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Pakistan fighting back in world record chase

 Pakistan's Mohammad Asif, centre, celebrates the wicket of Australia's Marcus North, right, during the 3rd day of the first test match between Pakist...
 Australia's Simon Katich plays a shot off the bowling of Pakistan's Muhammad Amir during the 3rd day of the first Test match between Pakistan and Aus...
 Pakistan's Umar Gul celebrates taking the wicket of Australia's Mitchell Johnson during the 3rd day of the first test match at Lord's cricket ground,...

Britain Pakistan Australia Cricket

Pakistan's Mohammad Asif, centre, celebrates the wicket of Australia's Marcus North, right, during the 3rd day of the first test match between Pakist...

Britain Pakistan Australia Cricket

Australia's Simon Katich plays a shot off the bowling of Pakistan's Muhammad Amir during the 3rd day of the first Test match between Pakistan and Aus...

Britain Pakistan Australia Cricket

Pakistan's Umar Gul celebrates taking the wicket of Australia's Mitchell Johnson during the 3rd day of the first test match at Lord's cricket ground,...

Pakistan reached 114-1 against Australia at stumps on day three of the first test at Lord's on Thursday in a world record run chase after being set 440 to win.
Australia legspinner Steven Smith claimed his maiden test wicket by removing Imran Farhat (24) after tea. Salman Butt was unbeaten on 58 for his second half-century in the match and debutant Azhar Ali had 28 as the Pakistanis needed 326 more to win.
Farhat had just raised the 50 partnership with a well-drilled three down the ground when next over he dragged a short, unthreatening delivery from Smith to Shane Watson at midwicket. Batting was easier in the evening session under blue skies than under the murky black clouds that have hovered overhead for most of the game.
Pakistan's hopes of registering a first test win over Australia in 15 years seem unlikely considering its first innings of 148 in reply to Australia's 253. But the conditions will help Pakistan's cause if the sun remains. Australia is chasing a seventh straight test win.
Pakistan will need to break the world record run chase of 418 if it is to win, but it has never successfully chased more than the 315 it scored against Australia in 1994 in Karachi.
Australia was all out for 334 in its second innings on the stroke of tea. Its tail added vital runs on a sunny afternoon. Even No. 10 batsman Ben Hilfenhaus flourished, registering a test best score of 56 not out from 84 balls.
Pakistan removed Simon Katich (83) and Marcus North (20), the unbeaten batsmen at the lunch break, without a run being added afterwards. It was the breakthrough Pakistan needed but it was unable to push on, despite Umar Gul's 4-61.
Katich pushed tentatively and edged a ball just outside off stump from Gul to wicketkeeper Kamran Akmal, ending his 174-minute stay.
Left-handed opener Katich, who resumed on 49, made his fourth consecutive innings of 50 or more and is averaging more than 90 this year.
North followed him to the dressing room next over when he played a loose stroke to a delivery from Mohammad Asif that was much wider.
After Smith made 12 before perishing lbw to fellow legspinner Danish Kaneria for the second time in the match, debutant Tim Paine contributed 47.
Hilfenhaus frustrated Shahid Afridi's team by adding 74 runs for the ninth wicket with Paine and 52 with last man Doug Bollinger, whose 21 also was his test best score. Bollinger was last man out, bowled by a huge Kaneria leg-break.
Hilfenhaus, who drove Asif over cover for six shortly before tea, was able to boast the half-century achievement at Lord's that his captain Ricky Ponting and India's Sachin Tendulkar, the two highest scorers in test history, both failed to do.
The only wicket to fall in the morning session was that of nightwatchman Mitchell Johnson, who frustrated Pakistan for an hour with 30, before Gul pitched the ball up and uprooted the left-hander's stumps to claim his 100th test wicket.
Pakistan is playing as the home team even though the match is being staged at a neutral venue because of the precarious security situation in its homeland.


Updated : 2021-05-13 14:14 GMT+08:00