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Aamer makes Australia struggle in first Test

cricket Updated: Jul 13, 2010 20:49 IST

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Teenage quick Mohammad Aamer struck an early blow as Australia struggled to 36 for one at lunch on the first day of the first Test against Pakistan at Lord's today.

Aamer dismissed Shane Watson for four on his way to figures of one wicket for 13 runs in five overs during a session shortened by rain to an hour.

And the left-armer was unlucky not to have another after Simon Katich survived a convincing lbw appeal on two.

As it was, left-hander Katich survived to be 11 not out at lunch, with Australia captain Ricky Ponting unbeaten on 14.

It was no surprise Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi, after winning the toss in his first Test in four years, elected to field in overcast conditions that appeared ideally suited to his seam-bowling attack.

And the 18-year-old Aamer, one of the stars of Pakistan's back-to-back Twenty20 victories over Australia at Edgbaston last week, was soon testing the opening duo.

The left-armer had an lbw appeal against Katich turned down by Ian Gould, with replays showing the ball would have hit middle stump, although the English umpire may have been deceived by the sound of bat hitting pad.

Watson took a risk in padding up to an inswinger and then, curiously, did the very same thing next ball.

Gould raised his finger but, as the ball had trickled onto the stumps and knocked off the bail, Watson was out bowled and Australia were eight for one.

Even star batsman Ponting looked uncertain early on against the swinging ball. But when Aamer erred in dropping short, Ponting pulled him for four.

Katich, repeatedly shuffling across his stumps, continued to look vulnerable to being given out lbw and then, extraordinarily, turned his back on first change Umar Gul's initial ball.

This was the first of a two-Test series being played in England because Pakistan, where the matches should have been staged, became a 'no-go area' for top-class international cricket following the armed attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in March last year.