the wickets of nightwatchman Saqlain Mushtaq for eight and opener Saeed Anwar for 78.
He began cautiously but soon found his rhythm on a flat track ideal for batting, swinging the game the tourists' way with a masterful display. He passed 50 after lunch then brought up his first test hundred against Australia, and his eighth overall, 40 minutes before stumps when he worked Shane Warne through mid-wicket for two runs, raising his bat in the air.
He finished the day undefeated after an innings spanning 272 minutes and 186 balls and featuring 12 fours. Anwar and Ijaz Ahmed also scored half-centuries on a day in which the bat reigned supreme. Anwar survived a stumping chase in the third over of the day before adding to his overnight score of 36 before he departed for 78, bowled by a Warne with a superb delivery that pitched outside off stump and spun back onto his leg stump.
Warne also dismissed Saqlain, who took six for 46 on Friday to bring Pakistan back into the match just as it seemed to be slipping away. He was trapped him leg before wicket with a top spinner before lunch.