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Asif rips through Aussie batting

Pakistan have taken a firm grip on the second Test after bowling out Australia for only 127 on the first day at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

cricket Updated: Jan 04, 2010 00:09 IST

Pakistan have taken a firm grip on the second Test after bowling out Australia for only 127 on the first day at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

The home side were dismissed shortly before stumps after winning the toss and electing to bat on a seaming, green pitch. The fast bowler Mohammad Asif was Pakistan’s star performer with career-best figures of six for 41 — the second-best return by a Pakistani at the SCG

Bad light stopped play for the day 10 minutes before stumps. The visitors will resume at 14 for no loss, with Imran Farhat on nine and Salman Butt on three.

Australia were floundering at 62 for seven prior to tea before a 44-run eighth wicket partnership between Nathan Hauritz (21) and Mitchell Johnson (38) eased them past 100.

Rain delayed the start until 2pm, and Ricky Ponting was left regretting his decision to bat soon after play got under way. He and Phillip Hughes fell for ducks in successive balls, with Shane Watson (six), Michael Clarke (three), Michael Hussey (28), Marcus North (10) and Brad Haddin (six) making hasty exits.

Mohammad Sami, with three for 20, took the first three before the impressive Asif stepped up to remove the next six.

Sami removed Hughes and Ponting before adding Watson to his list of victims.

The Aussie skipper played a pull shot to the first ball he faced and top-edged a catch to Umar Gul at backward square for a duck. Further drama was just a ball away as Watson was struck on a toe by Sami but the umpire Billy Doctrove gave Watson not out, which was upheld following a referral.

After cracking Australia’s first boundary in the eighth over, the opener pushed forward to a Sami outswinger and nicked a simple catch to Kamran Akmal behind the stumps to leave the hosts at 10 for three.

Clarke survived a referred lbw appeal but soon went, driving hard at Asif and being bowled between bat and pad as the ball nipped back off the seam. The drama kept on coming. With the score on 42, North was given out lbw to Asif for two. The Western Australian referred a decision to the video umpire and the decision was reversed.

Hussey was next to go, attempting to pull Asif but only sending a top edge high above the slip cordon. Misbah-ul-Haq turned from first slip and held his nerve to take the catch and leave Australia 51 for five.