Posted by: nestaquin | January 17, 2010

Australia v Pakistan Third Test: Day 4 Quick Wrap

Apart from the gale and cold rain Day Four at Bellerive ended much the same as the previous three, with Australia dominant and Pakistan clueless.

Simon Katich and Ricky Ponting were aggressive from the outset and their partnership of 191 put the game well out of Pakistan’s reach by lunch. They pounced on anything short, wide or full and the tourists, as they have for much of the series, lost motivation quickly.

There has been plenty of criticism directed towards Mohammad Yousef, most of it warranted, but he can hardly be blamed for bowlers throwing in the towel like Mohammad Asif did this morning.

The lanky steroidal recidivist performed well below his usual standard and his indolent opening spell allowed the formidable and experienced Australian duo to begin the day perfectly. Any hope Pakistan had of winning the match quickly evaporated as Katich and Ponting unleashed their full repertoire much to the delight of the Bellerive faithful.

Ten minutes after lunch Ponting decided that a 437 run lead was enough to declare for the fourth time this series and when rain prevented play about an hour after tea Pakistan had lost four wickets while still 335 runs behind.

Two of those wickets, Yousef and Umar Akmal, fell either side of tea LBW to Shane Watson who bowled a superb spell of reverse swing. He deliberately took the pace off the ball to enhance the movement through the air and he troubled all the batsmen except the technically correct Shoaib Malik who, it must be said, has appeared very comfortable in both innings against pace, swing and spin.

With overnight rain, a 10am start tomorrow and in excess of 100 overs to negotiate Pakistan will be at long odds to survive. There is a slim chance that they could if rain interrupts and Shoaib Malik and one other can survive a couple of sessions but it is a highly unlikely scenario based on what I’ve witnessed these last four days.

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Responses

  1. “except the technically correct Shoaib Malik who, it must be said, has appeared very comfortable in both innings against pace, swing and spin.”

    This is the frustrating thing, Pakistan are very talented, their poor performance is just such a waste.

    Watching the match on a good quality video feed (thank you Cricket Australia) on a good screen, the cricket ground looked like an impressionists painting. Green grass dotted with men in white, impossibly blue skies with a few scudding white clouds. Tasmania is Australia’s little secret; the tourists all go and rubber neck at the Opera House and Harbour Bridge, which is fair enough, but Tasmania is quietly beautiful.
    Although Pakistan haven’t really fired, the locals must be feeling pretty good about their home town boy having scored a double.

    • Let’s keep a secret too. I get annoyed if there are more than a dozen people on my stretch of beach or have to walk more than one block to my destination.

      The locals are very happy indeed. The local rag had specially prepared commemorative pull-out posters of Punter two days in succession! Also, there were more than a few tears of joy shed when he reached the double.

      It was Pat’s first Test match and he’ll never forget it either. He’ll remember Punter’s double for the rest of his life. Priceless!

      • Great imprint left on Pat l am sure. Nothing better than seeing a hometown hero to inspire a youngfella.

        Speaking of which (as an aside as l know you have followed his progress Nesta) all of us living here in Yuendumu (myself working/living for the last 5 years) have our fingers crossed for Liam next week. l hope the fact l wrote his application for this doesn’t hold him back :) From the esteemed Mick Dodson http://www.theage.com.au/opinion/society-and-culture/respect-relationships-we-have-come-so-far-20100116-mdd1.html

        Lets hope the success in AFL could one day lead to cricket as well (after an auspicious start). Still out here in the desert it is footy 24.1 hours per day. Soccer, with its skill and touch, more likely than anything else to take hold into the future.

        • It’s great recognition for Liam and his community regardless of the result. Let’s hope he stays fit and sets the AFL alight this season.

          I don’t think there is an All Stars match this year in Darwin but I’m already looking forward to the next one and seeing Goodes, Pearce, Rioli, Motlop and Jurrah et al. all playing for each other and their families in the red, black and yellow.

  2. I am surprised the Pakistan bowlers are ever up for it. They know that catches are going to be dropped off their bowling. Asif has bowled beautifully this series and we can allow him an off day?

    Besides it’s not like the Aussie seamers have looked crash hot. MJ is having a ‘where’s the stumps’ match. Lucky that Katich had one of his rare outings and struck a mini seam.

  3. So frustrating to see fine cricketers under-perform when it counts. England and Pakistan seem so inconsistent from day to day never mind Test to Test.

    • Tooting, Pakistan inhabit a different plane of consistency compared to any other team. They are awesomely inconsistent in the sublime sense of the word awesome. So much talent but so many and daily basic errors; where do you start?

  4. Well, there it is. Whitewash. 3-0. Time and again Pakistan disappointed me, and it doesn’t seem to be attitude, they are as cocky as anyone else, but just didn’t come up with the goods.

    It is difficult to distinguish if AU is as good as it needs to be after these 2 Test series, WI and Pakistan, since neither of these teams seemed to live up to the promise in every aspect. I saw more errors by the AU team than I saw when they played in SA and this is a bit of a concern.

    But there is enough there to roll England in the Ashes series 5-0 yet again and some left over to fool around with. so all is ok.

    Happy Pepp signing off.

  5. And the Punters double century was icing on the cake with jam and passionfruit and cream. There will be those who continue to niggle at the Punters attitude, ‘style’ ( whatever that means ) and captaincy but he, as always , does me.

    A small thing, but significant. I was impressed mightily with Pontings sporting declarations. It made for tremendous cricketing contests, and put his own team under pressure within a parameter of measurable risk that really marks him as a great captain. More than good.


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