Aamer’s strikes slow down Oz
Simon Katich's patient fifty helped Australia recover from the loss of captain and star batsman Ricky Ponting on the first day of the first Test against Pakistan at Lord's here on Tuesday.cricket Updated: Jul 13, 2010 23:31 IST
Simon Katich's patient fifty helped Australia recover from the loss of captain and star batsman Ricky Ponting on the first day of the first Test against Pakistan at Lord's here on Tuesday.
At tea, Australia - after losing the toss - were 171 for three, with left-handed opener Katich, who might have been out for two, unbeaten on 77.
But a third-wicket stand worth 120 ended with the last ball before the interval when Australia vice-captain Michael Clarke was lbw for 47 to seamer Mohammad Asif.
Katich and Clarke came together at 51 for two after Ponting was still left searching for his first Test century at Lord's, having been dismissed for 26.
Ponting, in what could be the 35-year-old's final Test appearance at Lord's, was out when well caught by debutant Umar Amin at short leg after clipping firmly a ball from left-arm quick Mohammad Aamer, who appeared to collide with the Australia captain as he celebrated in his follow-through.
It meant Ponting, India's Sachin Tendulkar and the now retired West Indies great Brian Lara - the three best batsmen of the last decade - had all so far failed to score a Test century at Lord's.
The Aamer/Amin combination almost accounted for Clarke, then on four, when the short-leg failed to hold what would have been a superb diving catch.
Clarke demonstrated excellent footwork to go down the pitch and drive leg-spinner Danish Kaneria for two fours in as many balls while Katich later struck two fours in as many Aamer deliveries.
Katich, who struggled against the swinging ball early on, went to fifty off 117 balls with five boundaries.
Before lunch Aamer, one of the stars of Pakistan's back-to-back Twenty20 wins against Australia at Edgbaston last week, bowled Shane Watson for four in a rain shortened first session.
Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi, after winning the toss in his first Test in four years, elected to field in overcast conditions well-suited to his seam-bowling attack.
Aamer, 18, had an lbw appeal against Katich, on two, rejected but as the Decision Review System is not in use for this series after the Pakistan Cricket Board, the 'home' authority, ruled it out on grounds of cost, the verdict stood.
Watson took a risk in padding up to an inswinger and then, curiously, did the very same thing next ball to a delivery that did enough to dislodge a bail and leave Australia eight for one.
This is 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 international cricket following the armed attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in March last year.
This match was also the first time a 'neutral' Test had been played in England since the 1912 triangular tournament where Australia and South Africa, along with England, made up the competing teams.